Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration

Research and education at the Division of Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration is mainly focused on energy transformations in the built environment.

Our area includes the whole scale from systems studies about energy user and energy flows in cities and buildings, to system components, as heat pumps and heat exchangers. During recent years, we have also had projects about local production of electricity from renewable sources like the sun and the wind. On our roof we have a demonstration plant consisting of PV-panels, solar collectors, wind turbines, hydrogen generator and fuel cell, where we can demonstrate the possibilities for energy transformation between different forms of energy, as well as a couple of methods of storing energy. We call the system Renewable Energy Park, or just RE-Park. We also welcome companies to display their products for students and visitors at KTH.

A large share of the research projects concerns the design of refrigeration and heat pump systems, and what can be done to make these systems more energy efficient and their environmental footprint smaller. To reach these goals we run several projects investigating how naturally occurring fluids, like propane, carbon dioxide and ammonia, could be used in a safe and efficient way as refrigerant. Among other goals, we try to find methods of reducing the total charge of refrigerant in these system, without losing efficiency.

Refrigeration systems and heat pumps become more efficient if the heat exchangers, evaporator and condenser, are efficient and give small temperature differences. For this reason, we have research projects on enhanced heat transfer. In the video below there is more information about this. We perform fundamental studies of heat transfer in narrow channels, both in single phase flow (e.g. in nanofluids) and in boiling. As efficient heat transfer is important also in cooling of electronics, we are also doing projects in that area.

Most of our research is applied and has a clear environmental focus. In almost all projects industry is involved, and the project ideas are often developed in cooperation with industry. In total we have about 100 companies participating in our projects. The financing, however, comes mostly from the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten), EC, Formas and Vinnova.

More information about our ongoing and earlier projects can be found to the left.

Björn and Per

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