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PhD position in Studying Energy Storage using Rankine batteries

Do you want to help develop innovative and environmentally friendly energy technologies for the future?

Rankine batteries are a type Carnot battery that can be used for large-scale electricity storage. In these systems, electricity is stored as heat and then converted back to electricity using a traditional Rankine cycle. The technology is considered inexpensive to produce while exhibiting a moderate efficiency. Rankine batteries have the potential to provide significant grid-level electricity storage, which is critical for enabling high levels of intermittent renewable electricity sources.

DTU Energy is participating in the IEA Annex on Carnot batteries with a focus on the Rankine battery subtask. This PhD project will support activities that are part of the subtask and will regularly travel to the bi-annual annex meetings to report recent progress. Activities will mostly focus on modelling of the heating technology (which will include high temperature heat pumps), the storage technology (which will include rock bed storage) and the electricity generation (which will be based on the Rankine cycle). The primary goal of the modelling activities is to determine the most attractive configurations of a Rankine battery to be used in grid level storage applications.

As a supporting activity, DTU Energy has built a pilot-scale rock bed thermal energy storage with a capacity of approximately 1 MWh that is illustrated below. The test facility can be used to validate models developed in this project.

Responsibilities and tasks
The main task of this three year PhD position is the modelling of a Rankine battery consisting of a heating technology, thermal energy storage and electricity generation coupled to the Danish electricity grid and possibly other locations. This will include detailed models of each component that will be used to evaluate a number of possible configurations.

Qualified applicants must have:

  • Master degree in engineering, physics or similar.
  • Experience with heat transfer modelling, design or experimental work.
  • Experience with computation fluid dynamics analysis using COMSOL, ANSYS or similar.
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated tasks, and to be a part of a large, dynamic group.
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken.

And have experience in at least two of the following

  • Experience with numerical modelling.
  • Experience modelling heat pumps and Rankine cycles
  • Experience with COMSOL.
  • Experience with machine design.
  • Experience with energy storage systems.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

 You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The expected starting date is the spring of 2020.

Further information
Please contact Senior Researcher Kurt Engelbrecht, +45 4677 5649 kuen@dtu.dk
Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.

Please submit your online application no later than 31 December 2019 (local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file.
The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.