Bhanot, Viren M.S. 2014

Research Topic: 

Dynamic Modeling of Vapor Compression Systems for Residential Heat Pump Applications With Alternative Lower-GWP Refrigerants


Story by Francesca Pascual

Viren Bhanot will graduate in December 2015. In his master's thesis, Dynamic Modeling of Vapor Compression Systems for Residential Heat Pump Applications With Alternative Lower-GWP Refrigerants, Bhanot focuses on the air-conditioning components used in residential homes. “The use of air conditioners in homes is not a new concept, but there is a growing interest in heat pumps for performing both heating and cooling tasks,” says Bhanot. His research focuses on modeling the components involved in heat pumps to simulate both the heating and cooling operations of such units within a home.

During his research, Bhanot created a framework of components and used them for running dynamic simulations. Using this relatively new tool, he was able to build models that provide validity with broad applications. He is very interested in using dynamic modeling in the future, and learning different applications and developments where such modeling methods can be applied.

Next stop: Switzerland

Bhanot is excited about his future career prospects. Prior to coming to the CEEE, he worked at Indian automobile manufacturer, Mahindra and Mahindra, doing HVAC Research and Development. He has been offered an opportunity to return to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) as a Ph.D. student. There, he will be required to develop simulation tools for the dynamic simulation of a specific cooling system that is a part of the new generation of cooling systems. Bhanot is most interested in conducting research within the industry to further the exploration and advancement of engineering solutions to everyday problems.

Although Bhanot is looking forward to the next chapter of his life, he believes that the time spent at CEEE was a valuable, enriching experience. After learning about the work conducted at CEEE by speaking to Dr. Vikrant Aute, Bhanot decided that the program would be a good fit for him.  He feels that he benefitted not only from being able to network with members of the industry during consortiums or events, but also learned a great deal from fellow students. “The conversations with other students allowed me to learn from their experiences. I have a better understanding of other facets of engineering. By explaining my work to sponsors, I learned how to present my ideas to others,” says Bhanot. He believes that his experiences and new understandings are the most important part of his years at the CEEE, but being paid to pursue his interests was a bonus. “Being paid means that I did not have to take out a student loan. I will graduate with no financial obligations.”  He has enjoyed taking classes in classroom settings because it builds a solid foundation of knowledge, but he is excited to work on applying that understanding to real-world applications. He knows that these new skills will benefit him when he delves into industry work.

Enjoys the opportunity to try new things

After spending two years in the United States, Bhanot is comfortable with only seeing his family once a year. He feels that his time away from Delhi has given him a lot of freedom and independence.  He likes to visit the many museums in the area, including the National Air and Space Museum and the College Park Aviation Museum. His favorite museum is the Holocaust Museum. “It is very large; you can go many times and never see the entire museum. It focuses on a very important time in history,” he says.

He also says he likes living in close proximity to Washington D.C. “There is a unique social and political scene,” remarks Bhanot. He has visited New York City, but did not like it as much. “It reminds me of Delhi. It is very chaotic and fast-paced.” He prefers the culture of Washington D.C. and Maryland, and enjoys what the area has to offer. He spends much of his free time hiking, kayaking, and riding bikes, activities he did not take part in when he was in Delhi. “I just started doing it because my friends like it,” he chuckles. When alone, he prefers to listen to music, and play guitar or bass.

At left, Bhanot during a recent hiking trip to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.

Figure, above: Flash Tank Vapor Injection cycle startup simulation.