Nanomaterials (Basel). 2023 Jan 9;13(2):278. doi: 10.3390/nano13020278.
In response to the issues of environment, climate, and human health coupled with the growing demand for energy due to increasing population and technological advancement, the concept of sustainable and renewable energy is presently receiving unprecedented attention. To achieve these feats, energy savings and efficiency are crucial in terms of the development of energy-efficient devices and thermal fluids. Limitations associated with the use of conventional thermal fluids led to the discovery of energy-efficient fluids called “nanofluids, which are established to be better than conventional thermal fluids. The current research progress on nanofluids has led to the development of the advanced nanofluids coined “hybrid nanofluids” (HNFs) found to possess superior thermal-optical properties than conventional thermal fluids and nanofluids. This paper experimentally explored the published works on the application of HNFs as thermal transport media in solar energy collectors and thermal energy storage. The performance of hybrid nano-coolants and nano-thermal energy storage materials has been critically reviewed based on the stability, types of hybrid nanoparticles (HNPs) and mixing ratios, types of base fluids, nano-size of HNPs, thermal and optical properties, flow, photothermal property, functionalization of HNPs, magnetic field intensity, and orientation, and φ, subject to solar and thermal energy storage applications. Various HNFs engaged in different applications were observed to save energy and increase efficiency. The HNF-based media performed better than the mono nanofluid counterparts with complementary performance when the mixing ratios were optimized. In line with these applications, further experimental studies coupled with the influence of magnetic and electric fields on their performances were research gaps to be filled in the future. Green HNPs and base fluids are future biomaterials for HNF formulation to provide sustainable, low-cost, and efficient thermal transport and energy storage media.