Energy conversion physics and technology group
We aim to
- develop physical and realistic mathematical models of machines that operate as converters of thermal, electrical, mechanical or chemical energy;
- characterize the dissipation sources (heat leaks or through entropy generation associated with out-of-equilibrium processes) and find ways to mitigate the effects of losses;
- study the coupled transport of energy and matter, possibly including phase change;
- study the integration of these machines into larger systems accounting for various types of boundary conditions: potential, flux, or mixed.
The main focus will be on the following devices: thermosyphons and vapor chambers for heat exchangers; Stirling refrigerator for cooling applications; thermoelectric systems for waste heat recovery. The studies will typically be on the TRL scale from 1 to 4.
Classical thermodynamics and its extension to irreversible and finite-time theories provide the means to design experimental setups to probe the properties of physical models, and the theoretical framework to develop and numerically simulate mathematical models. The experimental works will be developed using the heat transfer and dielectric spectroscopy setups already available and operational at Skoltech; the two setups are managed by Prof. Ouerdane. The theoretical works will be performed under the leadership of Prof. Ouerdane and in collaboration with Skoltech and external collaborators.
The team of the scientific group
Projects & research
Thermodynamic studies of actual operation of machines that act as converters(refrigerators or generators powered by any type of source: thermal, electrical or chemical) and their integration in larger systems, rest on the questions of power-efficiency trade-off and device optimization, which depend on the context of operation and the related working conditions characterized by complex boundary conditions, especially when one deals with variable loads coupled dissipatively to the machines. Conversion of waste heat to electricity remains is a promising and urgent path as power production and consumption entail inevitably a quantity of waste heat of the same order of magnitude. Other applications extend to the following fields of practical importance: Stirling refrigeration for industrial applications for, e.g., cryoelectronics or shock freezing of food; control of heat and charge transport in mesoscopic and nanoscopic systems for quantum technology development such as sensors for thermometry or accelerometers.
- Thermoelectricity: 2022 – 2023 if funded by RSF.
- Stirling refrigeration: 2022 if funded by our Austrian partner;
- Heat exchangers: 2022 – on Dr. Yuriy Lyulin’s funding.
- 4 Q1 papers per year and yearly participation at ASME TurboExpo (most prestigious conference in turbomachinery)
- Possibility of patents with future industrial partners: new absorber or damper design...
- Industrial contracts