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Industrial Thermal Science Group

Description of the research group

The research group carries on activities in the foundations and applications of thermodynamics, in heat transfer and fluid dynamics, with a particular focus on convection and two- and multi-phase flows. Several problems are addressed by both analytical methods and numerical simulations – performed upon use of open source codes. In addition, the group is engaged in experimental activity on multi-phase flows and on biomass fueled appliances and systems for domestic heating. Experiments are performed both in the Thermal Sciences Laboratory and in collaboration with companies and public institutions.

Research activities

Current research topics under investigation are the following.

  • Steepest entropy ascent method for non-equilibrium thermodynamics applications.
  • Rate-Controlled Constrained-Equilibrium method for simplifying the treatment of complex combustion and biochemical models.
  • Computational fluid dynamics for the design and optimization of industrial products and processes such as: optimization of ovens for thermal treatments of springs; optimization of extruding devices for buttons production; exergetic optimization of drying systems; design of HVAC systems.
  • Molecular dynamics simulation methods applied to investigation of nano-heat transfer and nano-fluid dynamics.
  • Exergetic analysis and energy efficiency of industrial systems, for example the analytical/numerical study of thermal storage tanks for district heating systems.
  • Wood and wood pellet heating appliances: analysis of heat transfer between chimney and wooden roofs; analysis and optimization of combustion in pellet stoves and boilers to reduce the CO, NO and particulate emission; design of stoves burning agricultural waste, suitable for developing countries.
  • Heat transfer in buildings: seismic and energetic enhancement of masonry existing buildings; structural and energetic analysis of constructions made of wood and straw; determination of linear and point thermal transmittance of thermal bridges in concrete sandwich wall panels.
  • Heat transfer enhancement by means of spinodal decomposition.
Keywords

Thermodynamics; heat transfer; energetic and exergetic analysis; CFD; fluid dynamics; multi-phase flows; molecular dynamics simulation.