The nanofluid literature contains many claims of anomalous convective heat transfer enhancement in both turbulent and laminar flow. To put such claims to the test, we have performed a critical detailed analysis of the database reported in 12 nanofluid papers (8 on laminar flow and 4 on turbulent flow). The methodology accounted for both modeling and experimental uncertainties in the following way. The heat transfer coefficient for any given data set was calculated according to the established correlations (Dittus-Boelter’s for turbulent flow and Shah’s for laminar flow). The uncertainty in the correlation input parameters (i.e. nanofluid thermo-physical properties and flow rate) was propagated to get the uncertainty on the predicted heat transfer coefficient. The predicted and measured heat transfer coefficient values were then compared to each other. If they differed by more than their respective uncertainties, we judged the deviation anomalous. According to this methodology, it was found that in nanofluid laminar flow in fact there seems to be anomalous heat transfer enhancement in the entrance region, while the data are in agreement (within uncertainties) with the Shah’s correlation in the fully developed region. On the other hand, the turbulent flow data could be reconciled (within uncertainties) with the Dittus-Boelter’s correlation, once the temperature dependence of viscosity was included in the prediction of the Reynolds number. While this finding is plausible, it could not be conclusively confirmed, because most papers do not report information about the temperature dependence of the viscosity for their nanofluids.

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