1. Thermal Management of Electronic Equipments: Thermal management is very crucial in the process of miniaturization of the electronic products. Work on micro channels with a view to reduce the thermal resistance is being carried out. LED lighting is being considered for future lighting in view of its low energy consumption and long life. Cooling of LED systems with heat exchangers is also being pursued.
2. Heat Exchangers: Analysis of various types of heat exchangers on a common basis of finite element method. The thermal analysis and pressure drop calculations are being carried out for various types of heat exchangers. The effect of heat in leak and longitudinal conduction on the performance of heat exchangers are investigated.
3. Heat and Mass Transfer in Porous Media: Heat and mass transfer in porous media has many applications as in Packed beds, Fluidized beds, petroleum industry, geothermal systems, Bio-heat transfer, Food processing etc. Several basic studies are being carried out including the effect of radiation, thermal non equilibrium situation etc.
4. Heat Transfer in Super Critical Fluids: Numerical investigation using modified Patankar-Spalding implicit finite difference scheme on the problem of free, forced and mixed convective heat transfer from a plane vertical surface to near critical fluids are being carried out. The modifications of the numerical scheme were made to account for the variations of all the thermo-physical properties of the supercritical fluids. The Correlation for predicting the heat transfer coefficient for laminar flow are being proposed. At present two undergraduate student projects, one on the numerical predictions of free convective heat transfer to supercritical CO2 from a plane vertical surface with variable wall-temperature and the other on numerical predictions of forced and mixed flow of near-critical Nitrogen over a flat plate under turbulent flow conditions are being carried out.
5.Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Thermal Contact Resistance: Thermal contact resistance is very critical when two surfaces come in contact. In fact, the determination of this resistance is very difficult as there is no final word about this. Unfortunately this resistance is substantially higher compared to other resistances. Thus experimental verification of the total system has become mandatory. In this connection, an experimental setup has been built to measure the thermal contact resistance for various values of pressure between the two surfaces both under transient and steady state conditions.
6. Clean Energy Technologies: Many membrane-based systems such as reverse osmosis, forward osmosis and pressure retarded osmosis are being used in desalination, water treatment and energy production. These systems work on the basis of mass transfer through a semi permeable membrane which allows the permeation of water while rejecting the salts and other substances. MIT is the leading institution in this area and at present, an attempt has been made to initiate work in this area with a possible collaboration in the near future.
7. Inverse Heat Conduction Problems: In many real situations the boundary conditions are not known. It is not possible to insert probes to measure because of hostile environment. In such situations the use of thermocouples and their transient response at some convenient
point within the wall close to the surface at which boundary condition is to be evaluated will help in the determination of boundary condition. This is an inverse heat conduction problem. A code to solve such problems has been procured recently. A number of research projects using this code are being planned.
8. Thermal Comfort inside Passenger Cars: Thermal comfort in passenger cars is an active area of research. From a small beginning, the method of thermal comfort are being analysed with given velocity and temperature at the inlet holes which are also quantified.