Postdoctoral Fellow, Combined Cooling, Heating and Power System for Renewable Multi-energy Supply

Trondheim, Norway
11 Jan 2022
End of advertisement period
21 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position 

The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow in Combined Cooling, Heating and Power System for Renewable Multi-energy Supply. The position is part of the research project “Key technologies and demonstration of combined cooling, heating and power generation for low-carbon neighbourhoods/buildings with clean energy - ChiNoZEN” jointly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in China and the Research Council of Norway (RCN). This announcement relates to position funded by RCN and will be hired by NTNU.

The Norwegian part of the project is linked to the four Research Centres on Environment-friendly Energy (FME Centres): FME ZEN, FME HighEFF, FME SuSolTech and FME Cineldi, hosted by NTNU, SINTEF Community, SINTEF Energy Research, and Institute for Energy Technology (IFE). The Chinese consortium comprises prominent universities and industry partners: Beijing Jiaotong University, China Academy of Building Research, Gree Electric Appliances, Inc. of Zhuhai, Solareast Holdings Co. Ltd., Lanzhou University of Technology, North China Electric Power University (NCEPU), Qingdao Somir Energy Science and Technology Co. Ltd., Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tsinghua University, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology.

The commitment of the ChiNoZEN project is to contribute to a significant increase in the share of low-carbon buildings and neighbourhoods through research cooperation between leading Chinese and Norwegian scientists. The ChiNoZEN project supports the transition to a reliable, affordable, publicly accepted, sustainable built environment, aiming at reducing fossil fuel dependency in the face of increasingly scarce resources, growing energy needs, and threatening climate change. The project delivers new knowledge, solutions and innovative technologies
for low-carbon buildings and neighbourhoods.

The research is carried out in five work packages (WPs): WP1 Performance of grid-connected photovoltaic technologies (PVT) with Thermal Energy Storage (TES), WP2 High temperature heat pump (HTHP) and dynamic performance, WP3 Simulation platform and control strategy of CCHP, WP4 Key CCHP technologies of low carbon neighbourhood and buildings with multiple energy sources, and WP5 Demonstration of low carbon neighbourhood and buildings with clean energy.

The Norwegian part of the ChiNoZEN project is managed by FME ZEN and hosted by the Faculty of Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology - NTNU.
Two PhD and four postdoctoral fellow positions for the Norwegian part of the ChiNoZEN project are located in various departments at NTNU and IFE, ensuring the cross-disciplinary research needed in order to reach the aim of the project. All PhD and postdoctoral fellows will stay minimum six months with one of the partners in China.

The Head of Department of Energy and Process Engineering is Professor Terese Løvås. The day-to-day position management and supervision is by Professor Vojislav Novakovic.

Duties of the position

We are looking for postdoctoral fellow related to WP4 Key CCHP technologies of low carbon neighbourhood and buildings with multiple energy sources: Combined Cooling, Heating and Power System for Renewable Multi-energy Supply (WP4 Postdoctoral Fellowship).


A combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) system generates cooling, heating and power at the same time. A typical CCHP system
consists of the power generation unit (PGU) that provides electricity to cover the user demand. Heat, produced as a by-product, is collected to meet cooling and heating demands via the absorption chiller (ABC) and the heating unit (HU). In this way, three types of energy, i.e., cooling, heating and electricity, can be supplied simultaneously. Compared with conventional separate generating plants, a CCHP system has three advantages: higher efficiency, lower GHG emissions and higher reliability.

In this research work different CCHP systems comprising a clean energy driven PGU, ABC and the HU will be compared. The electricity and heat from other renewable energy systems, such as the PV/T, HP and TES developed in WP1, will also be connected to form a smart energy grid, and the electricity, heating and cooling will be balanced in view of the requirements from demand side. The control strategy developed in WP3 will be used. The energy related human behaviour relevant to low-carbon neighbourhoods and buildings should be taken into consideration when designing the system. The performance will be studied using dynamic simulations where both the design (e.g. temperature levels and components sizes) and the overall system control will be optimized. Two main performance indicators are the energy efficiency and the peak-shaving potential.

Research questions:

  • Determine the best components (PGU, ABC and HU) to form the CCHP system
  • Define the optimal design and operation strategy of the CCHP system coupled with the PV/T, HP and TES system (e.g. sizing and system layout)
  • Develop methods for user-centric design and operation of distributed energy generation systems based on renewable sources.
  • Compare the overall system performance with other standard heating strategies

Essential selection criteria

  • A Postdoctoral Fellowship is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions. The
    candidate must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree, or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree, in thermal and energy systems engineering or equivalent education
  • Furthermore, the candidate should have excellent communication skills in English (oral and written)
  • The candidate should be able and willing to work in an inter-disciplinary environment
  • The candidate must enclose a research project description (max. 3 pages incl. references) indicating his/her view of the main research challenges in the area of the position, how they suggest to do the research work and how this is relevant for their own background and the above research objectives and questions

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Desirable selection criteria

  • Research or professional experience in one or several of the following domains will be highly appreciated: CCHP, analysis of thermal systems using dynamic simulations (typically TRNSYS or Modelica), data pre- and post-processing in tools like Python or MATLAB, energy related human behaviour
  • Knowledge of the Norwegian language will be considered as an advantage
  • Candidates familiar with the domain of ZEN and experienced with international cooperation, particularly with China, would be preferred 

Personal characteristics

  • Confidence in working independently
  • Ability and willingness to work in inter- and transdisciplinary teams
  • Creativity 
  • Critical thinking
  • Excellent communication skills

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 553 500 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. 

The period of employment is 2 years.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work. 

The position is subject to external funding (ta stilling til om stillinger skal være betinget av ekstern finansiering). 

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis. 

About the application 

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above.  

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result. 

The application must include: 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • List of publications  
  • Research project description (max. 3 pages incl. references) indicating the applicant`s view of the main research challenges in the area of the position, how they suggest to do the research work and how this is relevant to their own background and the above research objectives and questions 
  • Name and address of three referees 

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well. 

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas, certificates and other required documents. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Applicants with European Master`s qualifications from outside Norway are required to include a Diploma Supplement. Applicants with Master`s qualifications from China are required to include confirmation of Master`s Diplomas from China Credentials Verification (CHSI):

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation. 

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA. 

General information 

Working at NTNU 

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background.  

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.  

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted. 

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants. 

Questions about the ChiNoZEN Project or the position should be directed to the ChiNoZEN Project Manager Professor Vojislav Novakovic, Questions about the recruitment process should be directed to Renate Fjellheim,

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-47/22 when applying.  

Previous applicants need not apply.

Application deadline: 21.01.2022 


NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 21st January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Gløshaugen

Similar jobs

Similar jobs