Research

Dr. Persoons’ Thermal Fluids Lab conducts research on experimental, numerical and theoretical modelling and analysis of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, aeroacoustics and energy management.

Our research activities cover several disciplines ranging from energy system technologies, electronics and photonics thermal management, dissolution in pharmaceutical systems, to fundamental research in thermal energy transport and active flow control.

This covers a wide range of scales, from large-scale systems (e.g., data centre cooling, energy system integration) to micro-scale thermal fluid devices (e.g., using impinging liquid, air, mist, swirl, pulsating and synthetic jets), as well as multi-physics phenomena including electro/magneto-hydrodynamics, two-phase flow, nano/micro-scale surface enhancements, thermoelectric energy harvesting and heat pipe technology.

Selected Research Topics

Data Centre Thermal Management for Future Energy System Integration
Analysis of technological and business drivers for future trends in data centres, including techno-economic energy system modelling and development of new key solutions for waste heat recuperation, including adaptive liquid cooled heatsinks and retrofittable solutions for hybrid-cooled server optimisation (Partners: Eirgrid, ESB, AIB, SSE, Interxion, Intel, Seagate, Atlantic Hub, Ethos Engineering)

Adaptive Liquid-Cooled Heatsinks
Passive/reactive water-cooled heatsinks with embedded micro-valves for local on-chip cooling control and high grade coolant waste heat stream

Hybrid-Cooled Server Optimisation
Passive/active air cooling optimization with retrofittable solutions to maximise waste heat recuperation potential for data centre server racks


Synthetic Jets (SJ) for Electronics Cooling
Performance optimisation of single or multiple SJ actuators for convective air cooling (Partners: GE Global Research, Intel)

Aeroacoustic Noise Modelling and Control for Air-Cooled Electronics
Noise source and propagation modelling combined with experimental validation using beamforming (Partners: Seagate, Intel, Google)

Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting
Low power, low temperature flexible heat pipes for thermoelectric energy harvesting (Partners: Analog Devices International)


Light-weight Passive Heat Spreaders
Light-weight natural-convection cooled heat sinks and heat spreaders based on vapour chamber technology (Partners: Nokia Bell Labs/Alcatel-Lucent Wireless)

Electro/magnetic Flow Actuation
Using MHD, EHD to control flows for electronics cooling (Partners: Nokia Bell Labs)

Gaseous Laser-Induced Fluorescence
Developing gaseous LIF methods based on near-UV fluorescent hydrocarbon tracers for convective drying of biomass particles

Synthetic Jets for Drag Reduction
SJ actuators in combination with porous surface treatments for drag force reduction and wake control of bluff bodies in crossflow


Unsteady Flow Heat Transfer Control
Experimental, analytical and computational modelling of pulsating jets and channel flows, for precise thermal management of
photonics ICs (Partners: Nokia Bell Labs)

Drug Dissolution Modelling, In-Vitro Particulate Analysis
Analytical and computational modelling of drug particulate dissolution to optimise testing methods, with in-vitro particle tracking and sizing analysis for real-time model validation (Partners: SFI SSPC)

Bio-inspired Thermal Fluid Device Design
Numerical/experimental optimisation of heat transfer or fluid dynamic devices based on phenomena in biological systems (e.g., deep sea corals, animal respiration)

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