Operational limitations of heat pipes with silver-water nanofluids

Lazarus Godson Asirvatham*, Rajesh Nimmagadda, Somchai Wongwises

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents the enhancement in the operational limits (boiling, entrainment, sonic, viscous and capillary limits) of heat pipes using silver nanoparticles dispersed in de-ionized (DI) water. The tested nanoparticles concentration ranged from 0.003 vol. % to 0.009 vol. % with particle diameter of <100 nm. The nanofluid as working fluid enhances the effective thermal conductivity of heat pipe by 40%, 58%, and 70%, respectively, for volume concentrations of 0.003%, 0.006%, and 0.009%. For an input heat load of 60 W, the adiabatic vapor temperatures of nanofluid based heat pipes are reduced by 9 °C, 18 °C, and 20 °C, when compared with DI water. This reduction in the operating temperature enhances the thermophysical properties of working fluid and gives a change in the various operational limits of heat pipes. The use of silver nanoparticles with 0.009 vol. % concentration increases the capillary limit value of heat pipe by 54% when compared with DI water. This in turn improves the performance and operating range of the heat pipe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111011
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Boiling limit
  • Capillary limit
  • Entrainment limit
  • Heat pipe
  • Nanofluid
  • Silver
  • Sonic limit
  • Viscous limit


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