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Research

Energy Management Laboratory

The main objective of the Laboratory is research, teaching and consulting on energy and climate change.

Laboratory activities cover a wide range of energy uses and management, energy potential estimation (from renewable and conventional sources), assessment of energy conversion technologies, economic analysis and environmental and social impact of energy use. Thermodynamic analysis of energy conversion processes and of the input-output flows is utilized in order to holistically characterize the efficiency of energy technologies.

Another research area of the Energy and Climate Change Laboratory is the production of bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts by using – mainly – thermochemical processes. The aim is to investigate the production of green energy and to utilize bio-waste flows, in order to reduce the carbon footprint and extend the life cycle of materials. The use of a hydrothermal reactor produces high-value phenols and hydrochar while helping to neutralize micro-pollutants. The use of water as a solvent is a very interesting case because of its high dielectric constant. Hydrothermal treatment process has the potential to alter the dielectric constant of the water and together with elevated temperatures and pressures can lead to the precipitation of mixed metal oxides and to the production of nanomaterials such as nanocrystalline metal oxides. Finally, the use of an electrolysis device is intended to promote the hydrogen economy and policies that utilize the excess energy from renewable sources for the production of gaseous fuels (power-to-gas) for long-term energy storage.

The laboratory focuses on the primary causes of the observed climate change in the atmosphere and the radiation balance disorder on the planet, due to increased CO2 emissions during energy production and use. Research interests include the contribution of greenhouse gases, clouds, particulate matter, ice cover, internal climate variability, and other factors to the planet’s energy and radiation balance. The spatial study of the natural processes that create climate change, a topic of increasing importance for the present century, is included in the research interests of the Laboratory.

Particular emphasis is given to the measurement and analysis of particulate matter emissions to the atmosphere in spatial microclimate during the various energy conversion processes. These particles play a vital role in climate at both local and global levels. They can change the chemical composition of the atmosphere and provide the surface needed for heterogeneous reactions. They also directly or indirectly affect the climate through scattering or absorption of solar radiation.

In short, the Laboratory aims to:

  • Energy Conversion and Environmental Impacts
  • Energy Policy and Modeling
  • Life Cycle Analysis of Energy Systems
  • Energy planning: Multi-criteria analysis and Applications
  • Energy economics, market liberalization and Taxation
  • Renewable Energy Sources. Potential, Conversion Technology, Economics and Policy (Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Biomass and Hydro)
  • Bioenergy, Biofuels and Biomaterials
  • Energy Use in Industry and Buildings: Energy Saving and Inspection
  • Climate Change, Carbon Balances and Greenhouse Gases
  • Solar Radiation Balance
  • Aerosol formation and measurements