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INDLAB Equipments Pvt Ltd 1

Heat & Mass Transfer

Thermal Conductivity of Liquids

To determine the thermal conductivity of liquid
Heat is transferred or propagated by three distinct processes, viz., Conduction, convection and
radiation. The fact that heat can be conducted through the material of a body is well known. For
example, when a metal rod is heated at one end the heat gradually spreads along the rod and other
end also becomes hot after some time. The power of transmitting heat in this manner is possessed
by all substances solids, liquids and gases to vary degree and the process is called as conduction.
Conduction is a process of heat transfer through solids or liquids. For a given temperature
difference between the surfaces, the rate of heat transfer (q, watts) depends upon the co-efficient of
thermal conductivity of the substance (k, w/m2k), area of heat transfer (A,m2) and temperature
differences (𝑑T,0C) between the surfaces and thickness of the material (dX, m) according to the

q = kA ×
Substances such as metals conduct more heat and have high values of co-efficient of thermal
conductivity, as high about 200 w/m0C. Insulating materials conduct less heat and have low values
of co-efficient of thermal conductivity, say about 0.1 to 1 w/m0C. In circumstances where heat loss
from the system has to be minimized, such as in power plant transmission lines, furnaces, etc, it is
essential to cover heat carrying systems with proper materials. This set-up has been designed to
study heat transfer through liquids.
In determination of conductivity of liquids, the problem of eliminating convection which will
transmit much more heat than conduction. By insulation to all the sides and cooling water
circulation to one end has minimized this effect

Specification and Description

The set-up consists of the following items

Aluminium Cylinder
The aluminum cylinder is of size 100 mm in diameter and 100 mm in length. The Thermocouples
are passed through this cylinder as shown in fig. The outer surface is insulated properly to avoid
heat loss

Thermal Conductivity of Liquids

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Heat & Mass Transfer

Cooling Arrangement
The bottom surface of the cylinder is cooled by water cooling as shown in figure. The water is
continuously circulated through the water jacket with a fixed rate of flow.
Provided to heat to the liquid there are two heaters, one is at the bottom of the cylinder and other is
at the outer surface of the cylinder.

 Thermocouples: K-Type to measure temperature

T1, T2, T3& T4: At certain interval to measure liquid temperature at different points.
T5 is Water inlet Temperature & T6 is Water outlet Temperature
 Thermocouple distance :heater to T1- 15mm
T1 to T2-15mm
T2 to T3-15mm
T3 to T4-15mm
 Channel Selector and Digital Temperature Indicators
 Heat control or Regulator : To vary input power to the heater.
 Control Panel : To switch on / off the console and the heater.

Thermal Conductivity of Liquids

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Heat & Mass Transfer

Schematic diagram

Power Water flow duration
T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 conductivity
in Watts rate for steady

Thermal Conductivity of Liquids

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Heat & Mass Transfer


 Switch-ON the Mains and the console

 Switch-ON the heater
 Set the heat control / regulator
 Allow water to flow through cooling jacket. Wait for some time till the temperature
stabilizes with time, i.e. steady state is reached .
 Read the temperatures T1 to T6 using channel selector and digital temperature indicator
 Note down the readings
 Using the temperatures, measure rate of heat transfer and co-efficient of thermal
conductivity using procedure given below.

 Do not start the equipment without proper electrical supply.
 Handle the switches gently.
 Before starting ensure that Liquid is filled.
 After the experiment is over, switch off all the indicators and heaters.
 At least for every two weeks, operate the unit for five minutes.
 In case of any major faults, Please write to manufacture, and do not attempt to repair.

m × Cp × ∆T

m = Mass flow rate of water in lpm
Cp = Specific Heat of the water in 4180 J/Kg °C
∆T = Temparature Difference(T6 − T5)
A = Area of the cylinder = πDL in m2
h = Hight of the cylinder in m
D = Dia of the cylinder 110 mm
= Temparature slope
K = Thermal Conductivity of Liquid in W/m °C


T1 °c T2 °c T3 °c T4 °c T5 °c T6 °c Power Water Thermal
input in Inlet For Conductivity
Watts 0.5 ltr K in W/m°C
82 73 61 51 24 29 60 221 sec 1.96

Thermal Conductivity of Liquids

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Heat & Mass Transfer

T1-T4=Oil temperatures
T5=Water inlet temperature
T6=Water outlet temperature
Sample of Calculations
m × Cp × ∆T
K= W/m℃

m = mass flow rate = = 2.26 × 10−3 kg/sec
Cp = Specific heat = 4186 J/kg ℃
∆T = T6 − T5 Water temp diff
∆𝑇 = 29 − 24 = 5
A = π × D × L in m2
= 3.142 × 0.11 × 0.10 in m2
A = 0.03456 in m2
=700(find from graph)

2.26 × 10−3 × 4180 × 5

K= W/m℃
0.0345 × 700
K = 1.96 W/m℃

Thermal Conductivity of Liquids