Four people stand on a stage
UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center researchers receive the ASHRAE Science and Technology for the Built Environment Best Paper Award. Pictured, from left, 2022-23 ASHRAE president Farooq Mehboob, graduate student Emily Fricke, center director Virod Narayanan, and engineer Erfan Rasouli

UC Davis Researchers Receive Science and Technology for the Built Environment Best Paper Award by ASHRAE

Erfan Rasouli, Emily Fricke and Vinod Narayanan of the University of California, Davis, have received the 2022-23 Science and Technology for the Built Environment Best Paper Award by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE. Their paper, “High Efficiency 3-D Printed Microchannel Polymer Heath Exchangers for Air Conditioning Applications,” was published in the society’s research journal in January 2022.  

Narayanan, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is the faculty director of the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center, or WCEC, a research arm of the UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute investigating energy-efficient tools and systems for heating, cooling and energy distribution. Rasouli is a research and development engineer at the WCEC focusing on the design and manufacture of efficient heat exchangers. Fricke is a graduate student researcher studying how WCEC technologies can be developed for mass scale and adopted into industrial processes.  

Their paper describes the design and creation of a 3-D printed synthetic heat exchanger, as well as the experiments conducted to determine its efficiency. The goal of this work, which was funded by the Office of Naval Research and the California Energy Commission, is to develop a heat exchanger that cools air as effectively as water coils and reduces the amount of carbon emissions from air conditioning.  

This award was presented to Rasouli, Fricke and Narayanan at the society’s annual conference, which acknowledged more than a dozen ASHRAE members for their outstanding advancements in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration.  

“We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate the exceptional achievements of this year’s ASHRAE Honors and Awards recipients,” said 2022-23 ASHRAE President Farooq Mehboob, Fellow ASHRAE. “Through their outstanding work, they have exemplified ASHRAE’s mission to create a more sustainable and comfortable built environment for all. We congratulate each recipient and express our gratitude for their invaluable contributions to the industry.”  

Read the ASHRAE awards announcement

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