Elbel nurtures collaborations with IIT Madras


Group of researchers in IIT Madras in India.
Elbel, center, with his fellow researchers, including Professor Mani to his left, whom he has known since 2010.

MechSE Research Assistant Professor Stefan Elbel recently spent two weeks in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Madras, in Chennai, India. He was invited as a Visiting Faculty Fellow under the Institute of Eminence (IoE) program.

During his time there Elbel guided the research scholars working in the laboratory in numerical and experimental research and delivered technical lectures in the area of refrigeration and air conditioning to the research community of IIT Madras. In addition to nurturing their technical collaborations, the visiting program is aimed at fostering relations and facilitating exchange of research scholars in the future.

“The program at IIT Madras is well aligned with the research interests of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center at the U of I. We are currently collaborating on ejector-driven, compact solar desalination systems and other topics related to HVAC&R,” said Elbel, who is Co-Director of the ACRC.

Elbel’s research interests are in experimental and numerical research in the areas of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. His focus is on energy conversion systems with specialization in vapor compression technology using synthetic and natural refrigerants. He conducts both fundamental and applied research on components and systems used in mobile, residential, commercial, and industrial heating and cooling applications.

Elbel has been researching transcritical carbon dioxide cooling and heating cycles for a large variety of applications for more than 15 years. He has worked extensively on designing and improving refrigerant ejector systems to increase the energy efficiency of vapor compression cycles. His interest in expansion work recovery has been extended to vortex tubes that offer attractive improvement potentials at very low cost. He is also working on waste heat recovery systems that allow the efficient generation of waste heat driven cooling as a promising alternative to absorption cooling systems.