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Centre for Energy Technology
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005 Australia
imer@adelaide.edu.au    
Phone: +61 8313 2559

Postgraduate Research Projects

Members of the Centre are internationally recognised for their leading research into clean energy technologies and practices that reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and decrease the cost of energy. With a wide range of facilities spanning laboratory to pilot-scale, our team of researchers are pledged to creating a culture of research excellence and delivering significant breakthroughs in the development of innovative technologies for a clean energy future. We welcome prospective researchers to join us.

For information on admission, please read through the University of Adelaide Postgraduate Research Degrees website.

CET seeking students to support clean energy technology project

CET is seeking two outstanding students in the field of mitigation and control of flame generated soot.
Further information.

Postgraduate Combustion Research

There are a number of opportunities for combustion research within the Centre for Energy Technology. One project will specifically involve the application of advanced laser diagnostic techniques to gain understanding of ‘lifted flames’. These flames are encountered in many practical combustion systems (including many engines), but remain poorly understood. Advanced knowledge of lifted flames is essential to provide high efficiency next-generation combustion systems.
Further information.

Laser Diagnostics in Solar-Combustion Hybrids

This project will involve detailed investigations of the interactions between solar radiation and flames. The new understanding is needed to optimise an emerging suite of clean energy technologies. The project will build on a well established program on laser diagnostics in combustion systems and in radiation heat transfer. The research will be mainly experimental and will involve the use of laser diagnostics techniques for state-of-the-art measurements of parameters such as flame composition and temperature.
Further information

Development and Implementation of Improved Cooking Stoves for the Developing World

Over half of the world’s population cook their meals on primitive fires, which leads to the death of 1.6 million people every year through toxic combustion emissions. Furthermore, deforestation as a result of fuel for cooking purposes is an enormous problem in many developing countries. In conjunction with international partners, this project will investigate both the technology and social factors to help develop a solution to this enormous problem.
Further information

Re-use Residual Heat & Energy Harvesting (in conjunction with Electrolux)

In collaboration with Electrolux (a global leader in household and professional appliances) this PhD project will investigate possibilities to store the heat from the previous cooking cycle and make it available for the following one. Energy harvesting will also be a topic of this project. The aim is to reduce the energy consumption.


For further information on this project, including details of the $10,000 supplementary scholarship, please contact Dr Paul Medwell or Dr Cristian Birzer.

Development and application of high-fidelity simulation tools for the combustion of petroleum and bio fuels in advanced combustion engines

Advanced combustion engines such as early-injection stratified-charge compression-ignition engines (SCCI), clean diesels, homogeneous-charge compression-ignition engines (HCCI), premixed-charge compression-ignition engines (PCCI), and direct-injection stratified-charge spark-ignition (DISI) engines have the potential to dramatically decrease fuel consumption, cut down carbon emissions, and decrease emissions of toxic pollutants from on-highway and off-highway vehicles, marine applications, and rail transportation. These engines are under development in automotive companies and in leading international research centers. While catalytic converters and other means of exhaust after-treatment can reduce toxic pollutant emissions, the most effective way to immediately address the problem of carbon emissions and fuel consumption is through in-cylinder modification of the combustion process. To do this, improved understanding of the combustion process is necessary. Several research projects in Professor Abraham’s research group are directed towards improving combustion in advanced combustion engines. A list of postgraduate projects is given below. In all projects, the influence of fuel properties and chemistry (hydrocarbons, biofuels) will be an added focus of the research.

(i)    Direct numerical simulations of turbulence/chemistry interactions in engines.
(ii)    Development of turbulence/chemistry interaction sub-models for use in premixed-charge, non-premixed charge, and partially-premixed charge operating modes.
(iii)    Large-eddy simulations of reacting turbulent jets under engine conditions and assessment of the accuracy of the results by comparing computed results with measured results from Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California, USA.
(iv)    Detailed modeling of pollutant (soot, nitrogen oxides, unburned hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide) formation in engines. Evaluate influence of radiation heat transfer on soot/nitric oxide trade-offs.

Modeling and computations of multiphase flow with applications to the energy sector

Multiphase flows are encountered in various energy applications, including liquid atomization and drop transport in fuel sprays, solid particle transport in sooting flames, coal and biomass particle transport in gasifiers, and fluidized-bed combustion. These flows involve gas-solid, gas-liquid, and gas-liquid-solid flows. The flows can be characterized as dense or dilute depending on the volume density of the dispersed phase. Typically, both dilute and dense flow regimes co-exist within an applications and this makes scale-up of practical systems challenging. Computational approaches to multiphase flows are challenging because the length and time scales of the flow can vary over orders of magnitude. Turbulence adds to the range of scales.  Equations can be formulated within Eulerian-Eulerian or Eulerian-Lagrangian framework. Irrespective of the framework employed, outstanding fundamental questions remain to be answered and high-fidelity sub-models have to be developed. The questions relate (1) to the impact of properties of dispersed (including geometric and structural) and carrier phases on mass, momentum, and energy transfer between the phases, (2) interaction between elements of the dispersed phase, (3) interaction between phases and walls, (4) mode of dispersed phase combustion, and (5) radiant heat transfer effects in reacting flows. A list of postgraduate projects in Professor Abraham’s research group is given below.

(i)    Direct numerical simulations of drop-gas flows to understand mass, momentum, and energy transfer between highly-deforming drops (the dispersed phase) and the carrier phase (air) in vaporizing and reacting fuel sprays with applications to engines. Studies of petroleum and bio fuel drops will be carried out. Compare results with experimental data provided by the University of Lorraine, France.
(ii)    Development of sub-models for transfer processes in sprays, implement them in a spray model, carry out computations of sprays and compare with experimental data provided by Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California, USA. Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations and large-eddy simulations of petroleum and bio fuel sprays will be carried out.
(iii)    Development of coupled numerical/physical approaches to accurately model drop and particle-loading effects in turbulent jets.
(iv)    Simulations of reacting particle-laden jets.


 


Research Profiles

Professor Graham Nathan

Some pathways toward a more sustainable energy future

New Research Papers

Gus Nathan, D Battye and Peter Ashman published a paper on techno-economic assessment.