Numerical simulation of heat transfer in a micro channel heat sinks using nanofluids

Research paper by E. Farsad, S. P. Abbasi, M. S. Zabihi, J. Sabbaghzadeh

Indexed on: 08 Dec '10Published on: 08 Dec '10Published in: Heat and Mass Transfer


In this study, a numerical simulation of copper microchannel heatsink (MCHS) using nanofluids as coolants is presented. The nanofluid is a mixture of pure water and nanoscale metallic or nonmetallic particles with various volume fractions. Also, the effects of various volume fractions, volumetric flow rate and various materials of nanoparticles on the performance of MCHS have been developed. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model was developed using the commercial software package FLUENT, to investigate the conjugate fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena in micro channel heatsinks. The results show that the cooling performance of a microchannel heat sink with water based nanofluid containing Al2O3 (vol 8%) is enhanced by about 4.5% compared with micro channel heatsink with pure water. Nanofluids reduce both the thermal resistance and the temperature difference between the top (heated) surface of the MCHS and inlet nanofluid compared with that pure water. The cooling performance of a micro channel heat sink with metal nanofluids improves compared with that of a micro channel heat sink with oxide metal nanofluids because the thermal conductivity of metal nanofluid is higher than oxide metal nanofluids. Micro channel heat sinks with nanofluids are expected to be good candidates as the next generation cooling devices for removing ultra high heat flux.