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Research Papers

Superior Performance of Nanofluids in an Automotive Radiator

[+] Author and Article Information
Dustin R. Ray

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Alaska Fairbanks,
P.O. Box 755905,
Fairbanks, AK 99775

Debendra K. Das

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Alaska Fairbanks,
P.O. Box 755905,
Fairbanks, AK 99775
e-mail: dkdas@alaska.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received August 22, 2013; final manuscript received March 2, 2014; published online April 17, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Ranganathan Kumar.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 6(4), 041002 (Apr 17, 2014) (16 pages) Paper No: TSEA-13-1142; doi: 10.1115/1.4027302 History: Received August 22, 2013; Revised March 02, 2014

This study compares the performance of three different nanofluids containing aluminum oxide, copper oxide, and silicon dioxide nanoparticles dispersed in the same base fluid, 60:40 ethylene glycol and water by mass, as coolant in automobile radiators. The computational scheme adopted here is the effectiveness-number of transfer unit (ε − NTU) method encoded in matlab. Appropriate correlations of thermophysical properties for these nanofluids developed from measurements are summarized in this paper. The computational scheme has been validated by comparing the results of pumping power, convective heat transfer coefficients on the air and coolant side, overall heat transfer coefficient, effectiveness and NTU, reported by other researchers. Then the scheme was adopted to compute the performance of nanofluids. Results show that a dilute 1% volumetric concentration of nanoparticles performs better than higher concentration. It is proven that at optimal conditions of operation of the radiator, under the same heat transfer basis, a reduction of 35.3% in pumping power or 7.4% of the surface area can be achieved by using the Al2O3 nanofluid. The CuO nanofluid showed slightly lower magnitudes than the Al2O3 nanofluid, with 33.1% and 7.2% reduction for pumping power or surface area respectively. The SiO2 nanofluid showed the least performance gain of the three nanofluids, but still could reduce the pumping power or area by 26.2% or 5.2%. The analysis presented in this paper was used for an automotive radiator but can be extended to any liquid to gas heat exchanger.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

A TEM image of Al2O3 nanoparticles before properties measurements

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Fig. 2

A schematic diagram of the radiator geometry of a Subaru Forester/Impreza radiator

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Fig. 3

Flow chart analysis of the computational approach

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Fig. 4

Pumping power variation with coolant Reynolds number and coolant inlet temperatures for air Reynolds number Rea = 1000 and air inlet temperature Ti,a = 303 K

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Fig. 5

Air convective and overall heat transfer coefficients variation for a range of air and coolant Reynolds number

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Fig. 6

A comparison of heat transfer rate due to Reynolds number and inlet temperature difference of fluids

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Fig. 7

The NTU and effectiveness of an automotive radiator as a function of Reynolds number and ITD

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Fig. 8

The effect of volumetric concentration of nanoparticle on the Reynolds number and pumping power compared to the base fluid

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Fig. 9

A comparison of the heat transfer coefficient and friction power per unit area with three nanofluids of 1–3% concentration and the base fluid

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Fig. 10

Performance comparison on the effects of coolant inlet temperature on volumetric flow rate and pumping power for 1% concentration nanofluids

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Fig. 11

The effects of inlet temperature on the performance of nanofluids- heat transfer coefficient and overall heat transfer coefficient

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Fig. 12

Performance comparison on the effects of coolant Reynolds number on volumetric flow rate and pumping power for three different nanofluids

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Fig. 13

Performance comparison on the effects of coolant Reynolds number on convective and overall heat transfer coefficient for three different nanofluids

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Fig. 14

The effects of air Reynolds number on the performance of nanofluids- heat transfer coefficient and overall heat transfer coefficient

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Fig. 15

The effects of coolant Reynolds number on the surface area reduction with nanofluids

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Fig. 16

Nanofluids performance for best and worst case scenarios for reduction in pumping power or surface area of a radiator

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