Thermal evaluation of nanofluids in heat exchangers

Anoop Baby, Jonathan Cox, Reza Sadr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


Nanofluids, suspensions of nanoparticles (less than 100nm) in a basefluid, have shown enhanced heat transfer characteristics. In this study, thermal performances of nanofluids in industrial type heat exchangers are investigated. Three mass particle concentrations of 2%, 4%, and 6% of silicon dioxide-water (SiO2-water) nanofluids are formulated by dispersing 20nm diameter nanoparticles in distilled water. Experiments are conducted to compare the overall heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop of water vs. nanofluids in laboratory-scale plate and shell-and-tube heat exchangers. Experimental results show both augmentation and deterioration of heat transfer coefficient for nanofluids depending on the flow rate and nanofluid concentration through the heat exchangers. This trend could be explained by the counter effect of the changes in thermo-physical properties of fluids together with the fouling on the contact surfaces in the heat exchangers. The measured pressure drop while using nanofluids show an increase when compared to that of basefluid which could limit the use of nanofluids in industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-9
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013



  • Heat exchanger fouling
  • Heat transfer efficiency
  • Nanofluids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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