•Experimental data on thermal and fluid dynamic performance of Al2O3 nanofluid and two base fluids in a real-world hydronic air coil are presented. Studies on nanofluids in hydronic coil are very rare in the literature, although for base fluids results are widely available.•This paper has focused on an ethylene glycol/water heat transfer fluid (60:40) by mass, which provides freeze protection down to −54 °C and is widely used in cold regions. For these regions, large amounts of fossil fuels are consumed for heating buildings, since the buildings are often heated for 8–9 months a year. Evaluation of the performance of nanofluids for such regions in this paper may contribute to potential reduction of energy related costs and emissions.•The study has found that under equal entrance velocity and temperature, on the liquid side of the coil, the base fluids may remain in the turbulent regime as it flows through the coil tubes. However, nanofluids may fall into transitional or laminar regime, because their viscosity relatively high, and is strongly dependent on the temperature.•The nanofluid Nusselt number is predicted well by the Dittus-Boelter equation, even in laminar to transition zones, due to the increased heat transfer and fluid friction by secondary flows in the bends.•Entropy generation or exergy analysis for nanofluids from experimental data is limited in the literature. This paper presents an entropy generation analysis showing that the nanofluid performs better than its base fluid under equal Reynolds number and equal heat transfer by showing lower amount of exergy destruction in the heat transfer and fluid friction process.
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2018
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