Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Heat and Mass Transfer

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.13.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Process engineering   
2.03.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Energy engineering   

Code Science Field
2.03  Engineering and Technology  Mechanical engineering 
heat and mass transfer; process engineering; thermal management; HVAC; heat pumps; solar and greened building envelope structures; zero energy buildings; energy storage; indoor air quality; gas flow; shock waves; primary standard; boiling; surface functionalisation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on December 6, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  429  9,578  8,679  20.23 
Scopus  497  11,602  10,476  21.08 
Researchers (39)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  56852  Klara Arhar  Process engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023  12 
2.  11809  PhD Ciril Arkar  Energy engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  343 
3.  03562  PhD Ivan Bajsič  Metrology  Retired researcher  2022 - 2023  888 
4.  54777  Jure Berce  Process engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023  24 
5.  22455  PhD Gregor Bobovnik  Metrology  Researcher  2022 - 2023  264 
6.  54860  Simon Bogić    Technical associate  2022 - 2023  24 
7.  09129  PhD Vincenc Butala  Energy engineering  Retired researcher  2022 - 2023  696 
8.  53663  PhD Stefano Dall Olio  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  27 
9.  30588  MSc Suzana Domjan  Energy engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  172 
10.  36195  PhD Pero Gatarić  Energy engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  81 
11.  05566  PhD Iztok Golobič  Process engineering  Head  2022 - 2023  758 
12.  56011  Armin Hadžić  Process engineering  Technical associate  2022 - 2023  21 
13.  56976  Samo Jereb  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  14 
14.  54520  PhD Parham Kabirifar  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  16 
15.  18580  PhD Andrej Kitanovski  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  494 
16.  50695  PhD Katja Klinar  Process engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023  82 
17.  54859  Ajda Kunavar  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2023 
18.  20047  PhD Jože Kutin  Metrology  Researcher  2022 - 2023  413 
19.  50586  PhD Luka Lorbek  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  40 
20.  03408  PhD Sašo Medved  Energy engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  806 
21.  55741  Urška Mlakar  Energy engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023  42 
22.  52341  PhD Matic Može  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  131 
23.  34412  PhD Eneja Osterman  Energy engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  28 
24.  50822  Nada Petelin  Process engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023  41 
25.  04000  Marjan Pohl  Metrology  Technical associate  2022 - 2023  30 
26.  06415  PhD Alojz Poredoš  Process engineering  Retired researcher  2022 - 2023  651 
27.  57049  PhD Tanja Potočnik Mesarić    Researcher  2022 - 2023  17 
28.  05574  PhD Matjaž Prek  Energy engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  432 
29.  51269  Peter Sambol    Technical associate  2022 - 2023  18 
30.  27773  PhD Ivan Sedmak  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  105 
31.  15163  PhD Uroš Stritih  Energy engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  402 
32.  29619  PhD Andrej Svete  Metrology  Researcher  2022 - 2023  121 
33.  53756  Katja Tajč    Technical associate  2022 - 2023 
34.  23834  PhD Boris Vidrih  Process engineering  Technical associate  2022 - 2023  144 
35.  54938  Katja Vozel  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  28 
36.  54079  PhD Eva Zavrl  Energy engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  42 
37.  36685  PhD Matevž Zupančič  Process engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2023  247 
38.  51748  Primož Žibret  Metrology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023 
39.  55031  Tej Žižak  Process engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023  31 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0782  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering  Ljubljana  1627031  29,266 
The programme group is planning to research efficient energy usage, conversion and storage of renewable energy sources and efficient heat and mass transfer. The proposed topics coincide with the EU Green Deal, financing strategy Horizon Europe and the long-term goal of society decarbonization. We will explore thermal flow management with thermal control elements, analogous to electrical circuits and develop the first open-source numerical tool for their simulation and optimization. We will research new concepts of caloric and thermoelectric refrigeration devices and heat pumps, with the aim of eliminating environmentally harmful refrigerants, significantly increasing exergy efficiency and optimizing performance through implementing model predictive (AI) management. Research will also be conducted on solar technologies for building energy self-sufficiency which should provide at least 85% of required heat, 100% of cooling energy and at least 60% of electricity with a low load factor. The mechanisms of evapotranspiration of green building envelopes under heavy precipitation conditions will be investigated and new models developed that predict their impact on energy use. Special attention will be paid to the development of guidelines for heating, cooling and air conditioning technologies in the planning of national action plans, local energy concepts to achieve national and EU goals. In the field of latent storage, we will focus on ice banks and PCM in the envelope and explore how to connect such systems with RES’s and make them more environmentally friendly. We will develop technologies and methods for modeling heating and cooling systems of buildings with advanced storage tanks. We will explore local indoor air quality (IAQ) to develop new advanced air conditioning systems. In the field of gas flow metrology, we will focus on developing a primary standard for gas flow rates down to 0.12 ml/min and with uncertainty in the range of tenths of a percent. Furthermore, we aim to analyze the measurement uncertainty of air velocity in a wind tunnel to expand the accredited scope of the LMPS laboratory. In dynamic pressure metrology our aim is to develop a system for high-frequency pressure dynamic calibration based on the concept of the diaphragm-less shock tube, generating an input pressure step in the range up to few 10 kHz with measurement uncertainty of 1% or 5°. In the field of heat transfer we will focus on boiling, developing advanced surfaces to achieve high heat flux densities, methods for temperature measurement with submicron spatial resolution and advanced analysis to explain fundamental heat transfer mechanisms. We aim to contribute to the R&D process with heat pipes, heat exchangers used in nuclear engineering and cooling in microgravity environments. Developed methods and surfaces will be applied to challenges in the field of environmental and process engineering with the goal of controlling the interaction between liquids and solids.
Significance for science
New cooling and heat pump technologies We will research breakthrough solutions of new, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient cooling technologies and heat pumps without moving parts based on caloric technologies, and also explore new concepts of thermoelectricity. Research will focus on improving exergy efficiency compared to existing technologies, eliminating environmentally harmful refrigerants and optimizing their performance through model predictive (AI) control. Thermal control elements and thermal circuits We will perform basic research in the new field of thermal management: thermal control elements, which, analogous to electrical circuits, represent thermal diodes, switches, transistors, conductors, capacitors, and when combined, thermal circuits or thermal logic. We will develop the world's first open-source tool to simulate thermal control elements and thermal circuits, explore new principles of solid-state thermal diodes and thermal switches, and implement and test them in real micro and power electronics technologies, and in energy conversion and storage technologies. Energy efficiency of envelope building structures Multi-parametric models of the energy efficiency of solar envelope building structures for natural heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting will be developed and adapted for installation into BIM modelling tools. With the developed models, it will be possible to optimize on-site solar energy carriers for the transition from nearly zero to zero energy buildings. Advanced algorithms will be developed to optimize the performance of solar envelope building structures based on the renewable and non-renewable primary energy required for the operation of the building, with the aim of achieving a renewable primary energy ratio (RER) above 80%. One of the optimization criteria will be a smart readiness indicator for buildings (SRI). The new in-situ research method will be used to parameterize the process of evapotranspiration of green building envelopes, taking into account the boundary conditions of the micro water cycle, including the prediction of extreme events defined by different climate change scenarios. New models of heat and water transfer processes in green building envelopes will be developed. They will be adapted for integration into BIM and CFD tools to predict primary energy need for building operation and evaluate microclimatic conditions in cities, including the interaction between solar and green building envelope elements. Indoor air quality (AIQ) Research into IAQ and more advanced heating, cooling and air conditioning systems is key to meeting the present challenges, when we are facing epidemics. We will explore “smart control methods” for energy storage systems in a building and develop operational guidelines for a control strategy. As energy storage systems separate the production of heating and cooling from its use, the control of each of these functions must be considered separately. It should be kept in mind that control aimed at reducing overall costs is usually addressed as optimal. Optimal control strategies are a global problem where mathematical programming and artificial intelligence need to be used. Metrology Use of available primary measuring systems for micro gas flow rates requires long measuring times, whereas our research will enable the development of a system with measurement capability in the range of tenths of percent and with short measuring times (in the order of minutes). By studying the flow measurement of different gases, we will provide the metrological traceability for new technologies (e.g., fuel cells). Systematic analysis of measurement uncertainty and blockage effects in will ensure higher quality of measuring results in smaller wind tunnels. Due to the increasing demand for accurate measurement of rapidly changing pressures in various industrial and scientific applications, which requires the use of pressure meters with suitable dynamic properties, an advanced system for high-frequency pressure dynamic calibration will have to be developed, which will enable the development of a new primary measurement method and a standard in the field of time-varying pressure. Enhanced heat and mass transfer Study of heat and mass transfer mechanisms requires high-resolution measurement techniques; therefore, we will develop a temperature-dependent fluorescence microscopy for non-contact temperature measurement on the surface or in liquids with a spatial resolution of less than 500 nm. Together with high temporal resolution, new discoveries of the poorly understood transient physical phenomena at the liquid-vapor-solid interface during phase change will be possible. By developing functionalized surfaces for enhanced boiling heat transfer we aim to contribute towards higher efficiency of cooling systems and better understanding of possible approaches to increase the maximal allowable (i.e., critical) heat flux. Studies in the field of surface ageing and fouling due to long-term exposure to boiling will contribute to better understanding of events occurring on the boiling surface over longer periods of time and towards unification of methodologies for experimental evaluation of enhanced performance provided by functionalized surfaces. Advances in implementation of such surfaces are expected; in heat pipes for electronic device cooling, nuclear engineering applications and compact heat exchangers, used for cooling components in microgravity conditions. Transfer of methods for phase-change heat transfer evaluation and for surface functionalization will be used in research of environmental-process technologies, such as in analysis and intensification of chemical reactions (e.g., methanation in renewable methane production), separation techniques (e.g., development of new membranes), surface protection (e.g., development of self-cleaning coatings) and to acquire new fundamental knowledge on micro- and nanoscale heat and mass transfer phenomena.
Significance for the country
Research activities of the programme group are focused towards achieving strategic goals of innovative and knowledge-based economy, which enables efficient use of energy and reduction of CO2 emissions and contributes to competitive and sustainable development of Slovenia. Results of our past research have significantly influenced reliable and efficient energy supply. Due to the socio-economic and cultural relations with the European environment, Slovenia has to continue to adjust to EU requirements and directives in the field of efficient energy use. Therefore, the proposed programme coincides with trends and directives of scientific and technological development of the EU in fields of process and energy engineering. Research activities of the group correspond to the most recent directives from EU (Green Deal 2019-2024 and Energy Efficiency Directive), commitment for decarbonization by 2050 and worldwide trends (UN Sustainable Development). New cooling and heat pump technologies Cooling, heat pumps and air conditioning account for 17% of global electricity consumption. If the energy efficiency of these systems, especially smaller units, does not improve or new technologies are not introduced, electricity consumption could triple by 2050. Research and development of energy-efficient new or improved existing technologies for heat pumps and refrigeration air conditioners targets 20 % improvement in exergy efficiency, while eliminating refrigerants, which today contribute to 7.8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Thermal control elements and thermal circuits Thermal management is a key challenge for all energy related devices, micro and power electronic devices or systems (including batteries), as it ensures their high energy efficiency (EU 2030 target: 32.5% increase, coinciding with 7th UN goal and Green Deal), performance, reliability and safety. With the research of new concepts of thermal control elements, we will provide solutions for higher energy efficiency and better performance of batteries and electronics, and thermoelectric as well as caloric energy conversion technologies. Energy efficiency of envelope building structures Developed and characterized solar envelope building structures will contribute to achieving commitments to increase the share of RES utilization until 2030, as buildings are responsible for 40% of final energy use. The structures are also suitable for the renovation of buildings. The objective of the research is to increase the range of technologies for the conversion of solar energy, which are available to the Slovenian industry. Research of micro water circle and the thermal response of green building envelopes will guide the design of built environment from the perspective of urban microclimate adjustment and will lead, in cooperation with domestic industry, to the development of industrial solutions for the global market. In the current phase of implementation of nearly zero energy buildings criteria, upgraded BIM engineering tools will contribute to a more sustainable design, construction and renovation of buildings. The results of the research will be transferred to the pedagogic process within the framework of updated curriculum, with which we are showing the enforcement of provisions of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Advanced energy storage The research in the field of energy storage has so far focused mainly on storage elements as components of larger systems, where we studied their characteristics and thermal responses. In the next step, we will integrate the electric-energy system and its needs into the analysis, as future buildings will not be standalone entities and users of heat and electricity will be both consumers and producers. This means that the installation of heat and electricity storage (batteries) will become increasingly important. For this purpose, we will develop appropriate numerical models within the laboratory to analyze the impact of storage tanks on the thermal response of buildings and the possibility of using storage tanks to support the electricity grid. Metrology The metrology research will contribute to establishment of new accredited measurement capabilities in the fields of micro gas flow rate and air velocity, which will provide support to the economy by ensuring metrological traceability of their measurement equipment and to other R&D challenges in the field. The developed primary standards for dynamic pressure calibration will be used for dynamic testing of dynamic properties of innovative pressure sensors for the automotive industry and other pressure measurement equipment with a wide frequency range. Furthermore, the research results will be transferred in the form of knowledge and infrastructure to the teaching process and career development, within full-time study programs as well professional training workshops for metrology personnel from industry. Enhanced heat and mass transfer Research will enable analysis of heat and mass transfer phenomena on micro- and nanoscale, which will advance the development of micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) with high added value. A similar contribution will result from the development of functionalized surfaces and studies in the field of long-term behavior of surfaces under boiling conditions, both of which will contribute towards development of heat exchangers on multiple size scales from ultrathin heat pipes to industrial plate heat exchangers, all of whom are daily used for cooling of mobile phone, tablets and generally in applications that require high heat removal. It will be possible to include results of research in environmental and process engineering into pharmaceutical and chemical industry in media preparation, catalysis and synthesis, surface protection and physical or thermal separation of mixtures to reduce the amount of (dangerous) or reuse media in accordance with the principles of sustainable development and circular economy
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