Nanofluids as Working Media for Loop Heat Pipes
Nanofluids have been recently investigated as new working media for two-phase thermal control systems. However, conflicting reports have emerged, in which contradictory effects of the nanoparticles on the working performance of heat pipes have been described. Some studies have shown that gold or silver nanoparticles significantly improve heat transfer performances of heat pipes. Other studies have provided evidence that metal nanoparticles have no particular effect. This study is aimed at determining whether nanofluids are good candidates as heat carriers in a Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) system. Here, a nanofluid consisting of well-characterized citrate-stabilized gold nanoparticles in water is examined. The metallic nanoparticles are functionalized with citrate ligands in order to be soluble and stable in water at room temperature. An LHP hardware set-up was developed for this investigation.