Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Numerical study of natural convection in a horizontal cylinder filled with water-based alumina nanofluid

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Xiangyin Meng



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Natural heat convection of water-based alumina (Al2O3/water) nanofluids (with volume fraction 1% and 4%) in a horizontal cylinder is numerically investigated. The whole three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) procedure is performed in a completely open-source way. Blender, enGrid, OpenFOAM and ParaView are employed for geometry creation, mesh generation, case simulation and post process, respectively. Original solver ‘buoyantBoussinesqSimpleFoam’ is selected for the present study, and a temperature-dependent solver ‘buoyantBoussinesqSimpleTDFoam’ is developed to ensure the simulation is more realistic. The two solvers are used for same cases and compared to corresponding experimental results. The flow regime in these cases is laminar (Reynolds number is 150) and the Rayleigh number range is 0.7 × 107 ~ 5 × 107. By comparison, the average natural Nusselt numbers of water and Al2O3/water nanofluids are found to increase with the Rayleigh number. At the same Rayleigh number, the Nusselt number is found to decrease with nanofluid volume fraction. The temperature-dependent solver is found better for water and 1% Al2O3/water nanofluid cases, while the original solver is better for 4% Al2O3/water nanofluid cases. Furthermore, due to strong three-dimensional flow features in the horizontal cylinder, three-dimensional CFD simulation is recommended instead of two-dimensional simplifications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Meng X, Li Y

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nanoscale Research Letters

Year: 2015

Volume: 10

Issue: 1

Pages: 1-10

Online publication date: 19/03/2015

Acceptance date: 06/03/2015

Date deposited: 11/06/2015

ISSN (electronic): 1556-276X

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1186/s11671-015-0847-x


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric