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Cost and efficiency focused optimisation of domestic waste water heat recovery application

School of Engineering and the Built Environment

About the Project

Research Group: Engineering Analysis Simulation and Tribology Research Group

Proposed supervisory team: Dr Ahad Ramezanpour ()

Theme: Cost and efficiency focused optimisation of domestic waste water heat recovery application

Summary of the research project:

The low-grade heat recovery systems, recover part of waste water heat and save energy consumption in the form of preheating a cold water input to shower or boiler. The heat recovery unit is a heat exchanger which could be horizontally or vertically designed. The efficiency of the units are functions of design and size envelope influencing convective heat transfer rate and surface area. The adverse effect of pressure drop and physical contaminants in the efficiency of the units in long term requires a holistic view on the design of waste water heat recovery units. On top of this, low energy recovery and high-cost result in a high pay-back period for these units of up to 40 years.

This research focuses on holistic research on technological consideration and innovation of the waste water heat recovery units with a view on pay-back period and commercialisation aspects.

An extensive literature review on the subject and proposed innovations in design to reduce cost while maintaining or increasing efficiency are expected followed by detailed analysis of the selected design both numerically, using computational fluid dynamics, and experimentally, designing, building and testing a test rig. The project enjoys support and contact from industrial companies with excellent track record in the field.

The expected outcome of the research is innovation in the form of intellectual property, scientific publications, and proposed prototype for commercialisation of the final design. Considering that long pay-back period and the high initial cost is the major issue for mass use of domestic waste water heat recovery systems, the project has major environmental impacts by making a product viable and recovering/saving energy on a large scale.

Where you’ll study: Chelmsford


This project is self-funded. Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps:

If you wish to be considered for this project, we strongly advise you contact the proposed supervisory team. You will also need to formally apply for our Mechanical Engineering PhD. In the section of the application form entitled ’Outline research proposal’, please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

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