We have a long-standing success in the heat pipe technology, with dozens of patterns developed over the years and fruitful collaborations with industry, government departments and government-sponsored research organisations. Our group is behind many energy systems that are already in the market, and we have developed numerous novel thermal and performance design/sizing tools for heat pipe based heat exchangers (Recuperators, Steam generators, Steam condensers and regenerators) for low, medium and high temperature applications. We also have extensive background in experimental heat transfer and fluid dynamics including the design and commissioning of several thermal-fluids experimental test facilities.
Key performance indicators for our group are successful research bids, patents, research papers published in high quality journals and invitations to host and lead research conferences or to provide keynote openings for the same – evidencing the high profile of Brunel's internationally-leading research expertise in this area.
The group projects an annual income of £500,000 through externally funded projects by H2020, Innovate UK, EPSRC, private companies, Royal Academy of Engineering etc., so the anticipated income for the next 5 years is £2.5 million. In addition, we are currently in collaboration with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) as part of extensively funded UK’s first fusion power station project.
The opportunities for the continued growth of our work are enormous. For example the recent (February 2020) UK Government £90M drive to cut carbon emissions in homes and business, or the Renewable Heat Incentive to support the replacement of conventional heating systems by electric heating and the increased use of heat pumps – both initiatives in which the group already has extensive experience and collaboration expertise – are areas in which the group have already made an impact and will continue to do so. These projects are a springboard for us to combine our fundamental expertise in the two-phase heat transfer and fluid dynamics , with the development of a new type of heat pipe heat exchanger that will recycle both heat and water for internal use.