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Professor Xudong Zhao

World-renowned Hull professor leads research into low carbon future

Professor Xudong Zhao, Director of Research for the School of Engineering and Computer Science, is forging collaborations between the UK and China to help progress new energy.

Led by Professor Zhao, the Energy Technologies Research Unit (ETRU) is at the forefront of developments in renewable energy and sustainable technologies. Particularly solar power, low carbon heating and cooling, and green building design.

The ETRU has recently secured funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. This will help Professor Zhao and his team to research and develop low carbon heating systems for UK public buildings. 

“Industries in the UK and China have developed very fast, and the economy is booming. But the environment is suffering.

“These technologies can provide heating and cooling to buildings alongside extremely low energy bills and near-to-zero carbon emissions. Thus creating comfortable room conditions, reduced air pollution, and improved health and living standards.” - Professor Xudong Zhao

Innovate UK’s Newton Fund: China Guangdong Programme has also pledged their support to the ETRU. Their funding will help to develop an advanced, cloud-computing platform for carbon management and eco-design on an urban level.

Both projects have the potential to make massive improvements to the consumption of fossil fuels and overall carbon footprint.

Professor Zhao teaches Renewable Energy Technologies for Buildings at the University of Hull. He is a globally-recognised energy researcher in the fields of sustainable building services, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Over a 30-year career, Professor Zhao has led or participated in 57 research projects worth £18m, 40 engineering consultancy projects worth £5m, and claimed eleven patents. He is one of only five UK-based academics to be included in the engineering category of the Highly Cited Researchers Report 2017, compiled by Clarivate Analytics. 

"Industries in the UK and China have developed very fast, and the economy is booming. But the environment is suffering". Professor Xudong Zhao
Director of Research for the School of Engineering and Computer Science

In 2018, he led the organising committee of 32 organisations for the international event EU-China Symposiums on Sustainable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Phase Change Energy Storage Technologies, which was hosted by the University of Hull.

Professor Zhao’s recent innovations include:

1. Novel loop heat pipe with upper side liquid feed

Achieves 200% higher heat transport capacity compared to the traditional loop heat pipe. Winner of the European Dragon Star Innovation Award Silver Prize 2015. 

2. Rural house solar heating system

Uses multiple-throughout-flowing pattern and micro-channel structure. Achieves 30% higher solar thermal efficiency and 20% lower capital cost compared to traditional solar heating systems. Winner of the Innovation Award 2017 by the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies.

3. Solar-powered bed

Designed to transform living standards for millions of people in rural China, and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Winner of the Innovation Award 2016 by the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies.

4. Super-performance dew point air cooler

Achieved the energy efficiency factor (COP) of 52.5 – the highest standard compared to existing technologies. Winner of the Innovation Award 2018 by the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies. 

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