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Pressure drop and convective heat transfer of water and nanouids in

a double-pipe helical heat exchanger


Zan Wu, Lei Wang, Bengt Sundn
*
Department of Energy Sciences, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, Lund SE-22100, Sweden
h i g h l i g h t s
Pressure drop and heat transfer characteristics of alumina/water nanouids in helical heat exchangers were experimentally investigated.
An accurate correlation was developed for laminar ow in helically coiled tubes.
Secondary ow intensity mitigation due to nanouids may neutralize the benet from the thermal conductivity increase.
No anomalous heat transfer enhancement was found.
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 3 April 2013
Accepted 26 June 2013
Available online 16 July 2013
Keywords:
Nanouid
Pressure drop
Heat transfer
Helically coiled tube
Heat exchanger
Figure of merit
a b s t r a c t
Pressure drop and convective heat transfer characteristics of water and ve alumina/water nanouids of
weight concentrations from 0.78% wt. to 7.04% wt. were experimentally investigated for both laminar
ow and turbulent ow inside a double-pipe helically coiled heat exchanger. Effect of nanoparticles on
the critical Reynolds number is negligible. A new correlation was developed for laminar ow in helically
coiled tubes, which can predict the experimental heat transfer data very well. For turbulent ow, the
Seban and McLaughlin correlation can accurately predict the thermal behavior of water and nanouids
when nanouid properties are taken into account. For both laminar ow and turbulent ow, no
anomalous heat transfer enhancement was found. The heat transfer enhancement of the nanouids
compared to water is from 0.37% to 3.43% according to the constant ow velocity basis. Figure of merit
based on the constant Reynolds number can be misleading and should not be used for heat transfer
enhancement comparison. Additional possible effects of nanoparticles, e.g., Brownian motion, thermo-
phoresis and diffusiophoresis, on the convective heat transfer characteristics of the nanouids are
insignicant compared to the dominant thermophysical properties of the nanouids. No multiphase
phenomenon was found and the tested alumina nanouids can be treated as homogeneous uids.
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Helically coiled tubes and double-pipe helical heat exchangers
belong to the most common passive heat transfer enhancement
devices in many applications including nuclear reactors, food pro-
cessing, electronics, air-conditioning, waste heat recovery, power
production, environmental engineering, manufacturing industry
and space applications, due to their high heat and mass transfer
coefcients, compact design, narrow residence time distributions
and ease of manufacture [1]. Therefore, knowledge about the
pressure drop and convective heat transfer characteristics in heli-
cally coiled tubes and helical heat exchangers are very important.
The ow eld in helically coiled tubes is affected by centrifugal
forces, which induce a secondary ow eld with a couple of
vortices in a cross-section of the tube. The uid in the central part is
driven toward the outer wall by the centrifugal force, then returns
to the inner wall by owing back along the wall, as illustrated in
Mori and Nakayama [2]. Compared with straight tubes, the above-
mentioned secondary ow in helical tubes enhances heat transfer
rates as it reduces the temperature gradient across the tube cross-
section, producing an additional convective heat transfer mecha-
nism perpendicular to the main ow.
Nanouids are engineered colloidal suspensions of nano-
particles of a base uid [3], which are more stable than micropar-
ticle colloids, with little particle setting, channel erosion and
clogging. In addition, nanouids also have novel properties that
make them potentially important in heat exchangers, nuclear re-
actors, electronics cooling, fuel cells, pharmaceutical processes,
* Corresponding author. Tel.: 46 46 2228605; fax: 46 46 2224717.
E-mail address: bengt.sunden@energy.lth.se (B. Sundn).
Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect
Applied Thermal Engineering
j ournal homepage: www. el sevi er. com/ l ocat e/ apt hermeng
1359-4311/$ e see front matter 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2013.06.051
Applied Thermal Engineering 60 (2013) 266e274
food industry, etc. [4]. For example, nanouids generally provide
higher thermal conductivity compared to their base uids. Con-
centration, size, dispersion and stability of nanoparticles and uid
temperature affect the determination of the thermal conductivity
of nanouids [5]. Heat transfer characteristics of nanouids in
straight tubes have been extensively studied, as shown in reviews
of Dalkilic et al. [6], Huminic and Huminic [7] and Taylor et al. [8].
However, no agreement on anomalous heat transfer enhancement
has been achieved. Sergis and Hardalupas [9] stated statistically
that most of the previous studies indicated low heat transfer
enhancement; 11% of the sample showed deterioration of the heat
transfer coefcient and 3% indicated no enhancement at all. An
earlier study by Xuan and Li [10] stated anomalous enhancement.
Buongiorno [3] considered seven slip mechanisms which can pro-
duce a relative velocity between the nanoparticles and the base
uid, and concluded that only Brownian diffusion and thermo-
phoresis are important slip mechanisms. The abnormal heat
transfer enhancement was proposed to be related to the property
variation within the solid/liquid boundary layer due to the effect of
temperature gradient and thermophoresis. Timofeeva et al. [11]
also stated that the complexity and the controversy of nanouid
systems are related to the solid/liquid boundary layer between
nanoparticles and the base liquid, at which signicant surface area
of nanoparticles contributes to the uid properties, resulting in
three-phase systems (instead of traditional consideration of
nanouids as two-phase systems of solid and liquid). On the other
hand, Williams et al. [12] showed that existing correlations accu-
rately reproduced the turbulent convective heat transfer behavior
of nanouids in tubes by adopting the measured temperature- and
loading-dependent thermal conductivities and viscosities of the
nanouids in analysis and stated that the anomalous enhancement
could be an analysis artifact. Yu et al. [13] analyzed a large database
related to nanouids owing inside straight tubes and presented
that the turbulent heat transfer coefcients of nanouids can
be predicted quite accurately with the standard single-phase
equations.
So far, studies on heat transfer characteristics of nanouids in
helically coiled tubes or double-pipe helical heat exchangers are
scarce. Akhavan-Behabadi et al. [14] experimentally showed higher
Nusselt numbers of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/oil
nanouids compared to base uid (oil) inside vertical helically coiled
tubes under uniform wall temperature condition for laminar ow.
Mukesh Kumar et al. [15] experimentally observed that the
maximum enhancement of the tube side heat transfer coefcient
was up to 24.6% for alumina/water nanouids based on the constant
Dean number. Mohammed and Narrein [16] and Narrein and
Mohammed [17] performed numerical investigations of effects of
different geometrical parameters andmaterial, diameter andvolume
concentration of nanoparticles on the hydraulic and thermal char-
acteristics in helically coiled tube heat exchangers under laminar
ow conditions. Sasmito et al. [18] conducted a numerical study of
laminar nanouid ows (alumina/water and copper/water) in coiled
square tubes, and stated that adding 1% nanouid (volumetric con-
centration) improved the heat transfer performance; however,
further addition tended to deteriorate heat transfer performance.
The purpose of this experimental study is to investigate and
evaluate the pressure drop and convective heat transfer perfor-
mance of water and g-Al
2
O
3
/water nanouids of different con-
centrations in a double-pipe helically coiled heat exchanger, for
both laminar ow and turbulent ow.
2. Experiment
2.1. Experimental apparatus and method
A schematic illustration of the experimental setup is shown in
Fig. 1a. It consists of two loops, for the cold and hot uids,
respectively. The hot water or nanouid runs in the hot closed loop,
while cold water is forced in the cold open loop. Water or nanouid
is heated in a 50-L reservoir by an imbedded electric heater of 6 kW
xed at the bottom of the reservoir. The heated uid is pumped
from the reservoir, and then it passes a control valve, enters the
Nomenclature
A
i
inner surface area of the inner tube (m
2
)
A
o
outer surface area of the inner tube (m
2
)
c
p
specic heat at constant pressure (J kg
1
K
1
)
D
c
coil diameter of curvature (m)
d
a
hydraulic diameter of the annulus (m)
d
i
diameter of the inner tube (m)
d
p
particle diameter (m)
De Dean number, Re
b
(d
i
/D
c
)
0.5
e
A
mean absolute deviation (%)
f
app
apparent friction factor
h heat transfer coefcient (W m
2
K
1
)
h
a
annulus heat transfer coefcient (W m
2
K
1
)
k thermal conductivity (W m
1
K
1
)
Kn Knudsen number
L length of the helical heat exchanger (m)
LMTD logarithmic mean temperature difference (K)
m mass ow rate (kg s
1
)
n number of turns
Nu Nusselt number, hd
i
/k
p pitch of helical coil (m)
Pr Prandtl number, c
p
m/k
q heat ux (W m
2
)
r gure of merit
Re Reynolds number, rud
i
/m
T temperature (K)
u velocity (m s
1
)
w weight concentration
Greek symbols
DP pressure drop (Pa)
F volume concentration
l mean free path (m)
m dynamic viscosity (Pa s)
r density (kg m
3
)
s
N
standard deviation (%)
Subscripts
b bulk
c cold side
ci cold side inlet
co cold side outlet
exp experimental
f base uid
h hot side
hi hot side inlet
ho hot side outlet
n nanouid
p nanoparticles
pre predicted
Z. Wu et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 60 (2013) 266e274 267
inner helically coiled tube of the helical heat exchanger, goes into a
rotameter, and returns to the reservoir. For the cold loop, water
ows through the pump from a water tank, passes a control
valve, enters the rotameter for volume ow rate measurement,
and then goes into the annulus counter-currently. Each loop has
two rotameters of small and large ranges for accurate ow rate
measurement. A differential pressure transducer with an accuracy
of 0.075% of the set span was used to measure the pressure drop
across the inner tube. All rotameters were calibrated for water and
nanouids of different concentrations at different temperatures by
using a stopwatch and measuring cylinders. The inlet and outlet
temperatures of the inner tube and the annulus were measured by
four calibrated copper-constantan thermocouples with an accuracy
of 0.1 K, respectively. All temperature measurements were
Fig. 1. Schematic illustrations of (a) experimental rig, and (b) helically coiled tube.
Z. Wu et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 60 (2013) 266e274 268
recorded by a data logger. Uncertainties of the measurements were
listed in Table 1.
The double-pipe helically coiled heat exchanger considered was
constructed by copper tubes and standard copper connections. The
inner helically coiled tube, shown in Fig. 1b, has an inner diameter
(d
i
) of 13.28 mm. The outer surface of the inner tube was enhanced
by circular n arrays (not shown in Fig. 1b) with a n height of
3.2 mm. The ratio of the outer surface area (A
o
) to the inner surface
area (A
i
) of the inner tube is 4.83. The outer helically coiled tube has
an inner diameter of 26 mm. The approximate hydraulic diameter
of the annulus side (d
a
) is 8 mm (n arrays not considered). The
number of turns (n) of the helical coils is 4.5, and each coil has a coil
diameter of curvature (D
c
, measured from the center of the inner
tube) of 254 mm. The pitch of the helical coil (p) is 34.5 mm. The
total length of the tested helical heat exchanger is 3.591 m.
The inlet temperature of the hot uid was maintained at
28.0 3.0

C. The inlet temperature of the cold uid was kept at
5.5 0.5

C. Test conditions were considered stable as the deviation


was below 0.15 K when the thermal equilibrium conditions were
achieved. For each test condition, four measurements were recor-
ded and averaged. Also, repeatability of the experiments was very
good, with a deviation less than 1.0%.
2.2. Nanouid preparation and properties
Untreated concentrated g-Al
2
O
3
/water nanouid with spherical
alumina nanoparticles of 40-nm mean diameter was purchased
from a commercial company (Nanophase Technologies Corpora-
tion, US). No surfactants were added in the nanouid. Different
amounts of concentrated nanouid were diluted in tap water to
obtain nanouids with low weight concentrations. The diluted
nanouid mixture was mechanically stirred for 0.5 h followed by
ultrasonic vibration for 4 h. The nal milk-like nanouid was very
stable and no particle setting was found, at least within two weeks.
Tap water was used as the base uid. To obtain weight concentra-
tions, a certain volume of the stable nanouid was weighed for
several times to obtain the average value. The density of tap water
used in weight concentration calculation was measured by a bal-
ance and a measuring cylinder at different temperatures. Five
nanouids with weight concentrations, 0.78% wt., 2.18% wt., 3.89%
wt., 5.68% wt. and 7.04% wt. were obtained and tested in the hot
loop. Volume concentration F of the nanouid can be obtained
from its weight concentration w:
F
wr
f
1 wr
p
wr
f
(1)
The volume concentrations of the ve tested nanouids are
0.20%, 0.56%, 1.02%, 1.50% and 1.88%, respectively. The density of the
nanouid was calculated by
r
n
1 Fr
f
Fr
p
(2)
The specic heat of the nanouid was calculated by
r
n
c
pn
1 Fr
f
c
pf
Fr
p
c
pp
(3)
where c
pn
, c
pf
and c
pp
are specic heats of the nanouid, the base
uid and the particle, respectively. The effective dynamic viscosity
and thermal conductivity of nanouids can be calculated by exist-
ing formulas that have been obtained for two-phase mixtures, i.e.,
the well-known Einstein equation [19] for dynamic viscosity and
the Maxwell model [20] for thermal conductivity. Maiga et al. [21]
and Williams et al. [12] proposed dynamic viscosity and thermal
conductivity equations based on limited experimental data for the
g-Al
2
O
3
/water nanouid. Table 2 lists these formulas and their
respective applicable ranges. Fig. 2 illustrates the relative viscosity
and thermal conductivity of g-Al
2
O
3
/water nanouids versus vol-
ume concentrations based on the formulas listed in Table 2. Both
dynamic viscosity and thermal conductivity increase with increase
in volume concentration of nanoparticles. The dynamic viscosity
calculated by the Einstein equation [19] is lower than that of the
other two equations. The equation of Williams et al. [12] gives the
highest viscosity and thermal conductivity values. The Maxwell
equation [20] and the Maiga et al. equation [21] present similar
thermal conductivity behavior. In this study, the well-known Ein-
stein equation [19] and the Maxwell equation [20] were adopted to
analyze the experimental data. As shown by Drew and Passman
[22], Wen and Ding [23] and Zhang et al. [24] and others, the Ein-
stein equation [19] and the Maxwell model [20] are in good
agreement with the experimental results at low volume concen-
trations (F < 2.0%).
2.3. Data analysis
The apparent Darcy friction factor was calculated by the
following equation:
f
app
2$
d
i
L
DP
ru
2
(4)
The heat ux q was averaged between the heat transferred by
the inner hot uid q
h
and the heat absorbed by the annulus cold
water q
c
:
q
_
q
h
q
c
2
_

_
c
ph
m
h
T
hi
T
ho
c
pc
m
c
T
co
T
ci

2
_
(5)
Table 1
Uncertainties estimation for primary measurements and dependent quantities.
Primary measurements
Diameter 0.05 mm
Length 0.2 mm
Temperature 0.1 K
Inner tube ow rate, range: 30e540 L h
1
2.0% at the lowest ow rate
Annulus ow rate, range: 30e300 L h
1
2.0% at the lowest ow rate
Pressure drop across the inner tube 1.5% at the lowest ow rate
Dependent quantities
Mass ow rate m, kg s
1
2.0%
Heat ux q, W m
2
2.8%
LMTD, K 1.5%
Apparent Darcy friction factor f
app
3.3%
Heat transfer coefcient h, W m
2
K
1
3.2%
Table 2
Several existing equations for effective dynamic viscosity and thermal conductivity
of nanouids.
Authors Equations
Einstein [19] Theoretical model for dilute non-interacting
suspensions of small, rigid, spherical particles,
F < 2%: m
n
m
f
1 2:5F
Maxwell [20] Effective medium theory, for dilute non-contact
suspensions of rigid spherical particles,
F < 2%: kn k
f
kp2kf 2Fkpkf
kp2kf Fkpkf
Maiga et al. [21] Least-square curve tting of three data sets
for g-Al
2
O
3
/water nanouid:
m
n
m
f
1 7:3F 123F
2
,
kn k
f
1 2:72F 4:97F
2

Williams et al. [12] Experimental correlation based on its own


data for g-Al
2
O
3
/water nanouid:
m
n
m
f
Texp 4:91F=0:2092 F,
kn k
f
T1 4:5503F
Z. Wu et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 60 (2013) 266e274 269
The deviation in energy balance between the hot loop and the
cold loop is less than 1.0%. The logarithmic mean temperature
difference (LMTD) was determined by the following equation [25]
LMTD
T
hi
T
co
T
ho
T
ci

ln T
hi
T
co
=T
ho
T
ci

(6)
Assuming no fouling resistance and ignoring the wall thermal
resistance due to the thin wall, large tube length and high thermal
conductivity of copper, the inner tube heat transfer coefcient h
was determined by
h
1
A
i
_
LMTD
q

1
haAo
_ (7)
The annulus thermal resistance in Eq. (7) was also neglected
because of the following reasons: (1) the annulus heat transfer
coefcient h
a
is relatively large due to the intensive turbulence
induced by the ns on the outer surface of the inner tube; (2) A
o
/
A
i
4.83; (3) the volumetric ow rate on the annulus side was kept
relatively large during the experiments; (4) a small change in h was
noticed for a 20% change of the annulus ow rate during the ex-
periments. Thus, Eq. (7) can be simplied as
h
q
A
i
$LMTD
(8)
Only the inner tube heat transfer coefcient was investigated
and evaluated in this study. Uncertainties of the dependent quan-
tities were listed in Table 1.
Before and after the nanouid tests, water experiments were
conducted in the same double-pipe helically coiled heat exchanger
to verify the nanouid stability, as shown in Fig. 3. The water
experimental data points before and after the nanouid tests show
very similar thermal behavior, indicating very small and negligible
deposition of nanoparticles during the nanouid tests.
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Pressure drop
The relationship between the apparent Darcy friction factor f
app
calculated fromEq. (4) and the Reynolds number Re for tap water is
illustrated in Fig. 4. The apparent friction factor decreases with Re
when Re < 6000, while it increases slowly when Re > 6000. In this
study, a critical Reynolds number of approximately 6000 was
assumed, which agrees with the transition value of 6494 calculated
by the transition criterion in Ito [26]. The Ito equation [26] and the
Seban and McLaughlin equation [27] can predict the experimental
value relatively well for both laminar ow and turbulent ow,
respectively. The apparent Darcy friction factors for the ve nano-
uids are presented in Fig. 5. Data of tap water is also included for
comparison. The transition from laminar ow to turbulent ow for
all the tested uids occurs almost at the same Reynolds number.
Therefore, the transitional velocity of the nanouids will be larger
than that of the base uid due to the larger viscosity of the former
compared to the latter. The nanoparticles may stabilize the ow in
helically coiled tubes. However, more data are needed to verify this
phenomenon. No obvious difference exists among the six tested
uids, especially in the laminar ow. During the turbulent ow, the
friction factor seems to increase with the nanoparticle concentra-
tion. Fig. 6a and b presents comparisons of the experimental fric-
tion factors with the predictive friction factors by the Ito equation
[26] and the Seban and McLaughlin equation [27] for laminar
ow and turbulent ow, respectively. Both equations can predict
the data points within a 30% error band. The Seban and
McLaughlin equation [27] tends to under-estimate the turbulent
friction factor, and this underestimated deviation increases with
Reynolds number and weight concentration of the nanoparticles.
3.2. Heat transfer in laminar ow
Fig. 7 demonstrates the relationship between Nu
b
(Pr
b
)
0.4
and
the inner tube Dean number De
b
(Re
b
(d
i
/D
c
)
0.5
) for laminar ow.
The subscript b indicates the average bulk temperature. All
Fig. 2. Rheological behavior of alumina nanouids at 20

C based on existing equations
in Table 2: (a) relative viscosity vs. volume concentration; (b) relative thermal con-
ductivity vs. volume concentration.
Fig. 3. Water experimental data before and after nanouid tests.
Z. Wu et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 60 (2013) 266e274 270
properties used in the dimensionless numbers were calculated at
the average bulk temperature. The average bulk temperature was
estimated from the inner tube inlet and outlet temperatures. For
nanouids, the nanouid properties were used instead of those of
the base uid. Temperature effects were accounted for in the
Prandtl number Pr
b
. As shown in Fig. 7, the Nusselt number in-
creases with the Dean number. Tap water and the ve nanouids
present similar heat transfer characteristics. This indicates that the
net effect of nanoparticles on the heat transfer performance in
helically coiled tubes is probably insignicant. The thermal con-
ductivity increase by nanoparticles is benecial for heat transfer,
whereas the secondary ow intensity induced by centrifugal forces
may be reduced by nanoparticles due to the larger viscosity and
density of the nanouid compared to that of the base uid.
A new correlation for water and nanouids owing inside he-
lically coiled tubes for laminar ow was developed:
Nu
b
0:089*De
0:775
b
Pr
0:4
b
(9)
The coefcient of determination, R
2
, is equal to 0.995, indicating
that Eq. (9) ts the data very well.
Comparison of the newly proposed correlation Eq. (9) for
laminar ow in helically coiled tubes versus the other two existing
correlations: the Dravid et al. correlation [28] and the Kalb and
Seader correlation [29], is given in Fig. 8. It is found that Eq. (9) gives
the best prediction on the ground that all data points are located
within a 5% error band except those with Nu
b
< 13. The formulas
of the other two correlations and their applicable ranges are
presented in Table 3. The mean absolute error e
A
(%) and standard
deviation s
N
(%) of the three correlations are provided in Table 4.
3.3. Heat transfer in turbulent ow
Similar to the laminar ow, Fig. 9 presents the relationship be-
tween Nu
b
(Pr
b
)
0.4
and the inner tube Reynolds number Re
b
for the
turbulent ow. It is clear that Nu
b
(Pr
b
)
0.4
increases with the Re
b
and all the six uids show a similar trend. The Seban and
Fig. 5. The f
app
eRe relationship for the six tested uids.
Fig. 6. Darcy friction factor evaluations for (a) laminar ow, and (b) turbulent ow.
Fig. 7. Nu
b
(Pr
b
)
0.4
vs. De
b
for laminar ow.
Fig. 4. The f
app
eRe relationship for water and the laminar-to-turbulent transition.
Z. Wu et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 60 (2013) 266e274 271
McLaughlin [27] correlation can predict the thermal behavior of
water and nanouids very accurately, with a mean absolute error
and a standard deviation of 2.60% and 3.11%, respectively. The
existing correlation can accurately reproduce the turbulent
convective heat transfer behavior of nanouids in helically coiled
tubes by adopting the properties of the nanouids in the analysis.
The nanouid density, specic heat, dynamic viscosity and thermal
conductivity were calculated by Eqs. (2) and (3), the Einstein
equation [19], and the Maxwell equation [20], respectively.
No abnormal heat transfer enhancement exists in our case
because of small nanoparticle/uid slip ow. The liquid around the
nanoparticles can be regarded as a continuumbecause the Knudsen
number, Kn, which is dened as the ratio of the water molecule
mean free path to the nanoparticle diameter (l/d
p
0.3/40), is
relatively small. Nanoparticle rotation can be ignored due to the
very lowrotational Peclet number which was developed by Ahuja
[30] to evaluate particle rotation under the effect of shear stress.
Buongiorno [3] stated that Brownian diffusion and thermophoresis
may become important as slip mechanisms. Thus, these two slip
mechanisms were checked. For a 40-nm alumina nanoparticle and
a temperature of 300 K, the magnitudes of the time a nanoparticle
needs to diffuse a length equal to its diameter for Brownian diffu-
sion and thermophoresis can be estimated to 10
4
and 10
1
s,
respectively, which are much longer than that for turbulent
transport, 10
7
s [3]. A temperature gradient of 10
4
K/m was esti-
mated in our case to calculate the thermophoretic velocity. Due to
the prepared homogeneous nanouid and negligible Brownian
diffusion and thermophoresis during experiments, diffusiophoresis
can also be ignored. Therefore, turbulent transport occurs without
any slip effects and nanoparticles move homogeneously with the
base uid. It is concluded that the tested nanouids can be treated
as homogeneous uids. Additional effects of nanoparticles, e.g.,
Brownian motion, thermophoresis and diffusiophoresis, on the
convective heat transfer characteristics of the nanouids are
negligible compared to the dominant thermophysical properties of
the nanouids.
3.4. Figure of merit
A gure of merit r h
n
/h
f
for the heat transfer coefcient ratio of
the nanouid over the base uid is adopted to compare the heat
transfer performance of the nanouid to that of the base uid, as
given in Yu et al. [31]. If r >1, the nanouid is benecial for the heat
transfer coefcient. Because water and the ve tested nanouids
can be accurately reproduced by Eq. (9) for the laminar owand the
Seban and McLaughlin correlation [27] for the turbulent ow, the
gure of merit can be obtained based on Eq. (9) and the Seban and
McLaughlin correlation [27]. It should be noted that the appropriate
property equations mentioned above in Section 2.2 should be used.
Different comparison bases can be used to obtain the gure of
merit, such as constant Reynolds number basis and constant ow
velocity basis [31]. However, the constant Reynolds number basis
can be misleading because the net result for the constant Reynolds
number comparison is a combination of the nanouid property
effect and the owvelocity effect. Due to the higher viscosity of the
nanouid, the ow velocity in the nanouid is generally higher
than that of the base uid at the same Reynolds number, which
provides an advantage for the nanouid over the base uid. If the
base uid is to be pumped at the same ow velocity as the nano-
uids, it may approach or exceed the thermal performance of the
nanouid. The result based on constant Reynolds number will be
more misleading at higher estimated or measured relative viscos-
ity. This misleading effect can be seen clearly in Fig. 10. Over 40%
Fig. 8. Comparison of Eq. (9) with two existing correlations.
Table 3
Description of three existing heat-transfer correlations.
Authors Correlations
Laminar ow
Dravid et al. [28] Applicable range: 50 < De
b
< 2000, 5 < Pr
b
< 175.
Nu
b
0:65

De
b
_
0:76$Pr
0:175
b
Kalb and Seader [29] Applicable range: 80 < De
b
< 1200, 0.7 < Pr
b
< 5.
Nu
b
0:913$De
0:476
b
$Pr
0:200
b
Turbulent ow
Seban and
McLaughlin [27]
Applicable range: 6000 < Re
b
< 65,600, 2.9 < Pr
b
<
5.7, D
c
/d 17, 104
Nu
b
0:023$Re
0:85
b
Pr
0:4
b
d=Dc
0:1
Table 4
Evaluation of Eq. (9) and two existing correlations for laminar ow.
Fluid type Dravid et al.
[28]
Kalb and
Seader [29]
Eq. (9)
e
A
a
s
N
b
e
A
s
N
e
A
s
N
Water 15.2 12.8 13.2 15.4 2.27 2.87
Nanouid 0.78% wt. 16.7 13.4 14.1 16.2 2.24 3.29
Nanouid 2.18% wt. 18.4 13.9 13.5 15.7 2.18 3.06
Nanouid 3.89% wt. 18.2 13.5 13.1 16.1 1.95 2.68
Nanouid 5.68% wt. 16.2 12.2 12.5 14.6 2.58 4.10
Nanouid 7.04% wt. 18.0 13.8 13.4 16.6 2.75 4.06
a
e
i

_
NuexpNucal
Nuexp
_
$100; e
A

1
NP
$

NP
i 1

NuexpNucal
Nuexp

$100.
b
s
N

N
P
i1
ei eR
2
Np1
_
; e
R

1
NP
$

NP
i 1
_
NuexpNucal
Nuexp
_
$100.
Fig. 9. Nu
b
(Pr
b
)
0.4
vs. Re
b
for turbulent ow.
Z. Wu et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 60 (2013) 266e274 272
heat transfer enhancement can be obtained for the 7.04% wt.
nanouid compared to water for the constant Reynolds number
basis, as shown in Fig. 10a. The viscosity in the Reynolds number of
Fig. 10a was calculated by the Williams et al. equation [12] instead
of the Einstein equation [19] used in the above analysis. The Wil-
liams et al. equation [12] gives a larger viscosity increase for
nanouids than the Einstein equation [19], which induces a more
obviously misleading result of the heat transfer enhancement.
However, from Fig. 10b at the same ow velocity, the heat transfer
enhancement of nanouids over the base uid is much less than
that of the constant Reynolds number. Thus, the anomalous heat
transfer enhancement shown in Fig. 10a is just an analysis artifact.
The method based on the constant Reynolds number comparison
should not be used.
Based on the constant ow velocity basis, the following equa-
tions for evaluation of heat transfer enhancement can be generated
from Eq. (9) and the Seban and McLaughlin [27] correlation:
h
n
h
f

_
r
n
r
f
_
0:775
_
k
n
k
f
_
0:6_
m
f
m
n
_
0:375
_
c
pn
c
pf
_
0:4
(10)
for laminar ow, and
h
n
h
f

_
r
n
r
f
_
0:85
_
k
n
k
f
_
0:6_
m
f
m
n
_
0:45
_
c
pn
c
pf
_
0:4
(11)
for turbulent ow. The gure of merit h
n
/h
f
is a function of
the properties of the nanouid and water. Thus, heat transfer
enhancement of the nanouid relative to the base uid depends on
temperature, base uid type, nanoparticle properties, nanoparticle
concentrations and other factors that affect the nanouid proper-
ties, such as surfactants, nanoparticle agglomeration, etc. According
to Eq. (10), the enhancement of the inner tube heat transfer coef-
cient will be 0.37%, 1.03%, 1.93%, 2.67% and 3.38% for the 0.78% wt.,
2.18% wt., 3.89% wt., 5.68% wt. and 7.04% wt. alumina/water
nanouid at an average bulk temperature of 20

C for laminar ow,
respectively. For turbulent ow at the average bulk temperature of
20

C, according to Eq. (11), the heat transfer enhancement will be
0.37%, 1.05%, 1.92%, 2.72% and 3.43% for the 0.78% wt., 2.18% wt.,
3.89% wt., 5.68% wt. and 7.04% wt. alumina/water nanouid,
respectively, when compared with water at the same ow velocity.
These low values of enhancement are not very clear in Fig. 10b, due
to measurement uncertainties and the enhancement decrease
induced by the reduction of secondary ow intensity by nano-
particles. Secondary ow intensity mitigation may neutralize the
benet from the thermal conductivity increase. Overall, the
enhancement is not very promising for heat transfer purposes
when the pressure drop penalty and the cost of nanoparticles need
to be considered. To achieve high heat transfer enhancement,
development of newnanoparticle materials which can enhance the
thermal conductivity greatly and increase the viscosity slowly or
even reduce viscosity simultaneously will be very promising.
The results of this study differ from those of previous studies by
Akhavan-Behabadi et al. [14] and Mukesh Kumar et al. [15], which
may be attributed to the following reasons. The main reason is that
the heat transfer enhancement comparison was based on constant
Reynolds number or constant Dean number in Akhavan-Behabadi
et al. [14] and Mukesh Kumar et al. [15], which, as stated above,
may give misleading results. The other reason might be that
different base uids, nanoparticles and nanouid preparation
methods used in the above investigations presented different ef-
fects on physical properties and secondary ow eld, therefore
giving rise to different results.
4. Conclusions
Heat transfer characteristics of tap water and ve alumina
nanouids with 0.78% wt., 2.18% wt., 3.89% wt., 5.68% wt. and 7.04%
wt. nanoparticle concentrations were experimentally investigated
for both laminar ow and turbulent ow inside a double-pipe he-
lically coiled heat exchanger. Effect of nanoparticles on the critical
Reynolds number is negligible. By using Eqs. (2) and (3), the Ein-
stein equation [19] and the Maxwell equation [20] to calculate
nanouid properties at the average bulk temperature, tap water
and the ve nanouids showed similar pressure drop and heat
transfer performances, which indicates that the net effect of
nanoparticles on the heat transfer performance in helically coiled
tubes is probably insignicant. Secondary ow intensity mitigation
due to the larger viscosity and density of the nanouid may
neutralize the benet from the thermal conductivity increase. A
new correlation was developed for laminar ow for water and
nanouid owing inside helically coiled tubes, which can predict
the experimental data very accurately. The applicable range of Eq.
(9) is: 100 < De
b
< 1300, 4.0 < Pr
b
< 7.0, F < 2.0%. For turbulent
ow, the Seban and McLaughlin correlation [27] can predict the
thermal behavior of water and the ve nanouids very accurately
using the properties of nanouids. For both laminar ow and tur-
bulent ow, no anomalous heat transfer enhancement was found.
The heat transfer enhancement of the ve nanouids over tap
water ranges from 0.37% to 3.43% for the constant ow velocity
basis for both laminar and turbulent ows. Figure of merit based on
the constant Reynolds number can be misleading and should not be
used to evaluate heat transfer enhancement because the net result
Fig. 10. Heat transfer coefcient comparisons: (a) h vs. Re
b
for the constant Reynolds
number basis, with dynamic viscosity calculated by the Williams et al. equation [12],
and (b) h vs. u for the constant ow velocity basis.
Z. Wu et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 60 (2013) 266e274 273
for the constant Reynolds number comparison is a combination of
the nanouid property effect and the ow velocity effect. Possible
additional effects of nanoparticles, e.g., Brownian motion, ther-
mophoresis and diffusiophoresis, on the convective heat transfer
characteristics of the nanouids were negligible compared to the
dominant thermophysical properties of the nanouids. No multi-
phase phenomenon was found and the tested alumina nanouids
can be treated as homogeneous uids.
Acknowledgements
Financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency is gratefully
acknowledged. Special thanks to Mr. Ingjald Andreasson for his
work on the experimental rig.
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