Newswise — Xiaobing Liu, a researcher in the Building Equipment Research Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been recognized by the American Association of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers with a Distinguished Service Award.

ASHRAE is a professional organization seeking to advance heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems design and construction. The organization has more than 57,000 members in more than 132 countries worldwide.

The Distinguished Service Award salutes members who have served with distinction and who have given freely of their time and talent in organizational activities. Liu was honored in part for his service as the research chair for ASHRAE’s Geothermal Heat Pump and Energy Recovery Applications Technical Committee.

At ORNL, Liu’s research focuses on developing geothermal (ground source) heat pump technologies and their applications. He serves as the principal investigator for the development of low-cost ground heat exchangers, design and simulation tools for geothermal heat pump systems, thermal energy storage, and dehumidification systems using liquid desiccant. He is also working on developing technologies to expand the direct use of low-temperature geothermal energy.

“It is an honor to be recognized by ASHRAE with this award,” said Liu. “My work with ASHRAE has enabled me to collaborate with the geothermal heat pump industry and many engineers and researchers in the field of HVAC to tackle the barriers preventing wider adoption of energy efficient and environmentally friendly geothermal heat pumps throughout the U.S.”

“Xiaobing has produced ground-breaking work in low-temperature geothermal energy,” said Brian Fricke, ORNL’s building equipment research group leader. “His dedication to this research has enabled more applications of geothermal heat pumps, which reduce electricity demand of buildings across the country. I’m pleased to see ASHRAE acknowledging his contributions.”

Liu joined ORNL in 2009. He earned his Ph.D. in. mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University.

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