The single phase and three different two phase models (Volume of fluid, Mixture and Eulerian) are used to analyse laminar mixed convection flow of Al2O3-water nanofluids in a horizontal tube, in order to evaluate their prediction ability. The flow is considered steady and developing. The fluid’s physical properties are temperature dependent whereas those of the solid particles are constant. A uniform heat flux is applied at the fluid-solid interface. Two different Reynolds numbers and three different volume fractions have been considered. The governing three-dimensional partial differential equations are elliptical in all directions and coupled. Predicted convective heat transfer coefficients, velocity, and temperature profiles, as well as secondary flow’s velocity vectors and temperature contours are compared at different axial positions. To validate the comparisons and verify the accuracy of the results, the numerical predictions are compared with corresponding experimental data. There are essentially no differences between the predictions of the two-phase models; however their results are significantly different from those of the single-phase approach. Two-phase model results are closer to the experimental data, but they show an unrealistic increase in heat transfer for small changes of the particle volume fraction. Hydrodynamically, the two-phase and single-phase approaches perform almost the same but their thermal predictions are quite different.

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