Combustion and Solar Thermal Energy

Optical diesel engine

In Combustion and Solar Thermal Energy, we study fundamental fluid flow, turbulence, combustion, thermodynamics, and heat transfer to tackle a wide variety of engineering problems in thermal systems. In this area, we have well-established research in combustion, engines and solar thermal at both system and scientific levels.


Combustion modelling:
We conduct computational multi-scale modelling of multi-physics turbulent flows in relation to clean combustion, alternative fuels, and solar energy technologies. We work with several advanced models, including direct numerical simulations (DNS), which is performed on massively parallel supercomputers, large eddy simulations (LES), and transported probability density function methods performed on large cluster computers. The modelling work is closely coupled with the experimental efforts on fundamental flames, combustion in engines, and flows in solar-thermochemical reactors.

Combustion inside the engine room: We perform optical and laser-based imaging in optically-accessible engines to understand complex and transient motion of in-cylinder flows, development of flames, and formation pollutants. The measurements enable scientific findings for both higher efficiency and lower emission engines, and support advanced computational modelling to clarify underlying physics. We also actively investigate the use of alternative fuels (e.g. ethanol, biodiesel, and natural gas) to diversify fuel supply chains and enhance energy security.

Fundamental flame and fire researchFundamental flame and fire research: Advanced optical and laser-based combustion diagnostics are performed in fundamental flames to help develop clean burning, high efficiency combustors while supporting the high fidelity modelling effort. We also promote the development of next generation fire resistance materials through the identification of potential hazards in charring and non-charring solid pyrolysis models coupled with multi-physics turbulent flows. Fundamental study of pre- and post-flashover fires brings forth a more effective response towards risk mitigation in infrastructure construction.


Solar collectorSolar thermal energy: We investigate concentrated solar thermal power, solar thermochemical energy, and hybrid photovoltaic and thermal receivers for the renewable energy future. We also study laser processing of solar cells and electrochemical processing of solar cells to accelerate the development of next-generation solar thermal energy systems.

Combustion and Thermal Energy Laboratories:

 

Primary Academics

Dr Shaun Chan

Dr Shaun Chan

  • Fundamental Flame
  • Laser Diagnostics
  • Solar-Combustion Hybrid

Prof. Evatt Hawkes

Prof. Evatt Hawkes

  • Computational Modelling
  • Engine Combustion
  • Turbulent Combustion
  • Solar Thermal
  • Fluid & Thermal Aspects of PV Manufacturing

A/Prof. Shawn Kook

A/Prof. Shawn Kook

  • Optical/Laser Diagnostics
  • Diesel/Petrol/Dual-Fuel Engines
  • Alternative Fuels

Dr Rob Taylor

Dr Rob Taylor

  • Heat Transfer
  • Solar Thermal
  • Microfluidics

Prof. Guan Yeoh

Prof. Guan Heng Yeoh

  • Computational Modelling of Fires
  • Computational Multiphase Flow
  • Microfluidics