Grad student in ACRC awarded ASHRAE fellowship
MechSE PhD candidate Jiu Xu recently received the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Grant-In-Aid Fellowship for 2016-2017 for his research in oil separation in compressors.
The ASHRAE Grant-in-Aid Fellowship awards up to $10,000 to a full-time graduate student of ASHRAE-related technologies. Each year, up to 25 awards are given to students pursuing an HVAC&R related education.
Xu received his bachelor’s degree in thermal engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China. He began his graduate studies at Illinois in 2013 and works as a research assistant to Professor Predrag Hrnjak in MechSE’s Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center (ACRC).
Air conditioning and refrigeration systems require energy from compressors, which need oil to be able to lubricate, cool, and seal. Xu said that oil leaks are a common problem and can damage the operating systems. Because of this, oil separation is vital to keeping the process performing well.
“A well-designed oil separation process can enhance the energy efficiency and ensure the product’s sustainability,” said Xu. “The main objective of my research is to quantitatively analyze the flow phenomenon of the oil by experiments and simulation, which can offer guidelines for compressor design.”
Xu said he hopes his research will contribute to the design of more effective and reliable thermal systems.
“ACRC attracts me because the goal of the center is to contribute technology toward the development of energy-efficient equipment that operates in an environmentally friendly way,” he said. “It offers a platform for graduate students to have the chance to interact with engineers to solve cutting-edge problems in industry.”