The Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory

   The goal of the research conducted at the Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory is to develop practical solutions to the global climate change issue in the form of novel systems and components for improved thermal energy utilization. This research is driven by the core belief that the current defining issue facing humankind, sustainable energy, can be addressed not simply through the eternal quest for new sources of fossil and renewable energy, but also through better stewardship of thermal energy utilization and the organization of end-use applications in "near-lossless" energy cascades. Examples of applications being addressed include residential and commercial space conditioning, automotive propulsion and climate control, chemical process industries, and other energy-intensive applications. Specific research in the lab ranges from the fundamental investigations of phase-change heat and mass transfer and supercritical fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena in single- and multi-component fluids at the micro and mini scales to the development of novel thermally activated absorption and vapor compression heat pumps, natural refrigerant space-conditioning systems, thermal management systems for high density lithium-ion batteries in vehicular applications, waste heat recovery for high flux, low temperature cooling in naval and refrigerated transport applications, miniaturized wearable and portable cooling systems, adsorption based carbon capture and gas cleaning, and waterless power plant condenser cooling. Integrated experimental, analytical, and computational approaches have led to the direct implementation of insights from the fundamental investigations of heat and mass transfer into practical thermal systems and components with lower energy utilization and environmental impact.

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