The low thermal conductivity of fluids used in many industrial applications is one of the primary limitations in the development of more efficient heat transfer systems. A promising solution to this problem is the suspension of nanoparticles with high thermal conductivities in a base fluid. These suspensions, known as nanofluids, have great potential for enhancing heat transfer. The heat transfer enhancement of sulfonic acid-functionalized graphene nanoplatelet water-based nanofluids is addressed in this work. A new experimental setup was designed for this purpose. Convection coefficients, pressure drops, and thermophysical properties of various nanofluids at different concentrations were measured for several operational conditions and the results are compared with those of pure water. Enhancements in thermal conductivity and in convection heat transfer coefficient reach 12% (1 wt %) and 32% (0.5 wt %), respectively. New correlations capable of predicting the Nusselt number and the friction factor of this kind of nanofluid as a function of other dimensionless quantities are developed. In addition, thermal performance factors are obtained from the experimental convection coefficient and pressure drop data in order to assess the convenience of replacing the base fluid with designed nanofluids.
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