A density-based topology optimization methodology for thermal energy storage systems

Christian Lundgaard, Kurt Engelbrecht, Ole Sigmund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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As many renewable energy resources are prone to an intermittent production of energy and the electric energy demand varies on daily and seasonal time-scales, it is critical to develop technologies which can reduce the residual between the production and the consumption of electric energy. By storing and releasing thermal energy and converting energy between thermal and electric phases, thermal energy storage (TES) systems can be used to reduce this residual. In this paper, we present a design methodology which can be used to improve the performance of TES systems by distributing two materials with different thermal characteristics in a two dimensional design space. The design methodology is developed with basis in density-based topology optimization and a transient potential flow model coupled with heat transfer. By solving a sequence of design problems, important model and optimization parameters are identified and the performance of TES systems is increased by 46% compared with benchmark designs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2189-2204
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Multiphysics
  • Solar energy
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Topology optimization
  • Transient problems


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