Within the division of Applied Mechanics and Energy Conversion (TME) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the research group "Heat integration into smart energy systems" lead by Prof. Sylvain Quoilin, is involved in an international project evaluating the role district heating and industrial waste heat in future energy systems. In particular, the goal is to evaluate the possible synergies between the heating sector and the power sector in order to achieve high shares of renewables and a deep decarbonisation of the energy system. To support these activities, we are looking for a new PhD student willing to start during the second semester of 2019.
This research is part of the EnergyVille framework, a research collaboration on sustainable energy between KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt.Energy systems analysis largely relies on mathematical models. These models serve as test-beds to investigate energy system configurations and developments within a country or region which would be impractical, too expensive or impossible to test in ‘real-world’ conditions. KU Leuven and EnergyVille have a long experience in the development and the exploitation of such models.
District heating and cooling (DHC) networks are traditionally strongly interlinked with the electricity and gas networks via combined heat and power (CHP). In the past years, a new dimension of this interaction has appeared and is related to:
a) an increased share of variable and non-controllable supply in the electricity networks such as PV and wind energy, requiring a higher flexibility in the energy systems to avoid production curtailment or transmission bottlenecks
b) an increased penetration of coupling points between the networks, such as power-to-heat and power-to-gas technologies unlocking a certain flexibility potential. This new dimension in turn offers some opportunities for DHC networks e.g. by integrating technologies such as heat pumps and thermal storage, but on the other hand also imposes challenges due to a higher system complexity.
- Good knowledge or Git, Github and experience in open-source projects
- Knowledge in geographic information system (GIS)
- Experience in following programming languages: Modelica, Python, R, GAMS, Julia
- A doctoral scholarships for two years (net monthly salary of about ~ €2,000), extendable to four years, and a PhD degree in Engineering if successful
- A highly specialized doctoral training, making the candidate expert in energy systems modeling
- Multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)
- The opportunity to be active in an international research environment,engage in research collaborations and participate at international conferences
The main work location will be the EnergyVille Campus of KU Leuven, located in Genk (Belgium), or the Engineering Technology campus located in Geel (Belgium).