Turbulent Heat Transfer Characteristics in a Circular Tube and Thermal Properties of Nanoemulsion Fluids

We carry out experimental studies of turbulent convective heat transfer of several n-decane-in-water nanoemulsions and micelles-in-water fluids. We characterize the viscosity and thermal properties of the nanofluids, and the nanoparticle distributions and shapes with various techniques, including transmission electron microscopy. We find that the thermal conductivity of the nanofluids is lower than that of the base fluid, and the conductivity shows no anomalous behavior. Despite this we find that the average Nusselt numbers and convective heat transfer coefficients are enhanced for low volume fractions when the Reynolds number Re > 7000, in agreement with solid particle nanofluids. However, when the pressure losses are taken into account, we find that the nanofluids studied have a practical efficiency equal to or less than that of the base fluid. The highest heat transfer enhancements were obtained with volume fractions considerably smaller than those for the solid particle nanofluids. Our results indicate that the improved heat transfer is due to enhancement of turbulence in the large Re regime.

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