Funded PhD Opportunity Advanced Heat Pump Systems Accommodating High Temperature Evaporation

This opportunity is now closed.

This project is funded by: UU Scholarship for EPSRC Lot-net

Subjects: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning and Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


The aim of LoT-NET is to prove a cost-effective near-zero emissions solution for heating and cooling that realises the huge potential of waste heat and renewable energies by utilising a combination of a low-cost low-loss flexible heat distribution network together with novel input, output and storage technologies.

The EU is cutting the availability of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 79% between 2015 and 2030 due to high Global Warming Potential and alternative fluids must be evaluated. BEIS see heat pumps as part of decarbonisation of space heating but their high cost is noted by BEIS involvement in the global initiative “Mission Innovation: Affordable Heating and Cooling”. The vapour compression heat pump operating in conjunction with lower grade heat networks e.g. below 30°C or solar energy, can uplift such heat to underfloor heating temperatures (<40°C) with a coefficient of performance >10 (very low running costs) and provide domestic hot water temperatures avoiding legionella concerns (~60°C) with a coefficient of performance >5.0 with current refrigerants e.g. R410a and R32. However revised heat exchangers must be developed. Extending the temperature lift further sees fluids such as R1233zd being able to upgrade low grade waste heat to process temperatures.

Thus, this project will focus initially on the development of low temperature lift heat pumps focussing on novel evaporator development and solar augmentation. It will then extend into higher temperature units to address space heating and process applications.

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


This project is funded by: UU Scholarship for EPSRC Lot-net

    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £15,009 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.

UU Scholarship for EPSRC Lot-net

Other information

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Friday 21 June 2019
Interview Date
28 June 2019


Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses

Contact Supervisor

Professor Neil Hewitt

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #421725 when applying for this PhD opportunity