A team of students from University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) consisting Nittikorn Chian-Promchan, Brian Soon Sen Yao, Jonathan Lee Kah Sheng, and Kenji Eu Zhong Qian, from the Departments of Mechanical, Materials & Manufacturing Engineering, and Electrical & Electronic Engineering was recently announced as the winners at the IMechE YMS Competition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition took place online via Microsoft Teams in August 2020.
The theme of the competition was for participants to design an interior air-cooling device which utilised energy generated from renewable sources.
Nittikorn said that their approach was to create an improvement over conventional evaporative coolers, which is an affordable cooling alternative to vapour compression systems. He added that the main issue with these conventional evaporative coolers is that the room it is cooling would eventually build up a lot of moisture, which would lead to several issues including a diminishing cooling effect.
So, the team implemented a dehumidification system to the cooler and this allowed them to solve the issue of moisture buildup, but conventional dehumidification systems draw a lot of power themselves, which then results in an inefficient system.
The team then discovered that the use of liquid desiccant solution as a dehumidifying agent in air coolers seemed to be a likely replacement as it produced a much lower power draw, while performing the same tasks.
Therefore, by combining the use of liquid desiccant solution as a dehumidifying agent with conventional evaporative coolers, they managed to build a system that not only is energy-efficient, but also a lot more affordable than the current options.
Nittikorn said that he and his team never expected to win the competition as the engineering behind their concept was beyond their scope.
“Getting this far into the competition wasn't really part of our plan, especially winning first place among other competing universities. It wasn't easy going head-to-head against our seniors and working engineers across the nation, but it was quite the experience representing UNM at a competition on this scale. We look forward to more boundary-pushing opportunities like this one in the future,” he concluded.
For media enquiries please contact: Josephine Dionisappu, PR and Communications Manager University of Nottingham Malaysia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.
Posted on 18th February 2021