Mixed Convection of Variable Properties Al2O3-EG-Water Nanofluid in a Two-Dimensional Lid-Driven Enclosure

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Thermofluids, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Energy Research Institute, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran


In this paper, mixed convection of Al2O3-EG-Water nanofluid in a square lid-driven enclosure is investigated numerically. The focus of this study is on the effects of variable thermophysical properties of the nanofluid on the heat transfer characteristics. The top moving and the bottom stationary horizontal walls are insulated, while the vertical walls are kept at different constant temperatures. The study is carried out for Richardson numbers of 0.01–1000, the solid volume fractions of 0–0.05 and the Grashof number of 104. The transport equations are solved numerically with a finite volume approach using the SIMPLER algorithm. The results show that the Nusselt number is mainly affected by the viscosity, density and conductivity variations. For low Richardson numbers, although viscosity increases by increasing the nanoparticles volume fraction, due to high intensity convection of enhanced conductivity nanofluid, the average Nusselt number increases for both constant and variable cases. However, for high Richardson numbers, as the volume fraction of nanoparticles increases heat transfer enhancement occurs for the constant properties cases but deterioration in heat transfer occurs for the variable properties cases. The distinction is due to underestimation of viscosity of the nanofluid by the constant viscosity model in the constant properties cases and states important effects of temperature dependency of thermophysical properties, in particular the viscosity distribution in the domain.


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