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POST-DOC Dynamic optimization of a combined solar system including a thermal battery based on phase change materials

The MCPBAT project follows the PLATSOLAR project which led to the creation of a first prototype of combined solar system whose work focused particularly on the study of the storage of thermal energy in sensitive form (prototype on a 1:1 scale) and in latent form (test bench with a storage device using Phase Change Materials, PCM, purchased « off the shelf »).

It is now a question of designing a thermal battery with phase change optimized for the storage and restitution (sequential or simultaneous) of energy. The aim of the work is to develop an efficient energy storage system that can be discharged at the same time, as it is charged (presence of two separate hydraulic circuits exchanging with the same PCM).

The objective of this project will therefore be to define the targeted applications and to select a compatible PCM. Then the thermal battery will be designed (thermo-mechanical/hydraulic aspects), modelled and tested in real conditions. Finally, the exploitation opportunities will be defined.
Due to its compactness and thermal performances, it is expected that this system will allow a better use of thermal energy (building, industry, …), while reducing the occupied space.

#Thermal battery #phase change material #thermal energy storage #dynamic optimization


Within the framework of this project, one of the missions of the Laboratory of Thermal Energy and Processes (LaTEP) is to develop a dynamic model of the system in order to optimize the concept of exchanger/storage unit and to propose a design assistance tool..
The main steps of the development carried out in the framework of this postdoc:

  • In a first step, it is necessary to develop a knowledge-based model able to describe the dynamic behavior of the system (solar panel, exchangers, storage and heat pump). Such a model, based in particular on the equations of conservation of matter and energy, will make it possible to link the state variables of the system and its parameters (design and operation). The complexity of the model will have to remain coherent with the final objective which is the dynamic optimization of the system.
  • This model will then be validated by comparing the experimental results (obtained on the I2M test bench in Bordeaux) with the simulation results. A parameter identification step will be conducted.
  • A sensitivity analysis phase will then select the relevant model parameters, in preparation for the next optimization step. A list of scenarios representative of the targeted application cases will be established in order to test the behavior of the storage system
  • Finally, the last step is dedicated to the formulation, the software implementation and the resolution of the technico-economic optimization of the design and the dynamic operation of the system subjected to the intermittency of the resource and the load variations.

Candidate profile

The candidate will have strong skills in thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, programming and modeling.

The candidate should master the concepts of numerical optimization (nonlinear programming) and the techniques of discretization of differential equations.

Writing skills will be appreciated. A good command of English is essential.

About LaTEP

The Laboratory of Thermics, Energetics and Processes, LaTEP EA 1932, works on the problem of the energy transition by carrying out research in engineering sciences in Energetics and Processes for the environment. LaTEP has 22 researchers, 1 administrative staff and about twenty doctoral and post-doctoral students. The research carried out in our laboratory, whether fundamental or technological, aims at proposing answers adapted to the sober, safe and efficient management of energy and to the development of innovative tools to improve the quality of the environment and the treatment of waste, always under the constraint of energy efficiency, which is essential today. The research activities of LaTEP are based on three main themes

  • Thermodynamics and characterization of electrolytic systems
  • Environmental process engineering
  • Experimentation and numerical optimization of energy systems

This project is part of the activities related to the last theme.


Laboratory of Thermics, Energetics and Processes, LaTEP


ENSGTI – LaTEP ; rue Jules Ferry ; 64000 Pau


12 months (starting April 2022)


2 900€/month

Applications (CV, cover letter, letters of recommendation) should be sent by email to Sylvain SERRA sylvain.serra@univ-pau.fr and Jean-Michel RENEAUME jean-michel.reneaume@univ-pau.fr

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