Development of new nanomaterials for solar energy applications
The global demand for energy is increasing and researchers are turning to renewable sources of energy to meet this demand. Amongst the possible renewable sources of energy, solar energy continues to fascinate the scientific community and is used in various fields such as photoluminescence, photovoltaics and photochromic electronic devices. The applications of solar energy have been made possible due to the remarkable photochemical, physicochemical and electrochemical properties of nanomaterials. Therefore, this research project focuses on the design, development and usage of nanostructured materials in the field of solar energy and to investigate the overall enhancement of solar energy conversion.
Phase change materials for thermal energy storage
Thermal energy storage (TES) is very important in many engineering applications as it converts heat energy to other forms of energy, such as electrical energy. Phase change material (PCM), widely used in TES, is a substance that can release and absorb heat energy at nearly constant temperatures by changing its state. This research project aims to focus on the synthesis, refinement and characterisation of PCM as well as to identify the types of PCM that can be used to improve TES.
Development and optimisation of renewable energy technology
Solar energy, a constant renewable source of energy that can generate heat and electricity, has the potential to meet long-term global demand for energy. However, the main drawback of using solar energy is its inefficient conversion rate. This research project aims to enhance the efficiency rate of solar energy conversion, by improving the conversion rate of PV/T hybrid systems, without elevating the costs associated with solar energy technology. The research project proposes to adopt a smart mechanical and thermal design for the solar energy collector and use nanotechnology (nanofluid) as an efficient coolant and optical filter.
Advanced heat transfer fluids
Oils and coolants are used as heat transfer mediums in various industries including renewable energy, thermal power stations, nuclear cooling, transportation, aerospace and manufacturing. These conventional oils and coolants suffer from poor thermal conductivity and suboptimal heating/cooling is a major problem in these industries. This research project focuses on the synthesis, thermo-physical characterisation, computational fluid dynamics and application studies of nanofluids and nanolubricants in improving thermal conductivity. This research project is also engaged in interdisciplinary research in heat transfer by combining nanotechnology, fluid mechanics, tribology, biotechnology and other fundamental sciences.