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University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Flexibility in heating demand using heat pump and energy storage technologies


School of the Built Environment

Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Decarbonisation of heat in buildings through switching fuels and transferring the demand from Natural Gas to low carbon electricity will put extra pressure on the electricity network. Flexibility in the electricity demand is a critical mechanism to help release the pressure from the overstretched electricity network during the transition from fossil fuels to decarbonised electricity. This study will investigate an approach to provide flexibility to the electricity demand associated with heating. This will be achieved through integration of heat pump systems, advanced and tailor-made heat storage technologies including hot water, Phase Change Materials (PCM) and the thermal mass of building together with a series of control mechanisms for energy-efficient operation of heating systems. This project aims to study the potential contribution of heat pump technology, in the demand side, to the sustainability of the energy system in the future. The main research question is to what extent the integration of heat pump and thermal storage technologies together with the intermittent operation of heating systems can contribute to shifting the electricity demand and providing flexibility to the demand in peak load while addressing the required thermal comfort.

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