The Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory is part of the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at Duke University.

The research of the Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory is in the area of interfacial transport phenomena and thermodynamics in energy technology including phenomena at the micro- and nanoscale. Thermodynamic aspects of photovoltaics, novel sustainable energy conversion technologies, and chemical reactions are an essential part of this research. The main focus is the combination of ideas, insights and results from traditional energy technology such as thermal power plants with novel and innovative technologies such as fuel cells and photovoltaic cells based on micro- and nanostructured materials. An essential topic of this laboratory is the energetic and exergetic analysis of complex energy conversion and storage systems, especially those including renewable and sustainable energy solutions.

Examples of research of the Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory:

  • Micro fuel cell systems considered as micropowerplants
  • Experimental and numerical investigation of reactive flow in porous media containing catalytic nanoparticles and development of innovative catalytic reactors based on micro- and nanoscale structures
  • Investigation of fuel and exhaust processing, including the production of hydrogen from biofuels
  • Experimental investigation of micro- and nanoscale structures for photovoltaic, solar chemical, and solar thermal energy conversion
  • Energy conversion and storage technologies aiming towards renewable and sustainable systems for portable power generation and stationary applications, especially by applying an approach considering exergetic efficiency