Section of Thermal Energy

The energy system is undergoing a major transition towards sustainability based on renewable sources such as biomass, wind and sun. This has significant impact on the resources, the demands and the energy systems integration – a prominent example is the expanded supply of intermittent electric power and elimination of fossil fuels. The research and teaching in the field of thermal energy is focused on supporting this transition by optimisation of thermal systems as units for power production, refrigeration, heat pumps, internal combustion engines, fuel cells, and biomass use. We apply numerical modelling of systems and components and develop simulation tools for these. This involves several engineering disciplines and methods. Experimental research includes facilities for performance and emission tests for internal combustion engines, and research on heat transfer in refrigeration, heat pump systems, and power cycles.

Solutions to societal challenges
The focus is currently on advanced topics related to complex polygeneration systems, heat pumps and refrigeration, hydrogen technology, numerical combustion analysis, and thermo-mechanical energy storage technology. Research projects are carried out in collaboration with industry in all areas, e.g. for minimising emissions from combustion engines for marine propulsion.

Work on research related to heat pumps and power production based on low-temperature heat sources is related to design of cycles, working fluids, and components.