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Postdoc Development design tool for sorption heating and cooling storage system

The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has the following vacancy

Postdoc position on "Development of a design tool for a sorption heating and cooling storage system"

3 maanden geleden


de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


Energy Technology group, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering considers as the core of their activities design, realization and analysis of new products, processes and materials. Besides the basis of (solid and fluid) mechanics, materials, control and thermodynamics, parts of mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing science are important supporting tools. The field is explored by a combination of modeling using fundamental concepts and applied engineering and technology. Automotive Engineering Science and Micro- amp; Nano-Scale Engineering are important departmental themes. The Mechanical Engineering Department comprises about 1000 students and 250 staff members.

The section Energy Technology performs research on heat transfer and thermofluids engineering. Energy Technology (ET) addresses engineering problems associated with energy conversion processes such as transport, utilization, implementation etc., and comprises many different disciplines. The research of our group is focused on three primary topics: heat transfer and transitional flows, microscale interphase processes, and small-scale renewable energy systems. One of the research projects is focusing on solar thermal in combination with heat storage.

The present project is performed in close collaboration with De Beijer RTB, Duiven, The Netherlands. The Beijer RTB specializes in innovation research and the development of new product / market combinations especially in the field of sustainable energy. The Beijer RTB consists of a group of technical specialists who realize numerous studies, research projects and product developments, including in the field of heat pumps, solar energy, energy storage and district heating. Besides De Beijer RTB, also Radboud University (www.ru.nl/ssc), Nijmegen, and TNO (www.tno.nl) are involved in the project.

Short background

For a long time, thermochemical heat storage is considered as a candidate with a lot of potential to solve the mismatch problem between the heat demand and supply side of solar energy. The advantages of thermochemical heat storage compared to other options are high storage density and almost loss-free storage. However, important obstacles still need to be taken before this technique can be applied on larger scales, certainly when it comes to a marketable product.

Problem description

The whole project consists of three main parts.

  1. To create a marketable compact and loss-free heat&cold storage system, it is necessary that the system can be produced in a cost-effective way and that the active thermochemical material has the right energy density for the application it is used for and that it is stable over longer periods of time. In this part of the project the manufacturability of such a system is investigated using silicagel. This material is easy to process, safe and has well-known properties. A complete sorption heat&cold storage system will be designed, built and tested. Besides, manufacturability, upscaling of the system will be investigated and tested. In addition to a business plan, also three vision/demo systems will be delivered. This part will mainly be carried out by De Beijer RTB in collaboration with TNO.
  2. In a parallel trajectory at Radboud University, a 'new' thermochemical material will be 'designed' and tested to overcome the problems with the more standard materials like silicagel. To gain insight into its physicochemical properties and its performance in a more realistic environment, small-scale reactor experiments will be carried out.
  3. On top of this, a detailed calculation model will be developed at TU/e using COMSOL for calculation of the reactor/module performance using measured material characteristics as input. Development of this model at material scale will take place using TGA/DSC experiments and charging/discharging reactor experiments will be used for verification and validation. In the end this detailed calculation model will be used to set up a design tool for the whole heat&cold storage module/system.
The result of the project as a whole includes the demonstrated manufacturability of a sorption heat&cold storage system and a suitable thermochemical material. It is anticipated that, based on the knowledge and experience gained in this project, a market-ready thermochemical heat&cold storage system can be constructed in a follow-up project.

  • The further development of a numerical model (using COMSOL) to simulate the vapor and heat transport processes taking place in a reactor/module configuration of a heat&cold storage system. As a starting point use can be made of an existing 2D-model which is developed in the framework of an earlier project.
  • For the development of a proper numerical model detailed insight is needed in the material behavior. To this end TGA/DSC and microscope experiments will be carried out to gain insight into the reaction kinetics of the material and its behavior over time which is needed as an input for the numerical model.
  • The numerical model will be validated with experiments on reactor scale. Use can be made of existing lab facilities. However, all the available lab configurations are atmospheric. The heat&cold storage system under consideration in this project is working under low pressure conditions. Therefore, it could also be possible that for validation purposes new experiments need to be defined.
  • Besides to the detailed numerical model, a node-model needs to be developed (using MATLAB) which can be used for optimization of a heat&cold storage system in operation.

  • Functie-eisen

    We are looking for a candidate who meets the following requirements:

  • A Master degree in Applied Mathematics, Physics or Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical or Sustainable Energy);
  • A good background in fluid mechanics and heat transfer;
  • A good background in numerical modeling using CFD and in programming with Matlab;
  • Excellent communication skills and written/verbal knowledge of the English language;
  • Previous experience with subjects related to the analysis of energy systems is a pre.
  • Arbeidsvoorwaarden

    We offer:
  • A challenging job at a dynamic and ambitious University
  • The gross monthly salary is in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (scale 10), depending on your experience.
  • An appointment for two years (start date as soon as possible)
  • An attractive package of fringe benefits (including excellent work facilities, end of the year allowance and sport facilities)
  • Additionele informatie

    More information can be obtained from:

    • Dr. C.C.M. Rindt, e-mail c.c.m.rindt@tue.nl

    Applications can be made through the "apply now" button.
    Please send your application with extended curriculum vitae. Besides a list of marks of MSc-courses the curriculum vitae should also include a list of references and a list of international conference and journal contributions (if any).