Numerical investigation of turbulent flow heat transfer and pressure drop of Al2O3/water nanofluid in helically coiled tubes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Alexandria
  • School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering


Passive convective heat transfer enhancement can be achieved by improving the thermo-physical properties of the working fluid, changing flow geometry or both. This work presents a numerical study to investigate the combined effect of using helical coils and nanofluids on the heat transfer characteristics and pressure losses in turbulent flow regime. The developed computational fluid dynamics models were validated against published experimental data and empirical correlations. Results have shown that combining the effects of alumina (Al2O3) nanoparticles and tube coiling could enhance the heat transfer coefficient by up to 60% compared with that of pure water in straight tube at the same Reynolds number. Also, results showed that the pressure drop in helical coils using Al2O3 nanofluid for volume fraction of 3% was six times that of water in straight tubes (80% of the pressure drop increase is due to nanoparticles addition), while the effect of Reynolds number on the pressure drop penalty factor was found to be insignificant.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Low-Carbon Technologies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2013


  • CFD, Fluent, Heat transfer, Helical coils, Nanofluids, Turbulent flow