Nanofluids are known as dispersions of nano-scale particles in solvents. Recent reviews of pool boiling experiments using nanofluids have shown that they have greatly enhanced critical heat flux (CHF). In many practical heat transfer applications, however, it is flow boiling that is of particular importance. Therefore, an experimental study was performed to verify whether or not a nanofluid can indeed enhance the CHF in the flow boiling condition. The nanofluid used in this work was a dispersion of aluminum oxide particles in water at very low concentration (≤0.1 v%). CHF was measured in a flow loop with a stainless steel grade 316 tubular test section of 5.54 mm inner diameter and 100 mm long. The test section was designed to provide a maximum heat flux of about 9.0 MW/m2, delivered by two direct current power supplies connected in parallel. More than 40 tests were conducted at three different mass fluxes of 1,500, 2,000, and 2,500 kg/m2sec while the fluid outlet temperature was limited not to exceed the saturation temperature at 0.1 MPa. The experimental results show that the CHF could be enhanced by as much as 45%. Additionally, surface inspection using Scanning Electron Microscopy reveals that the surface morphology of the test heater has been altered during the nanofluid boiling, which, in turn, provides valuable clues for explaining the CHF enhancement.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.