49612: Engineer in Energy/Environmental/Water studies or similar - Energy-Water-Nexus - Development of a modelling framework for the integrated energy and water planning in water-scarce countries

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Stuttgart, Germany

Work group:

Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics

Area of research:

Other,PHD Thesis

Part-Time Suitability:

The position is suitable for part-time employment.

Job description:

The Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics at DLR in Stuttgart works in the field of efficient energy storage systems as well as next generation energy conversion technologies with a staff of more than 150 scientific and technical employees, engineers and doctoral candidates. Our department of “Energy Systems Analysis” provides methods and tools which support problem solving on system and technology level.

Many countries of the world suffer from water scarcity. The situation will become even worse in the coming decades due to the increase in water demand and the impacts of climate change. Among other measures, seawater desalination has proven to be a viable option to bridge the gap between natural water availability and demand. The global demand for desalination has increased dramatically in recent years, and this trend is likely to continue. Furthermore, the potential of extensive wastewater treatment for the reuse of water and economically interesting substances is largely untapped in most countries with water scarcity. Since both seawater desalination and advanced wastewater treatment are energy-intensive, the use of renewable energy is necessary to achieve also climate protection goals. However, this requires an additional expansion of energy generation plants.

Most existing publications on renewable seawater desalination focus on a single-technology assessment, while the future role of desalination within an integrated energy and water system is not addressed sufficiently in current research. Previous work on wastewater treatment and material cycles at DLR provides a well-founded picture of the basic principles of process engineering, but little attention is yet paid to the possibilities of using renewable electricity and heat.

We seek a highly motivated PhD student providing a substantial contribution to close existing research gaps in the coupled energy and water analysis. New methods and models have to be developed for the planning of integrated energy-water systems with high geographical and spatial resolution. For the development of the methodological framework of the PhD thesis, different options can be evaluated, based on a further development of already existing models programmed in Python and GAMS. The modelling results are to be developed in the context of ongoing and planned future project work together with strategic research partners and evaluated with regard to mainly techno-economic research questions.

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Quote Reference: 49612