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Water Droplet Intervened Indirect Evaporative Cooler (Advert Reference: RDF20/EE/MCE/SHAHZAD)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The electricity consumed by the ACs will grow up to 3 fold by 2050 and it will be second largest electricity consumer after industrial sector. Over 95% of current cooling market is covered by conventional chillers because of advantages such as reliability and high performance. On the other hand, they have many disadvantages such as high maintenance cost, chemical refrigerants utilization, noise and vibration issues. Montreal Protocol and Europe Council Directive (3093/94) forced to stop the production of chemical based refrigerants and planned to eliminate completely by 2030.

In order to meet the cooling demand for human comfort and specially growing data center requirement, out-of-box solutions are required urgently. This proposed research work is related to the development and testing of a disruptive cooling technology called water droplet intervened indirect evaporative cooler (DI-IEC). It devoid the use of mechanical vapor compressors, chemical-based (chlorofluorocarbons) refrigerants, cooling towers, chilled and cooling water pipes, that eliminates more than 75% of conventional infrastructure of mechanical or thermally driven chillers. The proposed system utilizes only clean water for heat removal through evaporative potential of air. The aim of proposed research work is to design and test the feasibility and operational reliability of DI-IEC for all weather conditions.

The major steps of proposed research project includes, (i) development of detailed mathematical model of DI-IEC, (ii) design of DI-IEC generic cell to device the capacity of commercial unit, (iii) fabrication and detailed experimental study at assorted outdoor air conditions to assure the operational reliability of system and (iv) detailed economic analysis to compare with conventional chillers. The estimated COP of proposed system is 20-25 (cooling only), 3-4 folds higher then conventional chiller’s COP of 4.5-5.0.

This project is supervised by Dr Muhammad Wakil Shahzad. The second supervisor will be Professor Ahmed Elmarakbi.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

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.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

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. RDF20/EE/MCE/SHAHZAD) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020
Start Date: 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.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/ Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


• • MW Shahzad, M Burhan, D Ybyraiymkul, SJ Oh, KC Ng, An improved indirect evaporative cooler experimental investigation, Applied Energy 256 (2019)113934.

• • KC Ng, MW Shahzad, M Burhan, SJ Oh, Approaches to Energy Efficiency in Air conditioning: Innovative processes and thermodynamics, Energy Procedia 158 (2019) 1455-1460.

• • SJ Oh, MW Shahzad, M Burhan, W Chun, CK Jon, M KumJa, KC Ng, Approaches to energy efficiency in air conditioning: A comparative study on purge configurations for indirect evaporative cooling, Energy 168 (2019) 505-515.

• • Selim, M., Elmarakbi, A., Azzam, A., Shenashen, M., EL-Saeed, A. and El-Safty, S. Eco-Friendly Design of Superhydrophobic Nano-Magnetite/Silicone Composites for Marine Foul-Release Paints, Progress in Organic Coatings 116 (2018) 21-34.

• • Azoti, W. and Elmarakbi, A. Multiscale Modelling of Graphene Platelets-based Nanocomposite Materials, Composite Structures 168 (2017) 313–321.

• • Azoti, W. and Elmarakbi, A. (2017) “Constitutive modelling of ductile damage matrix reinforced by platelets-like particles with imperfect interfaces: Application to graphene polymer nanocomposite materials, Composites B. 113 (2017) 55-64.

• Elmarakbi, A., Azoti, W. and Serry, M. Multiscale Modelling of Hybrid Glass Fibres Reinforced Graphene Platelets Polyamide PA6 Matrix Composites for Crashworthiness Applications” Applied Materials Today 6 (2017) 1-8.

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