Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI) - Postgraduate Research Scholarship - Solar receiver technology

Applications open
17 March 2020
Applications close
31 October 2020
Payment per year
$10,000 per annum top up scholarship - conditional upon securing a RTPS scholarship valued at $28,092 per annum
Duration
3 years
Program
PhD
Degree
Postgraduate Research
Citizenship
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
Type of Scholarship
Academic
Available In
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Available To
Future

There is a need for the development of high-temperature solar receiver technology if advanced power cycles such as the s-CO2 Brayton cycle are to be pursued.  Current state-of-the-art molten salt receivers are limited in temperature to below 600°C.  Through a detailed scoping study, the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI) Receiver team identified sodium receivers and particle receivers as having most promise for further development. Sodium is an attractive heat transfer fluid, with a broad liquid temperature range suited to high temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) applications and outstanding heat transfer properties which allow for innovative new receiver configurations to minimise heat loss.

The aim of this project is to investigate passive methods of convection suppression (cowlings, fillets, curvatures) through laboratory-scale wind and/or water tunnel experiments and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of a cavity receiver. This will develop understanding of how mechanical stresses and creep-fatigue mechanisms constrain design; investigate geometries that best take advantage of the heat transfer properties of sodium to demonstrate improved efficiency, ensuring higher receiver efficiency isn’t counteracted by other losses (e.g. heat exchange) and building confidence that materials/coating exist for T>700°C.  The design optimisation of high-temperature receivers for maximal efficiency and lifetime considering flux, temperature and stress limitations will be used to develop general guidelines on thermo-mechanical design standards for high-temperature CSP.

The School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide was ranked in the top 100 of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2019. The Centre for Energy Technology (CET) are internationally recognised for their leading research into clean energy technologies and practices that reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and decrease the cost of energy. The CET is one of South Australia’s fastest-growing research groups working to transition our society to renewable energy, including a contribution to solar thermal energy research in ASTRI. ASTRI is funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Further information is available at here

The School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide was ranked in the top 100 of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2019. The Centre for Energy Technology (CET) are internationally recognised for their leading research into clean energy technologies and practices that reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and decrease the cost of energy. The CET is one of South Australia’s fastest-growing research groups working to transition our society to renewable energy, including a contribution to solar thermal energy research in ASTRI. Further details on the heliostat wind load and aerodynamics research group, publications, experimental facilities and data can be found here

Essential:

Eligible candidates must:

  • Have completed a Bachelor of degree with a 1st class Honours, or a Masters degree that contains a significant (and relevant) research component with equivalent academic performance
  • Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia who are acceptable as candidates for a PhD degree at the University of Adelaide.
  • Applicants will be required to successfully secure a Research Training Program Scholarship in the major domestic scholarship-funding round, which will open on September 1, 2020. 
  • Be assessed by the Adelaide Graduate Centre as meeting all conditions for admission to the Doctoral program. For more information about the entry requirements for Higher Degrees by Research at the University of Adelaide, please visit the Adelaide Graduate Centre’s website.
  • Be living in, or able to relocate to, South Australia for the duration of the scholarship
  • Not hold a qualification at the same or at a higher level than the research higher degree program you are undertaking
  • Not be receiving a living allowance award, scholarship or salary providing a benefit greater than 75% of the RTP Scholarship living allowance rate to undertake the research higher degree program
  • Students applying for this scholarship should plan for a start date of no later than January 2021.

Desirable:

  • Applicants with strong experimental and numerical skills in heat transfer, fluid mechanics and/or thermodynamics, particularly in wind and/or water tunnel experiments and CFD will be considered favourably.
  • Excellent students who hold a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering or a double degree with Chemical Engineering would be especially suitable and encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants with well-developed written and verbal communication skills will be considered favourably.

Access to authorised travel, tailored professional development training and research project funds will also be available.

Your faculty’s broader role

The Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences is a thriving centre of learning, teaching and research in a vast range of engineering disciplines, computer science - including machine learning - and high-level mathematics. Many of its academic staff are work leaders in their fields and graduates are highly regarded by employers.

Learn more about the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at: ecms.adelaide.edu.au

How to apply

Please address the eligibility criteria and email a copy of your CV and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in applying for this scholarship to maziar.arjomandi@adelaide.edu.au

For a confidential discussion regarding this position, contact:

Maziar Arjomandi

School of Mechanical Engineering

P: +61 (0) 831 38128

E: maziar.arjomandi@adelaide.edu.au

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