A nanofluid is defined as the suspension of nanoparticles in a base liquid. Studies in the last decade have shown that significant amount of thermal conductivity and heat transfer enhancement can be obtained by using nanofluids. In the first part of this study, classical forced convection heat transfer correlations developed for pure fluids are used to predict the experimental values of heat transfer enhancement of nanofluids. It is seen that the experimental values of heat transfer enhancement exceed the enhancement predictions of the classical correlations. On the other hand, a recent correlation based on the thermal dispersion phenomenon created by the random motion of nanoparticles predicts the experimental data well. In the second part of the study, in order to further examine the validity of the thermal dispersion approach, a numerical analysis of forced convection heat transfer of Al2O3/water nanofluid inside a circular tube in the laminar flow regime is performed by utilizing single phase assumption. A thermal dispersion model is applied to the problem and variation of thermal conductivity with temperature and variation of thermal dispersion with local axial velocity are taken into account. The agreement of the numerical results with experimental data might be considered as an indication of the validity of the approach.

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