Nanoscale to Megascale Thermal Engineering: A Path to Sustainable Energy


Fri, 06 Sep 2019, 03:00 pm - 04:00 pm
Natural Science Bldg. 112 - Louisville, KY
Fall 2019
Dr. B. Bhatia
University of Louisville, Department of Mechanical Engineering


Heat transfer processes serve as the backbone of our energy systems. The key to efficient, sustainable energy conversion relies on delivering heat at a higher temperature, rejecting heat at a lower temperature and utilizing renewable energy resources to do so. In this talk, I will present our work on multiscale engineering of thermal processes to achieve high-efficiency energy conversion from ambient sources including waste heat, low-temperature upper atmosphere and the sun. At the nanoscale, I will describe our work enabling high-power-density thermal-to-electric energy conversion using pyroelectric thin films. At the centimeter-scale, I will present a novel directional approach to achieving passive cooling below ambient temperature using commonly available materials by exploiting the high transparency of earth’s atmosphere in mid-infrared wavelengths and the angular confinement of the sun. At the meter-scale, I will demonstrate high-efficiency solar-to-thermal energy conversion using custom-fabricated thermally insulating silica aerogels with record-high solar-transparency. These advances in thermal engineering, from the nanoscale to megascale, offer compelling solutions to the problems of waste heat harvesting, solid-state cooling and solar-thermal energy conversion – significant challenges on our path towards a sustainable energy future.


Natural Science Bldg. 112