Focus Area: Alternative and Renewable Energy

The mission of the Alternative and Renewable Energy (A & RE) group is to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research focusing on both fundamentals and applications in the alternative and renewable energy fields; to foster the development of research partnerships with federal agencies, local government and private industry; and to support and promote educational, outreach, and service learning opportunities in these fields.

Sample Research Projects

  • Electrodeposited PbTe/CdTe Superlattice-Based Solar Cells
  • PSpice Modeling of Light Dimming Circuitry
  • Harmonic Energy Capturing
  • Design, Modeling and Simulation of a Hybrid Power System for an Unmanned Boat
  • State-of-Health Estimation of Lead Acid and Lithium Ion Batteries Using Magnetic Field Probing
  • Application of Constructal Theory to Compact Heat Exchanger Design
  • Holistic Design of Data Centers
  • Improved Models of Evaporative Cooling Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Thermal Transport in Nano-Enhanced Phase Change Materials
  • Recovery and Reuse of Waste Heat Energy from Data Centers

Capabilities

The A & RE cluster area is supported by state-of-the-art laboratories where students and faculty work together on various research projects. These labs include:

  1. NovaTherm Lab
  2. Solid State Devices Lab
  3. Multi-scale Systems Analysis Laboratory
  4. The Laboratory for Advanced Thermal and Fluid Systems

Together, the laboratories in the A &RE cluster feature advanced experimental and computational facilities, including:

  • Graphite Nanofiber Fabrication Facility
  • SEM and AFM Advanced Imaging Capability
  • Phase Change Materials Transient Cycling Facility 
  • Advanced Modeling Capabilities
  • Material Property Testing Facility
  • High Performance Computing, including a 10-node (2 proc/node) Rocks Linux cluster, 5-node (2 proc/node) 64-bit Rocks Linux cluster, and a 2x quad core CPU Linux desktop with 3x Tesla C1060 cards (240 GPUs per card)
  • Electrochemical Atomic Layer Deposition Facility
  • Battery Impedance Testing Capability
  • Solar Cell Light Current-Voltage Tester
  • Tenney Thermal Chambers for Battery Thermal Cycling
  • Various Electronic Test Equipment for Material and Device Characterization

Selected Publications

O'Connor, W. E.; Warzoha, R.; Weigand, R.; Fleischer, A. S.; Wemhoff, A. P. (2014). Thermal property prediction and measurement of inorganic phase change materials in the liquid phase near the melting point.  Applied Energy, 132, 496-506.

Warzoha, R., Fleischer, A.S. (2014). “Heat Flow at Nanoparticle Interfaces,” Nano Energy, 6, 137-158.

Ibrahimi, K., Jones, G. F., and Fleischer, A.S. (2014). "A Review of Data Center Cooling Technology, Operating Conditions and the Corresponding Low-Grade Waste Heat Recovery Opportunities," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 31, 622.

Kelly, W., Garcia, P., McDermott, S., Mullen, P., Kamiguia, G., Jones, G.F., Ubiera, A., and Goklen, K. (2013). "Experimental Characterization of Next Generation Expanded Bed Adsorbents for Capture of a Recombinant Protein Expressed in High Cell Density Yeast Fermentation," Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, Vol. 60(5), 510.

Kelly, W., Kamguia, G., Mullen, P., Ubiera, A., Göklen, K., Huang, Z., Jones, G. (2013). Using a two species competitive binding model to predict expanded bed breakthrough of a recombinant protein expressed in a high cell density fermentation,” Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering, 1 (3), pp. 546 - 559.doi. 10.1007/s12257-012-0754-2.

Wemhoff, A. P. (2013) Thermal Conductivity Predictions of Composites Containing Percolated Networks of Uniform Cylindrical Inclusions.  Int. J. Heat Mass Trans., in press.

Khadem, M. H.; Wemhoff, A. P. (2013) Comparison of Green–Kubo and NEMD heat flux formulations for thermal conductivity prediction using the Tersoff potential. Computational Materials Science, 69, 428-434.

Khadem, M. H.; Wemhoff, A. P. (2013) Thermal Conductivity Predictions of Herringbone Graphite Nanofibers Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations.  J. Chem. Phys., 138, 084708.

Chintakrinda, K, Warzoha, R., Weinstein, R.D., Fleischer, A.S. (2012). “Quantification of the Impact of Embedded Graphite Nanofibers on the Transient Thermal Response of Paraffin Phase Change Material Exposed to High Heat Fluxes,” J. Heat Transfer, 134 (7), 071901 (10).

Ehid, R., Fleischer, A.S., 2012, “Development and Characterization of Paraffin-based Shape Stabilized Energy Storage Materials," Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 53, pp. 84-91.

Ehid, R., Weinstein, R.D., Fleischer, A.S., 2012, “The shape stabilization of paraffin phase change material to recue graphite nanofibers settling during the phase change process,” Energy Conversion and Management. Vol. 57, pp. 60-67.Wemhoff, A. P., Frank, M., "Predictions of Energy Savings in HVAC Systems by Lumped Models", Energy and Buildings, Volume 42, pages 1807-1814, 2010.

Wemhoff, A. P., "Application of Optimization Techniques on Lumped HVAC Models for Energy Conservation", Energy and Buildings, Volume 42, pages 2445-2451, 2010.

Sanusi, O., Warzoha, R., Fleischer, A.S., “Energy Storage and Solidification Enhancements of Phase Change Materials embedded with Nanofibers,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 54, No. 19/20, pp. 442-4436, 2011.

Ehid, R., Fleischer, A.S., “Development and Characterization of Paraffin-based Shape Stabilized Energy Storage Materials," in press, Energy Conversion and Management, 2011.

Li, H. C., Hodgins, P., and Peterson, G. P., “Frequency Dependency on Relaxation Processes of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: Brownian Relaxation and Neel Relaxation”, J. Applied Phys. 110, 054303 (2011).

Jones, M., Li, H. C., Schwats, G., Afjeh, A., and Peterson, G. P., “Al2O3 nanoparticle additive enhanced biofuel energy improvement for Jet Airplane”, Nanoscale Research Letters, 2011, 6:246.

Jones, G. F. and Bochanski, S, “Analysis and Design of a Solar Thermal Domestic Hot Water Assist System for a Residence Hall,” International Sustainability Conference, Villanova University, April 2009.

Jones, G. F., McGarity, M., Rutledge, T., “Domestic Hot Water Demand and Schedule for University Residence Halls,” submitted to ASHRAE J., 2011.

A. Kabalan and P. Singh, “Analysis“Analysis and Fabrication of Submicron PbTe/ZnTe Thin Films for Superlattice Structured Solar Cells”, Procs. IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Honolulu, HI June 20-25, 2010.

N. Khare and P. Singh, “Optimization of a Hybrid Power System for an Unmanned Surface Vehicle”, Journal of Power Sources (available online October 2011).

Crawford, R., Nathan, R., Wang, L., and Wu, Q. 2011 “Experimental Study on the Lift Generation inside a Random Synthetic Porous Layer under Rapid Compaction.” Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science doi:10.1016/j.expthermflusci.2011.09.014 (Article in press).

Crawford, R., Jones, G., You, L., and Wu, Q. 2011 “Compression-Dependent Permeability Measurement for Random Soft Porous Media and its Implications to Lift Generation.” Chemical Engineering Science, 66, 294-302.

Crawford, R., Nathan, R., Jen, K.-P., and Wu, Q. 2011 “Dynamic Compression of Soft Porous Media; From Finite to Infinite Domain.” Journal of Porous Media, 14(1), 51-64.

Conference Papers

Wemhoff, A. P. (2014). Enticing Undergraduate Students to Pursue Graduate Research at an Undergraduate-Focused Institution," ASEE Annual Conference, paper 8404.

Daney, E., Wemhoff, A. P., Jones, G. F. (2014). Engaging students in the complex issues surrounding data center thermal management," ASEE Annual Conference, paper 10190.

Wemhoff, A. P.; del Valle, M.; Abbasi, K.; Ortega, A. (2013) Thermodynamic Modeling of Data Center Cooling Systems. Submitted to 2013 ASME InterPACK, paper InterPACK2013-73116.

Abbasi, K.; del Valle, M.; Wemhoff, A. P., Ortega, A. (2013) A Transient Model for Parallel Flow and Counter Flow Heat Exchangers.  Submitted to 2013 ASME InterPACK, paper InterPACK2013-73118.

Wemhoff, A. P. (2013) Predictions of Adsorption Enthalpy on Graphitic Surfaces Using Statistical Thermodynamics.  Submitted to 2013 ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference, paper HT2013-17365.

Alternative and Renewable Energy
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Alternative and Renewable Energy

Faculty

Amy Fleischer, Ph.D. - Lead
Jerry Jones, Ph.D.
Calvin Li, Ph.D.
Alfonso Ortega, Ph.D.
Pritpal Singh, Ph.D.
Aaron Wemhoff, Ph.D. - Alt Lead
Qianhong Wu, Ph.D.