Low-cost Thermal Energy Storage using Waste Materials

Repurposing waste materials as low-cost Thermal Energy Storage (TES) medium for Waste Heat Recovery is investigated. Using a variety of experimental and computational methods, the effectiveness of heat transfer process in different TES systems during different charge and discharge cycles is studied and characterized.


Demonstration of Thermal Energy Storage using waste materials

Simulation of a TES tank during discharge cycle

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 6.57.18 PM.png

Thermal testing of single element Thermal Energy Storage using waste material going through phase change

Temperature contour plots during charging: Phase-change process and buoyancy-driven  flow in TES element

In this effort, a decentralized grid-independent, zero-carbon-footprint water treatment system is developed. The system utilizes a micro-filtration pre-treatment, a two-stage reverse osmosis, and an ultraviolet disinfection post-treatment. The system is solely powered by solar-photovoltaic panels through a battery bank. The developed system is capable of desalinating and disinfecting a permeate flow rate of 1.2-1.8 gpm with a recovery rate of 60-80%.  A minimum salt rejection rate of 97.5% is achieved at 140 psi of feed water pressure. For more information, please visit our website at  

Waste Heat Recovery with Air-Gap Membrane Distillation

In this project, a pilot-scale Air-Gap Membrane Distillation (AGMD) Unit is integrated with a waste heat source to increase the overall efficiency and generate zero carbon foot-print distilled water. The team previously presented the AGMD system in lab-scale.

Sponsor/Partner: Sterlitech Inc.

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 7.33.29 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 7.31.54 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 7.32.26 PM.png

Cal Poly Pomona's Pilot-scale Air-Gap Membrane Distillation (AGMD) system using different  turbulence-causing  internal ribs.

Electrohydrodynamics (EHD) and Ion-driven Flows

In this project, the effect of corona discharge and ion-drag flows on enhancement of convective heat transfer and pumping efficiency is investigated computationally and experimentally.

Corona discharge in longitudinal channels for heat transfer enhancement

CFD analysis of secondary flows induced by corona discharge in rectangular mini channels