Performance evaluation on an air-cooled heat exchanger for alumina nanofluid under laminar flow

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This study analyzes the characteristics of alumina (Al 2O 3)/water nanofluid to determine the feasibility of its application in an air-cooled heat exchanger for heat dissipation for PEMFC or electronic chip cooling. The experimental sample was Al 2O 3/water nanofluid produced by the direct synthesis method at three different concentrations (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 wt.%). The experiments in this study measured the thermal conductivity and viscosity of nanofluid with weight fractions and sample temperatures (20-60°C), and then used the nanofluid in an actual air-cooled heat exchanger to assess its heat exchange capacity and pressure drop under laminar flow. Experimental results show that the nanofluid has a higher heat exchange capacity than water, and a higher concentration of nanoparticles provides an even better ratio of the heat exchange. The maximum enhanced ratio of heat exchange and pressure drop for all the experimental parameters in this study was about 39% and 5.6%, respectively. In addition to nanoparticle concentration, the temperature and mass flow rates of the working fluid can affect the enhanced ratio of heat exchange and pressure drop of nanofluid. The cross-section aspect ratio of tube in the heat exchanger is another important factor to be taken into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number488
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNanoscale Research Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1



  • Alumina (Al o )
  • Heat exchange capacity
  • Laminar flow
  • Nanofluid
  • Pressure drop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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