The impact of thermophysical properties on nanofluid-based solar collector performance

Master Thesis

2016

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University of Cape Town

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Nanofluids are a novel class of heat transfer fluids in which nanoparticles are dispersed in traditional heat transfer fluids. They offer enhanced thermophysical, rheological and radiative properties. These enhancements have resulted in recent research being centred on the application of nanofluids to various systems. An example of such systems is the solar volumetric flow receiver in which great efficiency improvements have been reported. To explain this efficiency increase, researchers have evaluated the impact of enhanced radiative properties of nanofluids while largely neglecting that of enhanced thermophysical properties. This study looks at the impact of enhanced thermophysical properties on the performance of nanofluid-based solar volumetric receivers. Particular focus is drawn to the impact of temperature dependent conductivity and volumetric specific heat capacity. Copper oxide - water nanofluid is employed as its temperature dependent properties have been characterised. [Please note: this thesis file has been deferred until June 2016]
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