NanoHex is a collaborative project for the research and development of nanofluid coolants, made up of a consortium of 12 leading European companies and research centers. It has been funded by a €8.3 million ($11.3 million) Seventh Framework Programme grant, together with investment from the consortium themselves.
Using promising research results from previous work by the consortium, NanoHex aims to develop and optimize the processes for the production of high performance nanofluid coolants for use in industrial heat management. As well as an analytical model that will predict the nanofluid's thermal performance; something that has not yet been achieved.
Cooling is one of the top challenges facing many industries including microelectronics, transportation and manufacturing, where the operation of equipment needs thermal control or can produce a large amount of redundant heat. Whilst the demand for faster and smaller technology continues, the pace of development has outstripped the capabilities of conventional cooling systems.
Nanofluids (carrier liquids into which particles smaller than 100 nanometers have been dispersed) have shown significantly enhanced thermal properties in comparison to traditional cooling fluids. Two separate methods will be employed to produce the purpose designed nanofluids during the project. A single-stage process will employ wet chemical synthesis to form and disperse tailored nanoparticles within a carrier fluid and a two-stage batch process will add pre-produced nanoparticles to a carrier fluid.
Using both Risk and Life Cycle Assessments, NanoHex will also evaluate the health and safety of nanofluid coolants and their potential impact on the environment. These results will then form an important component in assessing the final products overall economic viability.
Ultimately, the project will develop two different demonstrators for the cooling of Data Centres and Power Electronic Components, in order to illustrate the viability of using such nanofluids to reduce energy consumption and operating costs, cut carbon emissions, extend product reliability and enable the development of more sustainable processes and products.
Members of the NanoHex consortium members include:
Northumberland, United Kingdom