Nanofluid Heat Capacities

Anne K. Starace, Judith C. Gomez, Jun Wang, Sulolit Pradhan, Greg C. Glatzmaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus Citations


Significant increases in the heat capacity of heat transfer fluids are needed not only to reduce the costs of liquid heating and cooling processes, but also to bring clean energy producing technologies like concentrating solar power (CSP) to price parity with conventional energy generation. It has been postulated that nanofluids could have higher heat capacities than conventional fluids. In this work, nano- and micron-sized particles were added to five base fluids (poly-α olefin, mineral oil, ethylene glycol, a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, and calcium nitrate tetrahydrate), and the resulting heat capacities were measured and compared with those of the neat base fluids and the weighted average of the heat capacities of the components. The particles used were inert metals and metal oxides that did not undergo any phase transitions over the temperature range studied. In the nanofluids studied here, we found no increase in heat capacity upon the addition of the particles larger than the experimental error.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number124323
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-52912


  • concentrating solar power
  • CSP
  • heat capacities
  • nanofluid
  • nanoparticles


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