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Energies 2017, 10(1), 123; doi:10.3390/en10010123

Effect of Thermal-Electric Cross Coupling on Heat Transport in Nanofluids

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Zhejiang Institute of Research and Innovation, The University of Hong Kong (HKU-ZIRI), Hangzhou 311300, Zhejiang, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mehrdad Massoudi
Received: 23 October 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
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Nanofluids have an enhanced thermal conductivity compared with their base fluid. Although many mechanisms have been proposed, few of them could give a satisfactory explanation of experimental data. In this study, a mechanism of heat transport enhancement is proposed based on the cross coupling of thermal and electric transports in nanofluids. Nanoparticles are viewed as large molecules which have thermal motion together with the molecules of the base fluid. As the nanoparticles have surface charges, the motion of nanoparticles in the high-temperature region will generate a relatively strong varying electric field through which the motion will be transported to other nanoparticles, leading to a simultaneous temperature rise of low-temperature nanoparticles. The local base fluid will thus be heated up by these nanoparticles through molecular collision. Every nanoparticle could, therefore, be considered as an internal heat source, thereby enhancing the equivalent thermal conductivity significantly. This mechanism qualitatively agrees with many experimental data and is thus of significance in designing and applying nanofluids. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanofluids; heat transport enhancement; thermal motion; electric field; thermal-electric cross coupling nanofluids; heat transport enhancement; thermal motion; electric field; thermal-electric cross coupling

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kang, Z.; Wang, L. Effect of Thermal-Electric Cross Coupling on Heat Transport in Nanofluids. Energies 2017, 10, 123.

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