Heat transfer in miniaturized channels and slots in electronic cooling applications is restricted by relatively low convection due to flow limitations. The flow is generally laminar and heat transfer in these small geometries is usually conduction limited. We have proposed the use of ferrofluids as coolants in the presence of a nonuniform external magnetic field to enhance the heat transfer. A magnetic ferrofluid consists of a stable colloidal dispersion of subdomain magnetic nanoparticles in a liquid carrier that remain suspended due to their thermal Brownian energy. Under a varying external magnetic field (B), a ferrofluid experiences a local volumetric body force (M.∇)B. The magnetization M of the ferrofluid is coupled with the fluid temperature through its density and magnetic susceptibility. In our simulations, a strong magnetic field is considered to be applied by placing an edge pole adjacent to one of the walls of a rectangular channel. The channel is assumed to carry a pressure-driven ferrofluid flow. The resulting flowfield is predicted by numerically solving the coupled mass, momentum, energy, and Maxwell’s equations. A parametric study is performed to identify the influence of the magnetic field strength on the temperature distribution and the resulting heat transfer. A comparison based on the local and average Nusselt numbers shows that there is a significant heat transfer augmentation due to the magnetic field.

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