Project Title: Convective Transport of Nanofluid in Porous Microchannel Heat Sinks
Research ID: 1/2016/05
Principal Researcher: Dr. Ting Tiew Wei
Co-Researchers: Dr. Mohd Shahril Osman, Peter Yek Nai Yuh
Project Start Date: 3/1/2016
Duration of Project: 24 months
Research Summary: The miniaturization and increased functionality of modern devices induce appreciably hike in the operating temperature of these devices. Therefore, effective thermal management has become one of the most important challenges in new product development. However, the low thermal conductivity of working fluid limits the compactness of the heat exchangers. By suspending ultra-fine nanoparticles in conventional fluid, the effective thermal conductivity can be remarkably increased even with a small volume fraction of nanoparticles. This kind of fluid was coined as nanofluid which display large potential to become the future heat transfer medium in order to achieve high performance cooling. In the early stage, the study on the thermophysical behaviour of nanofluids has been the trend of research in this field. In recent years, convective transports of nanofluid start to garner the attention of researchers. However, the studies of micro-scale heat transfer characteristics of nanofluid are relatively scarce and many important issues remain unaddressed. Therefore, this research project aims to present a comprehensive analysis on the micro-scale convective heat transfer performance of nanofluid. Starting from basic physical law, the forced convection of nanofluid in porous microchannel heat sinks will be simulated. The underlying physical significance of synergetic relationship between the flow and temperature fields of nanofluid in such integrated system will be elucidated. The conditions for convective heat transfer enhancement of nanofluid flow in porous microchannels will be identified. This research will contribute to the literature by developing the mathematical foundation for the field synergy simulation of locally thermal non-equilibrium porous media which prevails in a wide range of engineering applications. The application of nanofluid in porous microchannel heat sinks can enhance the thermal performance of miniaturized cooling devices for laptops, light-emitting diode (LED) and micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS).