In the Thermal Analysis Lab students focus on exploring the fundamentals of the boiling process. The lab is equipped with instruments to conduct microscale experiments on understanding bubble dynamics and heat transfer during both pool and flow boiling. Currently the lab holds world record for the highest heat transfer coefficient achieved during both pool boiling and flow boiling processes. The research undertaken in the lab is supported by the PhD, MS, BS/MS, and co-op students. The work conducted in the lab is at the forefront of boiling research and is engaged in making the boiling process more efficient. The work is geared toward making heat transfer equipment used in various energy devices more efficient resulting in global savings in energy, as well as enabling some of the high heat flux dissipation possible in the advanced computer systems. Dr. Satish Kandlikar manages this lab.
The lab has been supported through a number of grants from National Science Foundation, IBM, General Motors, US Army, Eastman Kodak and Bausch and Lomb are among some of the major sponsors of research in the lab. The lab hosted the work conducted by Dr. Kandlikar under three consecutive IBM faculty grants in support of advanced microchip cooler to dissipate 1 kW over one square centimeter area of a microchip used in advanced computers. The lab currently holds the world record for the highest heat transfer coefficient of over 600,000 W/m2 °C (over six fold increase over other research labs in the world) in pool boiling and over 300,000 W/m2 °C (over three fold increase over other research labs in the world) in flow boiling.