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The Energy Efficient and Sustainable Technologies theme is well established and has major research projects at its heart focusing on sustainable energy use in food chains and energy and built environment. Other research strengths of the theme include renewable energy technologies, particularly solar-thermal and PV technologies, advanced heat and mass transfer, environmental control of buildings heat recovery and heat to power generation. Our researchers make contributions in a number of fundamental and applied areas including:

Optimal ways for reducing energy use in food chains

We explore a number of energy scenarios, considering different configurations of food supply chains, UK energy prices and policy decisions. We also investigate technologies for reducing energy use at all stages of the chain; this can be by optimisation of resource use, or by lowering the energy needs of individual food-manufacturing processes from thermal treatment and pasteurisation, to mixing, baking, drying, cooling and freezing.

RCUK National Centre for Sustainable Energy use in Food chains

Heating, cooling and refrigeration

The design of more efficient systems to provide the required thermal environment for buildings and processes involves analytical system simulation for design and control optimisation studies and the application of advanced control techniques to minimise energy consumption.

Microclimate and environmental design

This includes investigations of energy consumption, indoor air quality and natural ventilation strategies in operational buildings, including user satisfaction; experimental and computational studies of the Urban Heat Island and its effect on building design.

Single and two-phase heat transfer and thermal systems

This includes long-term research on flow boiling in small to micro passages in collaboration with other leading UK universities and industrial partners. Heat transfer enhancement techniques and foam heat exchangers are also studied. Other areas of activity include: improvement of energy conversion efficiency from renewable sources; waste minimisation and impacts of pollutants on humans and animals.