Focus Area: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The mission of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE & RE) group is to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research focusing on both fundamentals and applications in the energy efficiency, alternative and renewable energy fields; to foster the development of research partnerships with government, academia, and 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
  • Improved Models of Evaporative Cooling Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Thermal Transport in Nano-Enhanced Phase Change Materials


The EE&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. Multi-scale Systems Analysis Lab
  3. Thermal and Flow Management of Multiscale Systems
  4. Nanoengineering Multiphase/Interfacial Energy Transport Lab (NovaNano)
  5. Cellular Biomechanics and Sports Science Lab
  6. Nano-Bio-Mechanical Characterization

Together, the laboratories in the EE&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

Xu, Y., Fleischer, A.S., Feng, G. (2017). Reinforcement and shape stabilization of phase-change material via graphene oxide aerogel, Carbon 114, pp. 334-346

Magagnosc, D.J.,  Feng, G.,  Yu, L.,  Cheng, X.,  Gianola, D.S. (2016). Isochemical control over structural state and mechanical properties in Pd-based metallic glass by sputter deposition at elevated temperatures. APL Materials, Vol 4, Issue 8. DOI: 10.1063/1.4960388

Li, C.H., Rioux, R.P. (2016). Independent and collective roles of surface structures at different length scales on pool boiling heat transfer, Scientific Reports, 6, 37044

Wemhoff, A.P., Webb, A.J.. (2016). Investigation of nanoparticle agglomeration on the effective thermal conductivity of a composite material, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 97, pp. 432-438

Kephart, J., Jones, G.F. (2016). Optimizing a functionally graded metal-matrix heat sink through growth of a constructal tree of convective fins. Journal of Heat Transfer, 138 (8), 082802

Warzoha, R., Weigand, R. and Fleischer, A.S., “Temperature-dependent Thermal Properties of a Paraffin Phase Change Material Embedded with Herringbone Style Graphite Nanofibers,” Applied Energy, 137, 716-725, 2015.

Khosrow Ebrahimi, Gerard F. Jones and Amy S. Fleischer, “Thermo-Economic Analysis of Steady-State Waste Heat Recovery in Data Centers Using Absorption Refrigeration,” Applied Energy, Vol. 139, pp.  384–3971, 2015.

Miller, S.P., Dunlap, B.I., Fleischer, A.S., “Dopant Clustering and Correlated Oxygen Migration in Conditionally Stabilized Zirconia Electrolytes,” ASME Fuel Cell Science and Technology, 12(2), 021003, 2015.

Warzoha, R. and Fleischer, A.S. (2014). “Improved Heat Recovery from Paraffin-based Phase Change Materials Due to the Presence of Percolating Graphene Networks,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 79, 314-323.

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

Araya, S.Jones, G.F.Fleischer, A.S. The design and construction of a bench-top Organic Rankine Cycle for data center applications. Proceedings of the 15th InterSociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, ITherm 2016, 7517577, pp. 404-408

Khalid, R., Joshi, Y., Wemhoff, A. Rapid modeling tools for energy analysis of modular data centers,  Proceedings of the 15th InterSociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, ITherm 2016, 7517718, pp. 1444-1452

Rose, I., Fleischer, A.S. Analysis of a water tank energy storage system for use in a warm water cooled data center, Proceedings of the 15th InterSociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, ITherm 2016, 7517694, pp. 1273-1279

Hess, K., Fleisher, A.S., “The influence of nanoparticle type on the viscosity of nanoenhanced energy storage materials,” Proceedings of the ASME 2015 International Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and  Photonic Microsystems and ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels, Paper InterPACKICNMM2015-48082, July 6-9, 2015, San Francisco, California, USA.

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
Alternative and Renewable Energy


Amy Fleischer, Ph.D. 
Jerry Jones, Ph.D.
Calvin Li, Ph.D. - Alt. Lead
Pritpal Singh, Ph.D.
Aaron Wemhoff, Ph.D. - Lead
Qianhong Wu, Ph.D.
Gang Feng, Ph.D.
Nisha Kondrath, Ph.D.