Stable homogeneous colloidal suspensions of nanoparticles in a liquid solvents are termed as nanofluids. In this review the results for the forced convection heat transfer of nanofluids are gleaned from the literature reports. This study attempts to evaluate the experimental data in the literature for the efficacy of employing nanofluids as heat transfer fluids (HTF) and for Thermal Energy Storage (TES). The efficacy of nanofluids for improving the performance of compact heat exchangers were also explored. In addition to thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity the rheological behavior of nanofluids also play a significant role for various applications. The material properties of nanofluids are highly sensitive to small variations in synthesis protocols. Hence the scope of this review encompassed various sub-topics including: synthesis protocols for nanofluids, materials characterization, thermo-physical properties (thermal conductivity, viscosity, specific heat capacity), pressure drop and heat transfer coefficients under forced convection conditions. The measured values of heat transfer coefficient of the nanofluids varies with testing configuration i.e. flow regime, boundary condition and geometry. Furthermore, a review of the reported results on the effects of particle concentration, size, temperature is presented in this study. A brief discussion on the pros and cons of various models in the literature is also performed — especially pertaining to the reports on the anomalous enhancement in heat transfer coefficient of nanofluids. Furthermore, the experimental data in the literature indicate that the enhancement observed in heat transfer coefficient is incongruous compared to the level of thermal conductivity enhancement obtained in these studies. Plausible explanations for this incongruous behavior is explored in this review. A brief discussion on the applicability of conventional single phase convection correlations based on Newtonian rheological models for predicting the heat transfer characteristics of the nanofluids is also explored in this review (especially considering that nanofluids often display non-Newtonian rheology). Validity of various correlations reported in the literature that were developed from experiments, is also explored in this review. These comparisons were performed as a function of various parameters, such as, for the same mass flow rate, Reynolds number, mass averaged velocity and pumping power.

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