About the Project
Several promising low temperature refrigeration technologies present advantages over the current conventional systems but must be significantly improved in terms of cost, reliability, and efficiency for successful commercialization. The closed-cycle regenerative refrigerators are one of these technologies, in which the most critical component is the regenerator, a cyclical heat storage component that operates at low temperatures. The optimization of the regenerator is thus a prerequisite for better development of the current and novel regenerative refrigerators and their extensive integration in industrial applications. However, a detailed understanding of thermal phenomena taking place in regenerators at low temperatures is still missing. Besides, the empirical coefficients and correlations available to estimate the regenerator performance are limited for conventional internal geometries, materials, and operating conditions.
The propose research project aims to develop a better understanding of cryogenic regenerators by developing a numerical model for low and ultra-low temperatures. A finite volume method based on non-thermal equilibrium porous media modelling characterizing the fluid flow and heat transfer in a representative small detailed flow domain of the matrix will be developed to obtain the porous media coefficients without further requirement of experimental studies. The development of these models will provide the knowledge base needed to optimize the regenerator performance by applying novel geometries and materials and identifying technology design alternatives accurately at a lower cost than with the sole empirical approach adopted thus far.
This project is supervised by Dr Carolina Costa Pereira.
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/EE/MCE/PEREIRA) will not be considered.
Start Date: 1 March 2020 or 1 October 2020
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.
I.Barreno, S.C. Costa, M. Cordon, M. Tutar, I. Urrutibeascoa, X. Gomez, G. Castillo. “Numerical correlation for the pressure drop in Stirling engine heat exchangers”. International Journal of Thermal Sciences, Volume 97, November 2015, pp. 68-81
Sol-Carolina Costa, Mustafa Tutar, Igor Barreno, Jon-Ander Esnaola, Haritz Barrutia, David García, Miguel-Angel González and Jesús-Ignacio Prieto. “Experimental and numerical flow investigation of Stirling engine regenerator”. Energy, vol. 72 (2014), pp. 800-812.
S.C. Costa, H. Barrutia, J.A Esnaola and M. Tutar. “Numerical study of the heat transfer in wound woven wire matrix of a Stirling regenerator” Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 79 (2014), pp. 255-264.
S.C. Costa, H. Barrutia, J.A Esnaola and M. Tutar. “Numerical study of the pressure drop phenomena in wound woven wire matrix of a Stirling regenerator”. Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 67 (2013), p.57–65.
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