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Investigation of Heat transfer enhancement in Thermal Storage Systems with Phase Change Materials (Advert Reference RENU19/MCE/COSTA)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 08, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The energy consumption is in the form of heat for heating systems and hot water in domestic and commercial buildings represent more than the 40% of the global energy consumption. Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is a key aspect in efficient use of thermal renewable energy sources or waste heat. The TES with Phase Change Materials (PCM) can serve the above purpose because offer higher thermal energy storage capacity and compact design, compared to the conventional systems. The main limitations of many PCMs are their low thermal conductivity and the cost and these constitute one of the major challenges for their potential applications. Therefore, it is necessary to considerate cost-effective methods which would enhance heat transfer in TES with PCM.

The aim of this project is to investigate and seek the most “cost-effective” materials and methods to enhance the thermal conductivity of the low and medium temperature PCM in order to control the charging and discharging rates.

The project will involve the research on materials and configurations to optimize the heat transfer between PCM in TES and heat transfer fluid, the study of the heat transfer during melting and solidification processes with enhanced PCM in low-medium TES applications, the thermo-physical characterization of PCMs, the numerical and experimental investigations, the derivation of numerical dimensionless heat transfer correlations and guidelines on the design of compact TES. The creation of cost-effective new conceptual design of high-performance TES will promote the wider utilisation of renewable energy resources for heating systems and hot water in domestic and commercial buildings.

About CDT ReNU
The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. The overall aim of ReNU is to create a pipeline of highly skilled doctoral graduates in the areas of small-scale renewable and sustainable distributed energy that will drive UK productivity and innovation in the future. The scope of ReNU focuses on materials for energy conversion, storage and efficiency, while at the same time taking a whole system view of the energy sector. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project described below at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Academic excellence in an appropriate subject area relevant to proposed project.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.
• The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria ( you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert referenceRENU19/MCE/COSTA will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 8 March 2019
Start Date: 1 October 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Students from the UK and EU, which covers full fees, and a full stipend*, paid for four years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa).

*Stipend available to UK students only


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2. Mahkamov, K., Pili, P., Manca, R., Leroux, A., Mintsa, A. C., Lynn, K., ... & Costa, S. C. (2018, June). Development of a small solar thermal power plant for heat and power supply to domestic and small business buildings. In ASME 2018 Power Conference collocated with the ASME 2018 12th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2018 Nuclear Forum (pp. V001T06A014-V001T06A014). American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

3. Costa, S. C., Mahkamov, K., Kenisarin, M., Ismail, M., Halimic, E., Mullen, D., ... & Werner, T. (2018, November). Experimental and Numerical Study on Melting of Solar Salt in a Finned Metallic Container. In ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (pp. V06BT08A055-V06BT08A055). American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

4. Al-Maghalseh, M., & Mahkamov, K. (2018). Methods of heat transfer intensification in PCM thermal storage systems. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 92, 62-94.

5. Kenisarin, M., & Mahkamov, K. (2016). Salt hydrates as latent heat storage materials: Thermophysical properties and costs. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 145, 255-286.

6. Kenisarin, M., & Mahkamov, K. (2016). Passive thermal control in residential buildings using phase change materials. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 55, 371-398.

7. Kenisarin, M., & Mahkamov, K. (2007). Solar energy storage using phase change materials. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 11(9), 1913-1965.

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