Dr. Patchigolla’s research mainly focuses on two key topics across a variety of high temperature heat sources (fossil, biomass or solar thermal):
Advanced power generation cycles with reducing energy demand
Renewables with energy storage
The challenges are to increase the efficiencies of power plants and to reduce their thermal cycling. This would improve the life and reliability of existing power generation assets, to address carbon targets, and to help improve the energy efficiency of dispatchable power plants. However, with the changes in the power generation portfolio of the UK (through BEIS) and across the developed world (through COP21), there is a new emphasis on developing more efficient energy technologies and a good mix of renewables for the developing world - a significant focus for Dr. Patchigolla’s portfolio.
Dr. Patchigolla successfully secured funds from an extensive range of sources (including Research Councils, H2020, British Council and industry), building upon his growing reputation in the energy engineering and working in collaboration with colleagues across the university, elsewhere in the UK and internationally.
Energy storage, combination of power generation sectors and diverting the electricity to another sector can complement each other to increase the value of energy infrastructure. The transferability of his research and his chemical engineering background enable him to capitalise on the above-mentioned areas.
Dr. Patchigolla has strategically aligned with companies in UK and Europe to fund his further research to address commercial barriers for adopting these emerging technologies, as well as providing intellectual support to other colleagues who work in low carbon technologies and solar based renewables. Dr. Patchigolla has developed a pilot plant modular facility (400kWth) focused on low temperature heat storage for improving the efficiency of concentrated solar plants, and has developed and tested a whole plant annual performance model for emerging cooling technologies in a cost/energy-effective manner. In addition, his team has developed a dynamic simulation analysis of the cooling and heating systems through absorption chillers under different climate conditions, with the aim to provide a cooling load of approximately 300 kW to local communities. Also, his team involved in commercial demonstration of solar driven desalination systems for GCC countries to produce clean water for their local communities.
So far, Dr. Patchigolla’s success has been achieved through a growing number of projects, research fellows and PhD students under him to address the above research challenges. Current collaborations include work with China, Egypt, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Morocco and Israel. He has the ambition to become a world leader in heat capture and heat storage energy processes.
Dr. Patchigolla also taken on the development of safety management (as part of OHSAS 18001 accreditation) and completed the NEBOSH and accident investigation assessment.
He have demonstrated a strong track record in the production of high quality peer reviewed journals (49 papers; h-factor=15-16) rated 4* and higher for chemical/process engineering and thermal engineering.