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Adiabatic compressed air energy storage for grid electricity storage

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 16, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Application details

Reference number: WS31
Start date of studentship: 1st October 2019
Closing date of advert: 16th April 2019
Interview date: TBC

Primary supervisor: Dr Edward Barbour
Secondary supervisor: Prof Philip Eames

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
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Full Project Detail

Adiabatic Compressed Air Energy Storage (ACAES) is a promising option for low-cost large-scale electricity storage. However, one problematic aspect of current ACAES designs is the requirement for variable pressure high-pressure air storage. Therefore, in this project we will investigate the phase change between liquid and vapour CO2 as a potential cushion to minimize the pressure change in the high-pressure air store during charge and discharge. This will require high heat transfer rates for removing and re-adding the latent heat of condensation and we will investigate both active and passive designs.

The project will involve design, experimental, and numerical work, with the proportion of each depending on the inclinations of the student. Potential project aims include (A) a detailed numerical simulation of the proposed system, including modelling the behaviour of the CO2 cushion and high-pressure air in the store, using the relevant Equations of State. (B) A robust design for the high-pressure air store to facilitate the necessary transfers of latent heat while maintaining air/CO2 separation. (C) Development of a laboratory-scale prototype. (D) Aspects of all three of the previous aims.

Find out more:
Personal website of Dr Edward Barbour:
Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology at Loughborough University:

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an Engineering discipline, Physics or a related subject. Applicants should have a strong interest in energy storage and/or engineering thermodynamics. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Design, Numerical Simulation, Heat Transfer Analysis. Applicants are encouraged to informally register their interest with the primary supervisor.

Contact details

Name: Edward Barbour
Email address:
Telephone number: 01509635254

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Please quote reference number: WS31

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects starting with advert reference ‘WSS’ for the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering.
If awarded, each 3-year studentship will provide a tax-free stipend of £14,777 p/a, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,260 p/a). While we welcome applications from non-EU nationals, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available.

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