Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 136, Issue 4, pp 1831–1846 | Cite as

Three-dimensional multiphase CFD modeling of thermal–hydraulic characteristics of nanofluid flow in helical microchannels

  • Sina Nabati Shoghl
  • Zakaria Loloei
  • Mostafa Keshavarz MoravejiEmail author


Forced convection heat transfer of two different types of water-based nanofluids (Al2O3, TiO2) was investigated numerically. In this numerical investigation, mixture two-phase model was considered and the governing equations were discretized based on the finite element method. The developed model agrees well with the experimental data for the two straight and helical microchannel tubes. The presented model covers the helical microchannel with different axial pitches and curvature ratios. The obtained results showed that geometrical parameters (curvature ratio and axial pitch) with a combination of nanofluid types and concentration have impressive effects on thermal performance and pressure drop. The results revealed that the Nu number was about 14% higher compared to pure water for the helical-containing Al2O3 nanofluids. Moreover, addition of both nanoparticles had negligible effect on friction factor in helical microchannel. The optimum operating conditions which are most economical from an industrial point of view were evaluated using the effectiveness parameter (η).

Graphical abstract


Helical microchannel Nanofluid Mixture model CFD Finite element method 

List of symbols


Heat transfer area (m2)


Specific heat capacity (kJ kg−1 K−1)


Drag coefficient


Tube diameter (m)


Coil diameter (m)


Heat transfer coefficient (W m−2 K−1)


Axial pitch (m)


Friction factor


Thermal conductivity (W m−1 K−1)


Tube length (m)


Mass flow rate (kg s−1)


Nusselt number


Pressure (N m−2)


Prandtl number


Heat transfer rate (W)


Reynolds number


Time (s)


Temperature (K)

v, u

Velocity (m s−1)

Greek symbols


Curvature ratio (di/D)


Viscosity (Pa s)


Absolute deviation


Volume fraction


Torsion (H/πD)


Kinematic viscosity (m2 s−1)


Density (kg m−3)



Base condition






Dispersed phase










Solid phase


Water, wall


Continuous (Eq. 1)–(Eq. 7)–(Eq. 15)


Volume fraction of dispersion phase


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringAmirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)TehranIran

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