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Funded PhD Opportunity

Study and development of retrofit- low cost mobile energy storage (ReLoMes) system

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Drives towards 100% renewable share in energy system clearly emphasis role of energy storage from grid scale to user level. However, energy resources (e.g. wind/PV) may not produce energy at the time of demand nor the location favours the demand centre. For example, distributed energy resource such as wind (site location in remote place), industry (waste heat), bioenergy, waste energy is not in close proximity to energy demand centres (houses, leisure centres, industrial complex).

In such cases electrical energy must be transmitted or distributed using existing network which would require significant investment to upgrade it if 100% renewable electricity scenario is achieved. The project  is to develop low cost mobile energy system which can be charged using the energy (electrical/heat) at source (e.g. landfill engine, industrial waste heat and wind power) and transport it to nearby demand centre.

Main study will be focused on three aspect: energy storage material selection, sizing and retrofit mobile system. There is limited study in the area and outcome/solutions are expensive. Hence, goal of the project is to find low cost and retrofit solution which can be meet local market needs and materials/manufacturing and skill set which can be sourced locally, for example, Northern Ireland.

The project will be carried out with inputs from local industries (e.g B9 energy and Caterpillar). During first year of the project, extensive literature review and data gather activity will provide enough information about energy storage sizing, material, local/transport legislation and existing mobile vehicle/carrier that can be used for the project. Second year of the project will focus theoretical calculation/simulation and laboratory scale experiment with storage material and container size etc. Third year of the project will focus on the actual retrofit storage solution calculation and development with further experiment and economics calculation.

The outcome of the study would help to solve the mismatch between energy source and energy demand cluster and hence, making energy system more efficient by using waste/curtailed energy. In addition, it would help to ensure security of supply and alleviate fuel poverty in off gas network area. If the technology implemented with economics and business model, then it would help to create local jobs and new mobile energy distribution industry for Northern Ireland. This will clearly emphasis Ulster University’s commitment to local industry and society as a Civic university. Proper implementation and modification of the technology concept would help to replicate in another local climate (country) needs and which makes RELOMES concept widely acceptable.

The knowledge, expertise and resources available at Centre for Suitable technologies through past and current projects on energy storage (SPIRE, i-STUTE, Lot-NET) would help to deliver the project in efficient manner in terms of resources and supports. Existing lab facilities at CST such as test house, calorimeter, Julabo and environmental chamber will be used to carry out study for the project.

Essential criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology


    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to:

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 10 June 2019

Interview Date
19 June 2019


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Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses

Contact supervisor

Dr Nikhilkumar Shah

Other supervisors

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