Villanova University

The Villanova University site brings one of the most respected thermal and fluid sciences research groups in the country to the ES2 team. Villanova’s College of Engineering has expertise in thermal management, electronics cooling, fluid mechanics, convective heat transfer, sustainable energy technology, multiscale systems and computational fluid dynamics and modeling, among other areas. 

Villanova’s thermal-fluids laboratories contribute to ES2’s mission. The laboratories include:

• The Laboratory for Advanced Thermal and Fluid Systems

• Thermal and Flow Management of Multiscale Systems Laboratory

• Methods for Systems Analysis Laboratory

The Laboratory for Advanced Thermal and Fluid Systems is the primary physical laboratory used for ES2 research. During Phase I research, three major new experimental facilities were built for acquiring research quality experimental data. These facilities are (1.) Two-Phase Server Cooling facility; (2.) Dynamic Heat Exchanger Test facility; (3.) Organic Rankine Cycle Pilot Scale facility. In Phase II research, the lab is also developing a facility for Boosted Waste Heat Recovery.

The two-phase server cooling facility is designed to evaluate fundamental and design aspects of pumped and non-pumped refrigerant based two-phase cooling in data center rack configurations. It was built with the support of VERTIV and QUANTACOOL, two member companies that supplied significant components and instrumentation for the rig.

The Dynamic Heat Exchanger Test facility allows the acquisition of air-water heat exchanger data under transient operation. Controlling heat exchangers for on-demand cooling will require sophisticated experimentally verified models of the type that are being validated by the experimental data from this facility. Current efforts involve also adding an air-refrigerant heat exchanger within this facility.

The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) facility is a highly instrumented pilot-scale facility designed to characterize a refrigerant based ORC absorbing up to 20KW of server heat at maximum temperatures of 90 C and conversion to electrical power. 

In addition to these facilities, the combined laboratories at Villanova house major research facilities that include single and two-phase liquid cooling flow loops, low-speed wind tunnels and benchtop facilities for measurement and characterization of nano-materials and other advanced materials used in thermal energy storage and thermal interfaces in electronic systems. The ES2 CFD multi-core server facility supports a number of major engineering analysis codes including the CFD codes ANSYS Fluent and Future Facilities 6SigmaRoom, as well as general purpose simulation engines such as MATLAB and COMSOL that are used for ES2 research.