Thermo Group


HDH Desalination and evaporation of non pure-water

The topic, which is a new strand in the Group's research activities, focuses on the process of evaporation of non-pure water in an air current. In particular, it looks at the innovative bio-mimetic technology of Humidification- Dehumidification (HDH) desalination of seawater, although similar treatments can be applied to other types of non-pure water. The topic is developed on two fronts:
  1.  Theorisation, modelling and numerical simulation of HDH schemes implementing devices derived from the field of cooling and refrigeration, to improve the evaporative capacities of non-pure water and to increase the recovery of pure water.
  2. Development and numerical simulation of physical models representing the process of evaporation of non-pure water in air streams.

Some publication :

Hydrodynamic Cavitation

Cavitation is defined as a phenomenon of formation, growth, and collapse of microbubbles or cavities, occurring in a few milli- to microseconds at multiple locations in the reactor and thus releases large magnitude of energy in a short span of time when liquid enters into the low-pressure region, and subsequently these cavities attain a maximum size under the conditions of isothermal expansion. In the successive compression cycle, an immediate adiabatic collapse occurs, resulting in the formation of supercritical state of high local temperature and pressure, known as hot spot.
In the last decade, cavitation technique has been extensively studied, and it has been successfully applied for the various physical, chemical, and biological processes. This novel technique not only produces the desirable transformation but also reduces the total processing cost and is found to be more energy efficient than many other conventional techniques. Cavitation offers immense potential for the intensification of various physical and chemical processes in an energy efficient manner  in this sense the Thermo group, coordinated by professor Adriano Milazzo, deals with the study and development of numerical models for the study of cavitating phenomena. The research group deals with:
  • The optimization and development of cavitating devices to be included in industrial processes through the use of numerical simulation coupled with optimization algorithms (openFoam, Python).
  • The study of non-stationary phenomena that are involved in cavitation, in particular the behavior of the liquid-vapor interface and the shedding phenomena of cavitating clusters, using a high fidelity LES (large eddy simulation) approach.

Cooling, heating and ventilation systems

The topic focuses on cooling, heating and mechanical ventilation systems, serving industrial and civil buildings. In particular, the following aspects are investigated:
  • Optimization of cooling systems for data centres, using free cooling and biomimetic technologies such as indirect evaporative cooling (traditional version or Maisotsenko thermodynamic cycle), in order to reduce the environmental impact of the data centre itself. 
  •  Thermodynamic analysis of buildings and efficient systems (based also on renewable sources) design, in the context of the realization of Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and the spread of energy communities. 
Simulations are conducted with appropriate modelling software based on dynamic calculations (Design Builder, EdilClima EC700), and in the case of air systems, CFD analysis of distribution devices and indoor environments are also conducted. For the design of the systems, in addition to specific software, Matlab is widely used.

Indoor air quality and air sanification 

The topic focuses on methodologies to ensure the quality of air in indoor environments, with particular regard to the prevention of contagions due to airborne pathogens (among them the Sars-Cov-2 virus responsible for Covid 19).
The following points are then developed:
  •  Modeling of contagion phenomena, with the evaluation of mitigating effects induced by the use of sanitized ventilation flow rates in the mechanical ventilation systems of buildings. 
  •  Study and optimization of techniques for air sanitization (HEPA filtration, UV lamps, cold plasma).
The Research Group is working on the development of simulation codes (software Matlab) able to respond to these needs, also with the support of CFD analysis (software Open Foam).

Refrigeration Ejector


Heat transfer analysis



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