The built environment is responsible for about 40% of primary energy use and 33% of greenhouse gas emission in Europe. Typically, 70% of the energy demand is in the form of thermal energy used for space heating and hot tap water.
Heat can directly be harvested from the sun by means of rooftop solar collectors. Although the total amount of energy harvested on a yearly basis may be sufficient, there is a mismatch between the moments of max energy production (summer) and consumption (winter).
This also holds for rooftop PV panels, where conventional batteries are used for short-term storage of peak production.
The aim of this project is to design and construct a heat battery. A heat battery can store heat for long periods of time in Thermo-Chemical materials, thereby turning peak heat (from solar collectors or heat pumps driven by peak electricity) into reversible structural material changes that allow extraction of the heat in a later stage.
Compared to electrical batteries, Thermo-Chemical heat batteries have higher energy densities, making them ideally suited for compact systems in buildings.
Your task is to investigate the mass and heat transfer in TCM particle beds under variable humidity. With MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and X-Ray Computer Tomography (CT) the evolution of the humidity distribution and local porosity of a hydrating particle bed will be monitored.
Modelling will be performed with Darcy flow equations in combination with reaction enthalpy and heat transfer. The aim is to maximize the energy density of the particle bed by selecting the best particle sizes and packings, optimize the bed for high power extraction, and minimize flow pressure losses.
Conditions of employment