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:
  •  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.
  • Development and numerical simulation of physical models representing the process of evaporation of non-pure water in air streams.


Some publications:

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.

HVAC systems and NZEB buildings

The topic focuses on cooling, heating and mechanical ventilation systems, serving civil and industrial buildings. In particular, the following aspects are investigated:

    • Optimisation of cooling systems through the implementation of dehumidifying sections based on advanced desiccant materials (Metal-Organic Frameworks).
    • Optimisation of cooling systems using free cooling and biomimetic technologies such as evaporative cooling (traditional version or Maisotsenko thermodynamic cycle).
    • Design of energy-efficient data centres cooling systems.
    • Design of heating/cooling systems based on local renewable sources, such as groundwater heat pumps.
    • Thermodynamic analysis of buildings, in the context of the realisation of Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and the spread of energy communities.

For the design of the systems, in addition to commercial software developed by the manufacturers of specific devices, Matlab is widely used. Energy simulations of buildings are conducted with appropriate modelling software based on dynamic calculations (Design Builder, EdilClima EC700).


Some publications:

Indoor air quality and air disinfection

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:

    • Study and optimization of techniques for air disinfection (UV-C lamps).
    • Modeling of contagion phenomena in indoor environments.
    • Optimisation of the distribution of airflows in indoor environments.

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).


Some publications:

Advanced refrigeration

Some publications:

Heat transfer analysis



I cookie di questo sito servono al suo corretto funzionamento e non raccolgono alcuna tua informazione personale. Se navighi su di esso accetti la loro presenza.  Maggiori informazioni