In this research, the electrical conductivity of simple and hybrid nanofluids containing Al2O3, TiO2 and SiO2 nanoparticles and water as the base fluid was experimentally studied at ambient temperature and with temperature variation in the range of 20-60 °C. A comparison of the experimental data with existing theoretical models demonstrated that the theoretical models under-predict the experimental data. Consequently, several correlations were developed for nanofluid electrical conductivity estimation in relation to temperature and volume concentration. The electrical conductivity of both simple and hybrid nanofluids increased linearly with both volume concentration and temperature upsurge. More precisely, by adding nanoparticles to water, the electrical conductivity increased from 11 times up to 58 times for both simple and hybrid nanofluids, with the maximum values being attained for the 3% volume concentration. Plus, a three-dimensional regression analysis was performed to correlate the electrical conductivity with temperature and volume fraction of the titania and silica nanofluids. The thermo-electrical conductivity ratio has been calculated based on electrical conductivity experimental results and previously determined thermal conductivity. Very low figures were noticed. Concluding, one may affirm that further experimental work is needed to completely elucidate the behavior of nanofluids in terms of electrical conductivity.
Keywords: electrical conductivity; experimental; nanofluids; temperature variation.