PhD Studentship: Long Term Performance of Ground Source Heat Pump Systems

University of Leeds

  • Funded PhD project: Worldwide (International, UK and EU)
  • Value: Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance of £14,553 for the 2017/18 academic year. Funding duration is 3 years.
  • Number of awards: Funding for this award is not guaranteed. This research project is in competition for scholarship funding with other projects and will be awarded on a competitive basis.
  • Deadline: 31/08/2017
  • Supervisors: Contact Dr Fleur Loveridge to discuss this project further informally. 

Project description

Leeds Civil Engineering Research Excellence Scholarship

Ground source heat pump systems offer a sustainable way to reduce heating and cooling demand for buildings through the use of the ground as a seasonal thermal store. Access to the thermal store is made via ground heat exchangers, which are then connected to a heat pump and the building heating and cooling delivery system. Well performing ground source heat pump systems should offer efficiencies of around four or more, meaning substantial energy savings. However, studies of post installation performance by government agencies and other researchers suggest that this degree of energy efficiency is not being realised in many cases. This underperformance may be due to a number of reasons including, problems with design or specification, inappropriate control systems, or final building use incompatibility to design stage assumptions. These issues can all be compounded by the difficulty of accurately determining the thermal demand of buildings before their occupancy. Historically, ground source heat pump systems in the UK have been installed without any due regard to following up monitoring. This has meant that valuable lessons about design and operation have not been learnt. GI Energy Ltd and the University of Leeds have been gathering performance data for a number of installed ground source heat pump systems. This offers an unrivalled opportunity to assess the appropriateness of current design and control systems in routine use, compare operational conditions to those assumed during design and to make recommendations for better practice in the future.

The PhD project will interpret the energy performance of a number of operating ground source heat pump systems in the UK and determine the factors involved with successful schemes. Analysis of datasets from the buildings will also allow systematic validation of design approaches based on real performance, something currently lacking in the industry.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in engineering, physical or environmental sciences, or mathematics.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made on-line through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'Long term performance of ground source heat pump systems', as well as Dr Fleur Loveridge as your proposed supervisor. In the funding section, please state ‘Civil Engineering Research Excellence Award’ as your sponsor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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Northern England