A seemingly banal industrial component is a heat exchanger and they can be ridiculously inefficient. What a heat exchanger does is regulate the temperature of machines that have to be kept cool like an industrial sized-fridge.
At Concordia, a doctoral student has created a new device that can make heat exchangers more efficient and thus environmentally-friendly. It’s this sort of advancement that is good for the environment and good for profits so I’m sure we’ll see his heat exchanging technology being implemented sooner rather than later.
The innovation behind Vatistas’s unique design comes from over two decades of research into vortex flows. “Growing up in southern costal Greece,” recalls Vatistas, “I became familiar with the concept of vortices at an early age when my elders would warn me of the dangers of swimming near whirlpools!” Youthful fascination evolved into research passion as Vatistas performed advanced theoretical work into how vortices alter the flow of fluid substances like air or water. He later went on to gain international renown for proving Nobel Prize-winner J.J. Thomson’s 125-year-old theorem on the stability of vortex rings.
But it is on the practical side of things where Vatistas’s work resonates loudest. When Vatistas realized that swirling flow could dramatically increase heat transfer exchange, the commercial application of his research quickly became evident. He then partnered with Valéo Management L.P. to investigate new designs of heat exchangers and received a prestigious Idea to Innovation Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council in support of the work.