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Modelling of multi-MW scale hybrid power plant using solid oxide fuel cells and lithium ion batteries to displace diesel as back-up power for charging of electric boats and electric vehicles at various ports, towns and cities in the UK.


   School of Energy and Electronic Engineering

  Dr Amitava Roy  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3-year full-time or 6-year part time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering and will be supervised by Dr Amitava Roy along with industry experts.

The work on this project will:

  • Develop dynamic models of multi-MW scale hybrid power plants consisting of solid oxide fuel cells, and a lithium ion battery pack.
  • Design and build a scalable fuel cell and 40kWh Tesla battery hybrid system in the Energy Laboratory at the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering for real world testing.
  • Test and analyse this fuel-cell & battery hybrid system to validate the dynamic models.
  • Forecast dynamic demand for EV charging to determine the fuel storage (hydrogen/biomethane) to run the fuel cells. Undertake techno-economic feasibility study for deployment of this highly-efficient hybrid power system at various ports, towns and city centres.  

Project description

This proposed PhD research on multi-MW scale fuel cell + battery hybrid power plant builds upon the ongoing research led by Dr Amitava Roy to develop a hydrogen research hub at the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering (SENE). There is an ongoing PhD research at SENE on green hydrogen production and distribution. 

Dr Amitava Roy is leading a demonstration project to develop new infrastructure at Portsmouth International Port to produce green-hydrogen by electrolyser and hydrogen compressors for refuelling of hydrogen-boat along with industrial partners such as Engas Global Ltd who is providing access to the cutting-edge technologies to the students/researcher. 

Portsmouth plays a strategic role in the maritime sector in the UK as the Royal Navy's Headquarter. The broader aim of this hydrogen project is well aligned with the strategic goals of the University of Portsmouth and other leading organisations in the city.

You are expected to develop a model of a highly efficient, multi-MW scale hybrid power plant consisting of fuel cells and batteries as back up power for charging of electric vehicles and boats.

Fuel cells: Model the thermodynamic, electrochemical and Ohmic properties of solid oxide fuel cells. Investigate different operating modes (e.g. constant current, high current) with dynamic power demand to predict the current voltage curve of fuel cells. 

Battery: Model the Lithium ion battery system for current voltage properties incorporating its thermodynamic, electrochemical, and Ohmic over-potential properties and validate against a 40kWh lithium ion battery pack to investigate its charging/ discharging cycles. 

System integration: Model various sub-systems to integrate the fuel cell, batteries and validate against the real-world practical data in the Energy Laboratory at SENE.

You’ll be expected to interact with the end users: Ports, Councils, project developers and technology partners to develop and validate the model.

General admissions criteria

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific candidate requirements

General awareness and interest in renewable energy (Solar, Wind) and energy storage and electric vehicle charging markets will be useful. Understanding of energy storage technologies such as fuel cells, batteries, electrolysers will be advantageous.  

How to Apply

We encourage you to contact Dr Amitava Roy () to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code below.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Energy Engineering PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code: SENE6061023.


Funding Notes

Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK students only).

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