Research Papers: Forced Convection

Experimental Investigation on the Thermal and Hydraulic Performance of Alumina–Water Nanofluids in Single-Phase Liquid-Cooled Cold Plates

[+] Author and Article Information
Ehsan Yakhshi-Tafti, Sanjida Tamanna

Technology Development Group,
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.,
1046 New Holland Avenue,
Lancaster, PA 17601

Howard Pearlman

Technology Development Group,
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.,
1046 New Holland Avenue,
Lancaster, PA 17601
e-mail: howard.pearlman@1-act.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received November 18, 2013; final manuscript received February 24, 2015; published online April 2, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Oronzio Manca.

J. Heat Transfer 137(7), 071703 (Jul 01, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: HT-13-1587; doi: 10.1115/1.4029965 History: Received November 18, 2013; Revised February 24, 2015; Online April 02, 2015

The thermal and hydraulic performance of single-phase water-based alumina nanofluids used as coolants in liquid-cooled cold plates are reported and results baselined against those using water. Experimental results show that the heat transfer coefficient of the nanofluids increases with increasing particle loading at a fixed Reynolds number. When compared on the basis of a fixed volumetric coolant flowrate, pressure drop, and pumping power, however, no significant enhancements were observed using dilute (2%, 4%, and 6% volume fraction) alumina–water nanofluids (having an average diameter of 50 nm). In some cases, the thermal performance using nanofluids deteriorated. These results suggest that water-based alumina nanofluids do not offer a significant benefit for single-phase cooling in cold plates for the alumina nanofluids tested; yet, there remains an opportunity to identify nanoparticles—base fluid combinations that may improve performance with suggestions made herein. It should also be noted that the results reported in this study have been obtained at different degrees of dilution of a given alumina–water nanofluid having an average particle size of 50 nm.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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Fig. 1

(a) Temperature dependence on kinematic viscosity of water (measured and reference values from NIST) and 4% vol. alumina–water nanofluid (measured); (b) dependence of kinematic viscosity as a function of the concentration of the nanoparticle suspension at room temperature (22 °C)

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Fig. 2

(a) Experimental forced convection test loop for evaluating heat transfer performance of nanofluid coolants, (b) a representative minichannel cold plate used for cooling power electronics

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Fig. 3

The average of 10 TC measurements were taken to determine the wall temperature on the cold plate. Heater blocks are also used to simulate the heat load.

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Fig. 4

(a) Single-phase heat transfer coefficient of water and two different concentrations of alumina–water nanofluids as a function of Reynolds number; (b) h of the nanofluid relative to h of water is shown to increase with increasing particle volume fraction at a fixed Re = 1000

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Fig. 5

Heat transfer of water and alumina–water nanofluids as a function of (a) volumetric flowrate and (b) measured pressure drop across the heat sink

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Fig. 6

Ratio of cold plate: (a) thermal resistance and (b) pressure drop for alumina–water nanofluids and water at fixed volumetric coolant flowrates (0.5 and 2 GPM) increases with increasing particle concentration

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Fig. 7

Temperature distribution on the heated surface of the cold plate (Tw − Tfluid) based on surface TC measurements; coolant volumetric flowrate = 2 GPM with an inlet temperature = 25 °C (entering at the bottom and exiting at the top); the total heat load was 800 W (∼12 W/cm2)

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Fig. 8

Effect of operating temperature (inlet coolant temperature) on the thermal performance of the coldplate using water and two different alumina–water nanofluids

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Fig. 9

Normalized experimental data collapse on a straight line for water and five different concentrations of nanofluid

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Fig. 10

TEM of alumina nanoparticles in the original (untested) sample (left) and after being tested for 500 hr showing some agglomeration



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