Numerical Modeling of Energy Storage Systems
PhDs and postgraduate research
Self-funded PhD students only
School of Mechanical and Design Engineering
Applications accepted all year round
The work on this project could involve:
- research and analysis of thermal storage technologies including both existing approaches and novel solutions
- simulation of the performance of different systems (geometries, materials, operational parameters)
- designing, building and testing a prototype unit
World-wide energy demand is increasing by the minute. The need for diversification of the energy production systems is additionally augmented by conventional power systems being under increased scrutiny due to more stringent limits on carbon emissions. In recent decades, advances have been made to grow renewable energy production with total renewable energy generation capacity reaching 2,351 GW at the end of last year. The share of renewables in meeting global energy demand is expected to grow by one-fifth in the next five years to reach 12.4% in 2023. Energy storage technologies have great potential for supporting renewable energy systems as they can be deployed at different scales. The utilisation of energy storage technologies vary across the industry, with a number of novel systems still being in developmental stages.
It is this problem that the proposed project will address, through using numerical modeling techniques to evaluate and existing and novel energy storage devices, and establish optimal storage methods for use with renewable generation technologies. The coupling of renewable generation systems with the optimal storage solutions developed in this project will not only pave the way for a further roll out of carbon-free electricity generation in the future, but will, in the future, also open up exciting opportunities to design, build and commercialise the storage technologies in collaboration with local businesses in the region.
The project will investigate existing and novel energy storage technologies to be paired with renewable and alternative energy production systems and waste heat storage. Computational and mathematical tools will be utilised to model various energy systems, optimise their operation and design energy storage structures. Liquid Air Energy Devices (LAED), Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), Pumped Heat Energy Storage (PHES) and thermal storage, such as phase change materials will be investigated, as well as their suitability to be incorporated in smart grids and power electronics.
The initial stage of the project will involve developing a database of suitable storage technologies including both existing approaches and novel solutions, which are currently being developed. As well as outlining the operation of the storage technique, special attention will be paid to its operational range and how this matches with different renewable technologies. The mathematical modeling will build-up from the fundamental processes within the storage device and coupling them together to provide a full model of the storage solution. Simulations will be run to establish the performance of the storage in a range of typical operating conditions and optimise the geometry, flow and thermodynamic parameters and operating materials.
You will have an opportunity to work with alongside team of experts, passionate about tackling energy challenges that industry and society are facing nowadays and develop new solutions and skills to benefit all.
Fees and funding
Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).
2020/2021 entry (for October 2020 and February 2021 entries)
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a
International full-time students: £16,400 p/a
International part-time students: £8,200 p/a
PhD by Publication
External candidates £4,407 p/a
Members of staff £1,680 p/a*
2021/2022 entry (for October 2021 and February 2022 entries)
PhD and MPhil
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a*
International full-time students: £17,600 p/a
International part-time students: £8,800 p/a
All fees are subject to annual increase.
PhD by Publication
External Candidates £4,407 p/a*
Members of Staff £1,720 p/a*
If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
A successful applicant would be fluent in numerical methods and/or programming. Strong background in thermodynamics and computational modelling is desirable.
How to apply
When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.
If you want to be considered for this PhD opportunity you must quote project code SMDE5410220 when applying.