In this paper, experimental investigation has been performed to characterize the heat transfer behavior of CuO–water and ZnO–water nanofluids. Nanofluids containing different volume percent (vol %) of nanoparticle concentrations flowed over a flat copper plate under a constant heat load. The constant heat flux was maintained using evenly placed cartridge heaters. The heat transfer coefficients of nanofluids were measured and compared with the results obtained from identical experiments performed with de-ionized (DI) water. In order to thoroughly characterize the nanofluids, nanoparticle size was investigated to inspect for possible agglomeration. The particle size was measured by using both a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and a dynamic light scattering system (DLS). Enhancement of convective heat transfer of nanofluids was 2.5–16% depending on the nanoparticle concentrations and Reynolds number. The plausible mechanisms of the enhanced thermal performance of CuO and ZnO nanofluids will be discussed in the following paper.

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