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Pressure drop and convective heat transfer characteristics of water and five alumina/water nanofluids of
weight concentrations from 0.78% wt. to 7.04% wt. were experimentally investigated for both laminar
flow and turbulent flow 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 flow in helically
coiled tubes, which can predict the experimental heat transfer data very well. For turbulent flow, the
Seban and McLaughlin correlation can accurately predict the thermal behavior of water and nanofluids
when nanofluid properties are taken into account. For both laminar flow and turbulent flow, no
anomalous heat transfer enhancement was found. The heat transfer enhancement of the nanofluids
compared to water is from 0.37% to 3.43% according to the constant flow 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, thermophoresis
and diffusiophoresis, on the convective heat transfer characteristics of the nanofluids are
insignificant compared to the dominant thermophysical properties of the nanofluids. No multiphase
phenomenon was found and the tested alumina nanofluids can be treated as homogeneous fluids.

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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

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

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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