There are in general two different types of studies concerning nanofluids. The first one concerns itself with the study of the effective thermal conductivity and the other with the study of convective heat transfer enhancement. The study on convective heat transfer enhancement generally incorporates the study on the thermal conductivity. Not many papers have been written on the convective heat transfer enhancement and even fewer concerning the study on multi-walled carbon nanotubes in the transitional flow regime. In this paper the thermal conductivity and viscosity was determined experimentally in order to study the convective heat transfer enhancement of the nanofluids. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes suspended in distilled water flowing through a straight, horizontal tube was investigated experimentally for a Reynolds number range of a 1 000 - 8 000, which included the transitional flow regime. The tube was made out of copper and has an internal diameter of 5.16 mm. Results on the thermal conductivity and viscosity indicated that they increase with nanoparticle concentration. Convective heat transfer experiments were conducted at a constant heat flux of 13 kW/m2 with 0.33%, 0.75% and 1.0% volume concentrations of multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes had an outside diameter of 10 - 20 nm, an inside diameter of 3 - 5 nm and a length of 10 - 30 μm. Temperature and pressure drop measurements were taken from which the heat transfer coefficients and friction factors were determined as a function of Reynolds number. The thermal conductivities and viscosities of the nanofluids were also determined experimentally so that the Reynolds and Nusselt numbers could be determined accurately. It was found that heat transfer was enhanced when comparing the data on a Nusselt number as a function of Reynolds number graph but comparing the results on a heat transfer coefficient as a function of average velocity graph the opposite effect was observed. Performance evaluation of the nanofluids showed that the increase in viscosity was four times the increase in the thermal conductivity which resulted in an inefficient nanofluid. However, a study on the performance evaluation criterion showed that operating nanofluids in the transition and turbulent flow regime due to the energy budget being better than that of the distilled water.
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2012.