Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 397–411 | Cite as

A reliable model to estimate the effective thermal conductivity of nanofluids

  • Alireza ZendehboudiEmail author
  • R. Saidur


The thermal conductivity is a key parameter to study the applicability of nanofluids for heat transfer enhancement of flowing liquids. This paper is an effort on implementing various methods to model the effective thermal conductivity of 26 nanofluids under different situations and evaluate the authenticity of the reported experimental data in the open literature. The most influential physical properties of nanofluids, such as the nanoparticle volume fraction, nanoparticle diameter, thermal conductivity of base fluid, temperature, and thermal conductivity of solid particle are considered as the input variables. With the purpose of introducing a comprehensive and pragmatic model with desired accuracy, a Multilayer Perceptron-Artificial Neural Network (MLP-ANN) approach is constructed and tested using data generated from 993 experiments. To appraise the creditability of the MLP-ANN model, a comparison with other 10 alternative techniques is carried out. The predictions made by the MLP-ANN yield excellent match with the experimentally generated samples against those of the other approaches. The coefficient of determination and relative root mean squared error are found to be 0.994 and 1.534%, respectively. Likewise, the results of the data analysis and the outlier detection method have proved that some of the data samples are significantly inconsistent with the remainder of the data set.


Nanofluids Thermal conductivity Neural network Computational modeling Outlier detection 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Building Science, School of ArchitectureTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Research Centre for Nano-Materials and Energy Technology (RCNMET), School of Science and TechnologySunway UniversityPetaling JayaMalaysia
  3. 3.American University of Ras Al KhaimahRas Al KhaimahUnited Arab Emirates

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