Convective Performance of Nanofluids in Commercial Systems

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Applied Thermal Engineering





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Nanofluids are stable engineered colloidal suspensions of a small fraction of nanoparticles in a base fluid. Nanofluids have shown great promise as heat transfer fluids over typically used base fluids and fluids with micron sized particles. Suspensions with micron sized particles are known to settle rapidly and cause clogging and damage to the surfaces of pumping and flow equipment. These problems are dramatically reduced in nanofluids. In the current work we investigate the performance of different volume loadings of water-based alumina nanofluids in a commercially available electronics cooling system. The commercially available system is a water block used for liquid cooling of a computational processing unit. The size of the nanoparticles in the study is 20–30 nm. Results show an enhancement in convective heat transfer due to the addition of nanoparticles in the commercial cooling system with volume loadings of nanoparticles up to 1.5% by volume. The enhancement in the convective performance observed is similar to what has been reported in well controlled and understood systems and is commensurate with bulk models. The current nanoparticle suspensions showed visible signs of settling which varied from hours to weeks depending on the size of the particles used.

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