Renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings, building physics, heat and mass transfer, porous media, CFD


Short description of the research team

Thematic fields of interest/research areas: Renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings, building physics, heat and mass transfer and porous media are the main research topics, with special expertise in applying CFD models

Manager/head of the team: Prof. Michele Bottarelli

Team members: A smart and dynamic team of fellow researchers (architects, designers, engineers) and PhD students is led by Michele Bottarelli, who lectures Applied Physic and and Renewable Energy at the School of Architecture and that of Industrial Design at the University of Ferrara. Actually, the team is focused on the study of the behaviour of ventilated pitched roofs, the industrialization of a novel prototype for horizontal and shallow ground heat exchanger, its improving with phase change materials, and optimization of an air-ground heat pump system. All topics are related to European projects in LIFE program (, H2020 program ( and ERDF program (,


Research infrastructures:

The Laboratory for Advance in Ground heat exchange (LAG) takes part to the TekneHub of UNIFE, which is one of the four laboratories within the European Building Platform and part of the High Technology Network of the Emilia Romagna region. The lab is organized in hardware (80m2) and software (50m2) spaces, and a wide outside area.

LAG is fully equipped to monitor the heat transfer processes with special regard to ground heat exchangers. Two advanced workstations and several computers are available for numerical studies, such as two CFD commercial codes (COMSOL Multiphysics, FEFLOW), dataloggers (AHLBORN, DataTaker), test rigs and several probes of temperature, pressure, fluid flow, heat flux, power. Moreover a large climatic chamber and a thermostatic bath are available too.

A Thermal Response Test system is available for carrying out experimental heat transfer test in ground, included a trial field at real scale, where a novel ground heat exchanger (European patent pending) is coupled with a heat pump for the space heating & cooling of a testing room.

A multi-source heat pump system (air, ground, sun) which integrates phase change materials is building according to the IDEAS H2020 project.

A mock up with different pitched tiled roof types is fully equipped with hundreds probes (anemometers, thermocouples, heat flux metres, heat flow metres, …) to monitor how the batten space ventilation affects the energy performance in cooling mode.


Prerequisites of the trainee researcher:

Level of education: “Marie Curie Individual Fellowship” Action requirements
Research experience: LAG's topics
Required working language: Good English
Further required requisites: IT skills


Further useful information: LAG collaborates with several international university all around the world (University of Nottingham, University of Malta, Akita University, Technical University of Sofia, University of Science and Technology of China, Beijing Institute of Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University).


Contact: The best way to contact LAG is to email to its leader


Topics: Products and Processes Engineering: Product design, process design and control, construction methods, civil engineering, energy processes, material engineering