In this study, forced convective heat transfer inside a circular tube automobile radiator is experimentally and numerically investigated. The investigation is carried out using Al2O3 and CuO nanofluids with water as their base fluid. A single radiator circular tube with the same dimensions is numerically modeled. Numerical model is validated using the experimental study results. In the experimental study, Al2O3 and CuO nanofluids of 0.05% volume concentrations (ϕ) were recirculated through the radiator for the Reynolds number (Re) between 260 and 1560. The numerical investigation is conducted for the nanoparticle volume concentration from 0% to 6.0% and 260 < Re < 1560. The investigation shows an enhancement of convective heat transfer coefficient (h) with the increase in nanoparticle volume concentration and with the Reynolds number. A maximum enhancement of 38% and 33% were found for Al2O3 and CuO nanofluids of ϕ = 1% and Re = 1560. For the same cooling load of the radiator, the pumping power can be reduced by 8% and 10%, when Al2O3 and CuO nanofluids (ϕ = 0.8%) were used. Enhancement in convective heat transfer can be utilized to reduce the radiator surface area required. However, the addition of nanofluid results in an enhancement of density (ρ) and viscosity (μ) along with a reduction in specific heat capacity (Cp). Hence, the selection of nanoparticle volume concentration should consider its effect on the thermophysical properties mentioned earlier. It is found that the preferred concentration is between 0.4% and 0.8% for both Al2O3 and CuO nanofluids. In our investigations, it is observed that the convective heat transfer performance of Al2O3 nanofluid is better than the CuO nanofluid.

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