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Design and Experimental Investigation of Solar powered energy storage and generation systems

Project Description

Clear aim and hypothesis:

The proposed project aims to investigate and understand, theoretically and experimentally, the usage of advanced CSG system with nanofluid and PCM as working fluid for renewable thermal energy recycling and power generation from heat source of a temperature range 20℃ to 95℃. Specific objectives are:

- Optimised design of all CSG system, with PCM energy storage system and advanced power generation system, for a range to low heat sources temperatures and heat recovery from solar thermal energy.

- Establish a multi-functional and high precision test rig for the solar powered energy storage system with nanofluids and PCM materials and heat source temperatures ranging from 20℃ to 95℃.

- Understand the complex heat recycling processes involved in renewable energy storage and power generation system and obtain valuable performance data through the use of advanced flow measurement technologies.

- Design detailed transient simulation models for each components and CSG system and validate the models with experimental results.
Investigate the heat transfer and thermal behaviour of major components, particularly the energy storage heat exchanger with PCM and nanofluids in the CSG system, and system thermal and exergy efficiencies through experiment and simulation modelling.

- Prepare the operation specification for the CSG system.

- Demonstrate the advantages of the proposed system over conventional domestic boiler system ones through the use of a prototype.

Methodology and innovations:

The project will span three years and require the research activities of one PhD research student for three years to be funded by the H2020 Marie Curie project (COFUND). Industry partner will act in an advisory capacity and design of major components and manufacture while the academic partners (national and international universities) will carry out the research and development through the project. The project will comprise the following work packages:

Work Package 1: Design and construction of test facilities
An experimental rig will be design and constructed for solar-CSG system driven by PCM materials and nanofluid. The system consists of a solar thermal panel, nanofluids pump, PCM heat exchangers and controls etc.

Work Package 2: Experimental investigation
Experiments will be performed in order to establish the effects of temperatures and performances of heat exchangers with nanofluids and PCM in CSG system and controls on the system.

Work Package 3: Development of transient system and component models

Work Package 4: Dissemination and Impact

Application Web Page

Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at

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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