Heating and cooling of buildings is a key priority for decarbonisation due to the scale of the demand and the tendency for direct use of fossil fuels. Almost half of global energy use is related to heating, with this accounting for approximately one quarter of emissions in the UK. Energy geostructures - where civil engineering sub-structures are used as the connection to the ground in a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system - present a significant opportunity to reduce the up-front costs of GSHPs while also providing social and economic maximum value from infrastructure investments. However, adequate design guidance for these structures is still lacking and most experience to date is for relatively straightforward ground conditions and for climate in the northern hemisphere. This PhD project will broaden the field of study to include cooling dominated climates in the southern hemisphere and more challenging partially saturated soils. The PhD is part of a larger funded project in partnership with the Universities of Dundee and Sao Paulo, which includes the construction of full (Sao Paulo) and model (Dundee) scale trials. The PhD project will use numerical and analytical simulation techniques using data from the trials for validation, with the aim of developing novel design approaches for practice.
You must be able to start your PhD by no later than 1 May 2024.