The research activity is developed in different areas of Energy and Thermal Sciences, namely energy planning, including economics, strategic and political aspects, energy efficiency, renewable energies, thermoeconomics, application of nanotechnologies to heat transfer and CFD analysis.
Different international collaborations with international institutions are active on different topics of research.
Energy Planning: Energy planning consists in the elaboration of long term energetic scenarios on local, regional, or national basis, and referred to a specific or more sectors, according to the object of the study and the kind of energy analyzed. The economics, strategic and political aspects are also taken into account by performing quantitative (e.g. definition of incentives) or qualitative analysis (e.g. SWAT analysis).
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies: Energy efficiency is a relevant topic for all the discussions regarding energy. It has been referred to as a “hidden fuel”, because saving opportunities are so large that if exploited, much more fuel would be available for other activity. This research topic refers to the analysis of methodologies able to guarantee a high level of energy efficiency in various context (e.g. housing sector, industrial sector, etc.). Strictly connected with energy efficiency there are the renewables source, which, in some cases, can substitute the traditional sources of energy, thus saving primary energy. Most of the research on this topic is dedicated to solar energy.
Thermoeconomics: Thermoeconomics is an innovative approach which integrates economic and thermodynamic analysis, in order to give fully optimized solution for the design of energy systems. Often in the analysis of industrial plants, it is necessary to perform optimization studies of the system, in this respect a thermoeconomic study allows to develop at the same time thermal/thermodynamic and economic considerations, in order to make a complete optimization.
CFD Analysis: Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis consists in the application of complex numerical methodologies to the analysis of thermal fluid dynamics problems, which cannot be solved analytically. A virtual model of the object to analyze is built with the aid of specific software and, after imposing appropriate boundary conditions, the numerical solution of the problem is performed. After the solution phase, there is the “post processing” phase, where the analyst can examine the results.