Vacancy No. IMT 31-2023

IMT 31-2023 Master Thesis: Heat Pump Systems for Residential Buildings

Job description

Major economies are adopting laws to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Meeting the increasing demand for heat and the associated wide-ranging and diverse challenges requires exploiting energy resources in the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable way possible. Novel systems to improve the fuel-to-heat efficiency in domestic heating applications are required. In this thesis, a techno-economic comparative study is conducted to assess the competitiveness of four technologies for domestic heating in Germany:

(i) electricity-driven standalone heat pumps;

(ii) electricity-driven solar-assisted heat pumps;

(iii) hydrogen-driven absorption heat pumps;

(iv) conventional natural gas boilers, for different scenarios.

The overall aim of the research is to present a methodology for identifying promising heat pump technologies that can be used to meet the demand for space heating and hot water in domestic applications. The trade-offs between the cost and performance of different current and disruptive heat-pump solutions will be explored and the techno-economic potential of innovative systems will be assessed and compared against conventional natural gas-fired heating technologies. The objectives of the thesis are:

  • To compare different heat pump solutions in terms of payback time, total lifetime cost, levelized cost of energy, total cost, and environmental impact
  • To compare different heat pump solutions under different fuel prices, i.e., electricity, natural gas and hydrogen prices
  • To compare different heat pump solutions under different economic parameters, i.e., market discount rate and fuel inflation rate

This master thesis project provides an exciting opportunity to work on a hot topic within sustainable energy technology for energy transition. The project offers the chance to contribute to the development of new research findings and may result in the opportunity to co-author conference and/or journal publications.

Personal qualification

Field of Study: Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics and related programs of study

We are looking for ambitious, creative and self-motivated individuals, who like to work in a multidisciplinary and international team.

Interest in thermodynamic analysis and modelling of heat pump systems are desirable for this project. Basic heat pump model will be provided, and the student will need to understand and develop them further, performing specific case studies.

It would be desirable for students applying for this position to have some experience with the MATLAB programming language, as the models will be developed in a MATLAB environment.

Organizational unit

Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT)

Starting date

on appointment

Contract duration

6-8 Months

Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dr. Jingyuan Xu, phone +49 721 608-22752, e-mail:


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number IMT 31-2023.
Personnel support is provided by 

Ms Carrasco Sanchez
phone: +49 721 608-42016,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.