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MEPhI`s research projects win financial support by Russian Science Foundation


In early July, the Russian Science Foundation named three MEPhI’s research projects that were approved for further development and received financial support. Scientists and students will work on them during 2019 – 2021. There is a short brief of each project.


Project Title: Nanofluids for renewable heat applications

Project Lead: Assosiate professor Boris Balakin

The urban population of Russia intensively grows and therefore requires domestic heat supply systems operating with greater efficiency and environmental friendliness. The strategy of scientific development of Russia promotes technological shift to renewable sources of heat, from where the solar energy, the geothermal energy and the waste heat are among the most promising resources. This energy is harvested by solar collectors and heat pumps from the wells, where the most challenging part of the process is to extract the low-temperature heat without much energy lost. Another important problem is to preserve the harvested solar heat in geothermal seasonal storage, i.e. combining the solar collector with the heat pump technology.

This project aims to improve the thermal performance of the wells developing a new type of heat transfer fluid: a "renewable" nanofluid, i.e. a stable suspension of solid nanoparticles (metals, carbon or silicon) in a liquid base. These fluids, being similar to liquid metals in terms of their thermal parameters (high thermal conductivity, the ability of magnetic convection) and perfectly absorbing solar thermal radiation, have been demonstrating superior thermal performance in different technical systems, improving heat transfer by up to 50%.

According to preliminary estimates based on interpolation of statistical information from 2003-2011, increasing the thermal efficiency by means of utilization of nanofluids will facilitate harvesting of 9.1 MWth/year in addition to current generation, just improving the existing renewable energy facilities in Russia. Economically this will result in 2 mln.euro spared (without account for capital costs). In case Russia explores renewable resources extensively in the future, these numbers will rise by at least two orders, which will become equivalent to 2.3 Mt CO2 emissions prevented.


Project Title: Metasurfaces as an object and a tool of diagnostics

Project Lead: research fellow Daria Sergeeva

The project is aimed at developing diagnostics of nanostructures and relativistic electron bunches. It is planned to conduct fundamental research on physics of metasurfaces of various topologies consisting of individual elements with subwave dimensions, namely, the study of a range of radiation phenomena arising from the interaction of electron beams with metasurfaces, including the generation of bulk waves, localized and surface plasmons (plasmon-polaritons), the study of plasmon resonances, the study of the influence of the microscopic properties of the system, the phenomena that carry complete information about the properties of the metasurface and the properties of electron beams.


Project Title: Study of particle's dynamics in the Earth magnetosphere based on the PAMELA experiment data and numerical simulation of antiprotons, hydrogen and helium isotopes fluxes

Project Lead: Associate professor Andrey Mayorov

The project is devoted to the study of chemical composition, energy spectra and the charged particles fluxes' dynamics in the Earth's magnetosphere. It is planned to investigate the interconnection between the particles fluxes characteristics in the near-Earth space (albedo and trapped in the radiation belt components) and the magnetospheric variations resulting from the long-term changes in the magnetic field topology due to geodynamo effects as well as from solar activity.

This project will be based on the data from the space physics experiment PAMELA designed for conducting research in a wide range of fields including the aforementioned, which makes it highly relevant for present-day cosmic rays studies. The measurements conducted at the low Earth orbit from 2006 to 2016 allow direct study of the properties of the charged particles fluxes in the Earth's magnetosphere, their variations, and spatial and angular characteristics.


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