Demonstration of Thermofluidic Pump Technology to recover wasted heat and boost efficiency
Group Members
Ying Yi Lim, Ying Jie Loh, Kai Yun Tee, Jeremy Weber, Jun Ying Yew
Dr Edward Richardson, Professor Suleiman Sharkh
This project focusses on designing and building a TFE pump test rig for heat recovery Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) applications.

As the UK aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, innovative solutions are actively being investigated to ensure that this happens. The recycling of waste heat in the UK could help to achieve this goal.

Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) has been applied in the industry to recover low-temperature waste heat. Unfortunately, development in this field has been curbed by the typically low efficiency and cost effectiveness afforded by ORC because as much as 20% of the power generated in the cycle is consumed by the use of the feed pumps.

A novel concept – a Thermal Fluid Exchange (TFE) pump has been modelled at the University of Southampton. The results indicate that the ORC system driven by the novel pump produces a relative improvement of up to 30% in thermal efficiency.

The TFE pump creates a pressure difference between two pressure chambers via the vaporisation and condensation of a working fluid. The condensed vapour will flow down to the evaporator by gravity through an intermediate mass exchange chamber (MEC) in a manner controlled by a set of valve actuations. At any given moment in time, either the evaporator or condenser is connected to the MEC via valve openings to maintain the pressure difference within the pump. More advanced configurations consisting of an economiser and a second stage enjoys a higher working efficiency owing to less energy loss in the fluid transfer process.
TFE pump test rig piping system assembly


Evaportator exploded view



Condensor exploded view
Support structure
TFE pump test rig full system assembly