Skip to main content

Marilyn Lightstone, Department of Mechanical Engineering

An expert in Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD), Heat transfer and Turbulent flows, Marilyn adds to making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

One of her ongoing research includes Modelling of Thermal Storage and Atria Geometries. This research consists of two distinct research areas:  modelling of thermal storage for solar energy systems and modelling heat transfer and fluid flow in atria geometries. She is working with Patrick Oosthuizen from Queen's University on the atria work and Stephen Harrison (also from Queen's) on the thermal storage.  The atria work involved performing a systematic validation of a CFD model in order to determine if the models are sufficient to predict the complex flows in atria. The flows are complex since they involve coupled radiative heat transfer and turbulent natural convection.  This was the focus of Charles Rundle’s masters degree. Additional effects such as thermal mass are also being considered. The long term goal is to develop guidelines for atria design to optimize solar utilization while maintaining thermal comfort. Aaron Kitagawa is continuing this work for his master’s degree.

Thermal storage is an important component of solar energy systems because of the mismatch between the availability of solar energy and user demand.  As such, careful design of thermal storage systems is critical for enhancing system performance. The goal of the thermal storage research is to develop integral models which capture the essential physics of the flows.  These models can then be implemented into the broader simulation codes such as ESP-r or WATSUN. The thermal storage research is the focus of the master’s degrees of Danish Nizami and Max Gomes.