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A study of operational flexibility of nuclear power plants coupled with energy storage

Project Description

The proposed research project is aiming at overview, synthesis and evaluation of various energy storage options that could be integrated with nuclear power plant systems so that they can be operated in a more flexible way to serve as a more economical and secure power generation. A whole nuclear power plant dynamic model will be developed to study optimal process operation strategies for higher efficiencies and better operational flexibilities. The dynamic model will be validated by using laboratory, pilot and practical scale experimental data and real nuclear power plant operational data. Then the model will be used as simulation platform to optimization for efficient and flexible operation.

To achieve the proposed research aim and objectives and address the fundamental challenges, the following work packages/sub-tasks have been designed:

WP1 – Development of thermodynamic and heat transfer sub-models and implementation of the models to the simulation software. Investigations need to be carried out on efficiency enhancement by using the improved and advanced nuclear power reactors such as Generation III and IV reactors;

WP2 – Techno-economical analysis of the currently available energy storage technologies to screen out most promising candidates in the integration of nuclear power plants. Special investigation will be carried out on mechanical energy storage and thermal energy storage such as compressed air energy storage (CASE), cryogenic energy storage and phase change materials;
WP3 – Whole nuclear power plant system heat, energy and mass balance calculations and analysis. The results of this task will be used to tune system parameters and establish approximate static operation status, both of which are essential to set up the initial conditions for running the whole plant simulation program;

WP4 – Whole system dynamic simulation study. The dynamic response and performance of the nuclear power plant system integrated with energy storage will be simulated using commercialized software such as Aspen Plus or goProm. The operational data from industrial nuclear power plant will be used for model validation. Process optimization for efficient and flexible operation will be carried out by strategic assessment on energy storage solutions and also on selection of appropriate materials and devices.

Application Web Page

Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/how-to-apply/. Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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