2x PhD scholarships with the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute

We currently have two PhD scholarships on offer with the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI).

Project 1: Heliostats


Heliostats are arranged in staggered rows surrounding a central tower to maximise the efficiency of thermal energy collected at the receiver. The aerodynamic effects of vortex shedding and wake interference in a heliostat field deviate significantly from the incoming ABL turbulence on a single heliostat, depending on the arrangement of the field and the spacing between the heliostats. 

The aim of this project is to develop a detailed understanding of the effect of field arrangement on the dynamic wind loads on heliostats. This is to be achieved through the design of a heliostat field model and the measurement of the wind loads on individual heliostats in wind tunnel experiments. Reduction of the dynamic wind loads on heliostats in different rows of a field due to vortex-induced vibrations from upstream heliostat vortex shedding and turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer provides an opportunity to reduce the cost of the wind-sensitive heliostat components.

Project 2: High-temperature solar receiver technology

Investigate passive methods of convection suppression through laboratory-scale wind and/or water tunnel experiments and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of a cavity receiver to optimise of high-temperature sodium receivers for maximal efficiency and lifetime considering flux, temperature and stress limitations. 

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