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User Requirements for Domestic Hot Water Systems


   Loughborough Design School

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  Dr V Haines  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship starting in October 2016. The project will be based in Loughborough Design School at Loughborough University.

Future domestic heating systems such as low temperature heat pumps are likely to only be able to provide on-demand hot water in an efficient manner through the use of thermal storage. There is little known about the user requirements for domestic hot water, in particular what people will tolerate in terms of temperature, flow rate and volume of water as well as acceptable delay as a result of load shifting. This research aims to determine a range of user preferences for domestic hot water production which can inform the developers of technologies for these future systems. The successful candidate will work alongside a major new research project which aims to develop a suite of heat pump/storage/control technologies that function without conventional storage cylinders and can deliver energy efficient affordable Domestic Hot Water to a wide range of future dwellings.

Research to date has focused on the technological solutions – What Coefficient of Performance can a heat pump deliver? What is the most efficient chemical for use in a thermal store? This project will be led by the user requirements and so develop a set of criteria that establishes the limits of their tolerances within the system and hence identify likely ‘deal breakers’ when considering heat pumps as a replacement for the traditional tank based and combi-boiler systems. It is expected that this research will use qualitative methods as the primary investigation approach (to understand user behaviours and requirements), supported by quantitative data analysis where needed. Access to existing data from projects at Loughborough University will ensure there is suitable opportunity for the collection of data, supported by expert advice.

This project has national importance as it will identify the limits of user preferences for domestic hot water systems, which will enable the development of technologies such as heat pumps/thermal storage that meet people’s actual needs. This will avoid wasted capacity or underperformance that is subsequently addressed by inefficient retrofits.

This project is funded partly by the EPSRC as part of the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) awarded to Loughborough University, and partly by the University.

Benefits of this DTP-studentship:
• Stipend of £14,296 per annum for 3.5 years (increasing in line with EPSRC recommended rates).
• Tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, for up to 3.5 years.
• A Research Training Support Grant worth at least £1,750
• Admission as part of a cohort of EPSRC-DTP funded students

Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. All applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including minimum residency requirements https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/

Students will normally need to hold at least a 2:1 degree in a relevant subject. This might be human factors, psychology, design, engineering, architecture or a similar subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in the following will be an advantage: Domestic energy demand, qualitative data collection, socio-technical systems. An ability to work in a multi-disciplinary area is essential.

For informal enquiries, contact Dr Victoria Haines, [Email Address Removed]

To apply, complete the online application at: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/ Under programme name, select ‘Loughborough Design School’

Closing date: 8 August 2016

Please quote the following reference when applying: GSRC16E/VH

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