Energy and the environment
In close collaboration with the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), and the Solar Energy Research Group (STERG) the Department contributes towards fundamental research into a wide range of energy generation technologies. Addressing transport needs, the group investigates the performance and impact of biofuels and blends in compression-ignition and spark-ignition engines. Uniquely South African solutions to concentrating solar thermal power and energy storage systems are researched. The group's world-leading research in air-cooled heat exchangers and cooling towers is well known. The group can test fans, heat exchangers and cooling tower fills to international standards. This experimental capability, combined with strong computational expertise, enable the group to develop special fans, compressors and turbines, e.g. industrial applications, but also ocean current, wind, and solar energy exploitation-, and air-cooled systems. Two-phase flow expertise has attracted the nuclear industry's interest with the application of heat pipes as passive heat transfer devices. Research covering the energy efficient design of ship propulsion, ship hulls and various turbomachinery is supported by the only 90 m long towing tank in Southern Africa.