Thermal performance of nanofluids based on tungsten disulphide nanosheets as heat transfer fluids in parabolic trough solar collectors
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SourceSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol. 247
Nanofluids are considered as a new generation of heat transfer fluids since they exhibit thermophysical properties improvements compared with conventional heat transfer fluids. The high thermal conductivity of nano -fluids and even the isobaric specific heat enhancements over conventional liquids make these colloidal suspensions very attractive in many research areas, including solar energy. In this work, nanofluids based on tungsten disulphide (WS2) nanosheets have been prepared from the thermal oil currently used as heat transfer fluid in Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants. The high aspect ratio of WS2 bidimensional nanostructures provides high long-term colloidal stability to the nanofluids and facilitates heat transport. Cetyl-trimethylammonium bromide and polyethylene glycol have been used as surfactants to improve the exfoliation process and enhance the colloidal stability of the nanomaterial dispersions. Some properties such as density and viscosity of the base fluid have not been significantly altered by the presence of WS2 nanosheets in the base fluid. However, studies on the thermal properties of nanofluids have shown promising results with increases in thermal conductivity of up to 33% and heat transfer coefficient by 21% over the base fluid. Furthermore, it has been estimated that the overall efficiency of the CSP system could be improved by 31% by replacing the conventional thermal fluid with 2D-WS2-based nanofluids.