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Funded PhD Studentship

Brunel University London - College of Engineering, Design & Physical Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Uxbridge
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £17,666 per annum, subject to eligibility criteria.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 14th May 2021
Closes: 25th June 2021
Reference: 445173

Funded PhD Studentship in Dynamic Simulation and Control of Supercritical CO2 Heat to Power Systems

The project
Power generation with supercritical fluids is gaining significant attention due to the ability of supercritical systems to operate at higher pressures and temperatures and offer higher conversion efficiencies at a much lower footprint than conventional steam power plant. Supercritical CO2 (sCO2) has been identified as one of the most promising fluids for this application, due to its high density which leads to very compact designs, low cost and low global warming potential of 1.0 compared to other fluids. Supercritical CO2 cycles are currently being considered for application in waste heat recovery and conversion to electrical power in stationary and shipboard applications and power generation in nuclear and concentrated solar power plant.

Research into sCO2 power technologies has so far concentrated on the investigation of alternative cycle architectures for the different applications, the design and development of the major components such as turbomachinery and heat exchangers for high temperature and pressure operation, and the development and testing of pilot plants. Very little work has been done to-date on the optimisation of the operation of sCO2 systems, primarily due to the very small number of pilot plant in operation globally on which to undertake control optimisation studies.

The aim of the project is to develop robust control strategies for the optimisation of sCO2 plant for heat recovery applications. The strategies will consider start-up, shut-down and transient operation resulting for variations in the temperature and flow rate of exhaust gases.

The research will include: i) selection/development of modelling methodologies for the simulation of the dynamics of sCO2 plant; ii) validation of the models using data from an experimental programme on test facilities in the Brunel laboratories and from a 2.0 MWe pilot plant.

The successful doctoral researcher will work alongside postdoctoral researchers engaged in research on sCO2 heat to power technologies within the Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains and the Institute of energy Futures.

Candidate Requirements
Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a 2.1 or above UK Honours MEng degree or equivalent (BEng with an MSc) in Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, Applied Mathematics, Physics, Control or closely related discipline. Good knowledge of system dynamics and control and simulation of the transient behaviour of thermal systems or power plant will be considered an advantage.

Funding
This is a fully funded PhD and will cover tuition fees and a standard UKRI PhD stipend for UK (home) students of up to £17,666 per annum, subject to eligibility criteria. Exceptional overseas applicants with very good communication skills and knowledge and experience relevant to the topic will also be considered.

Interested parties should in the first instance send their CV and a cover letter outlining their interest in the studentship and the relevance of their knowledge and skills to the position by 25 June 2021, by e-mail to Prof. Savvas Tassou. E-mail: savvas.tassou@brunel.ac.uk.

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