Ultra-High Temperature Thermal Energy Storage Investigating the fluid dynamics and heat transfer aspect of the ultra-high temperature thermal energy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


Investigating the fluid dynamics and heat transfer aspect of the ultra-high temperature thermal energy storage technology being developed by Dr Adam Robinson in the Institute of Energy Systems at the University of Edinburgh.

I'd be designing and evaluating the use of heat pumps to charge the storage core and to recirculate waste heat to maintain the core temperature. I'd also be investigating if using blade cooling in the heat pump results in acceptably low thermodynamic losses, and more generally investigating the aerodynamic considerations and heat transfer in the heat exchangers. I'd be designing a valve to switch between using hot combustion products in the power generating gas turbine, and nitrogen heated from the storage core. I'd also be investigating the reheat system used in the power generating gas turbine.

The work would involve writing computer code to take account of the additional effects of heat transfer and structural considerations in computational fluid dynamic simulations. Mathematical models of the various system components would be developed and compared with experimental data obtained from a scaled down test rig of the thermal energy store. It would also be desirable to develop a numerical model of the complete system in order to perform transient analyses.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509644/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2106604 Studentship EP/N509644/1 01/01/2018 31/12/2021 Aldwyn Eyres
Description I have managed to produce a numerical model (i.e. a computer program) that is able to predict the performance of monolith (honeycomb type) heat exchangers. This model can be used in the design and optimisation of these heat exchangers. These heat exchangers have applications in thermal energy storage systems and beyond.
Exploitation Route Anybody who needs to design or optimise monolith heat exchangers could put this tool I have created to use. Monolith heat exchangers are used in transport, energy storage, aerospace and manufacturing, to name but a few areas.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

Description Improved understanding of the heat transfer within monolith heat exchangers. This has uses not just in thermal energy storage systems, but also in aerospace, transport and manufacturing.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Title Numerical model for heat transfer and pressure loss in monolith heat exchangers 
Description Written in C++, this piece of software generates a monolith heat exchanger geometry, meshes it, and then models the heat transfer within the solid & fluid, and the pressure loss experienced by the fluid. External boundary conditions can be supplied as inputs. 
Type Of Technology Physical Model/Kit 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact It will allow monolith heat exchanger designs to be optimised automatically. 
Description Presented my work at UKHTC2019 in Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I presented my PhD work at UKHTC2019 in Nottingham. It was a 10 minute presentation with time for questions afterwards. I got a very postive response from the audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019