The Multiscale Thermal Fluids and Energy (MTFE) Laboratory focuses on the development of thermal energy technologies from the underlying transport phenomena to full system scales. At the most fundamental level, our research program centers on multiphase multicomponent heat and mass transport processes, including evaporation, condensation, and vapor absorption. We apply advances at this scale to design enhanced heat and mass transfer equipment, and integrate these into full thermal energy systems. Our research philosophy is to integrate complementary experimental and high performance computing techniques to gain deeper insights than can be obtained with either approach alone. Application areas of expertise include:
- Thermally activated refrigeration – Harnessing low-source-temperature and waste heat to drive thermally activated sorption refrigeration and HVAC systems
- Membrane distillation – Employing thermal energy for water purification or dehumidification for space conditioning applications
- Power generation – Focusing on enhancement of dry air-cooled condensers (ACCs) as an alternative to water-intensive cooling towers.