, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 109-117

Mechanism of heat transport in nanofluids

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We have calculated thermal conductivity of alumina nanofluids (with water and ethylene glycol as base fluids) using temperature as well as concentration-dependent viscosity, η. The temperature profile of η is obtained using Gaussian fit to the available experimental data. In the model, the interfacial resistance effects are incorporated through a phenomenological parameter α. The micro-convection of the alumina nanoparticle (diameter less than 100 nm) is included through Reynolds and Prandtl numbers. The model is further improved by explicitly incorporating the thermal conductivity of the nanolayer surrounding the nanoparticles. Using this improved model, thermal conductivity of copper nanofluid is calculated. These calculations capture the particle concentration-dependent thermal conductivity and predict the dependence of the thermal conductivity on the size of the nanoparticle. These studies are significant to understand the underlying processes of heat transport in nanofluids and are crucial to design superior coolants of next generation.