Alicia López de Ceballos


PhD summary

Latent heat thermophotovoltaic (LHTPV) batteries store energy converting electricity into latent heat in a phase change material with a very high melting point. When electricity is needed, a thermo-photovoltaic module transforms the latent heat into electricity which has associated some conversion losses in form of heat at low temperature (<60 ºC). If LHTPV is used for co generation applications, its relatively low efficiency can be counteracted. This rise in the round-trip-efficiency, added to its low cost could make LHTPV a good alternative to store the variable renewable energy surpluses. In the PhD I have recently started I will study the potential of electrifying the heat in a public administration building. To do so I will develop a micro-economic model in which a PV installation and a LHTPV are included in the large building in order to cover both electricity and heating demand. In the study I will simulate different configurations such as including electric heat pumps. In this model I will first develop a physical model of the charging and discharging (melting and solidification) of the phase change material. Additionally, I will perform a macro-economic study to analyse LHTPV potential in the European energy system.


Hello, I am Alicia López de Ceballos and I have recently started my PhD at Instituto de Energía Solar (Solar Energy Institute) with Iberdrola. I am a telecommunications engineer but when I finished the degree, I decided to focus my professional career on renewable energies. Hence, I went to Sweden to study a Solar Energy Engineering Master where I learned a lot about solar energy but also I grew personally. I did my master thesis about a techno economic analysis of a power to heat to power storage (PHPS) implemented in a large building. The PHPS stores surpluses of electricity in form of heat and when needed, heat is transformed into electricity with a heat to power converter (e.g., turbines, thermo-photovoltaic cells…). To do the analysis I developed a model which included a PV installation and a PHPS supporting the electrical grid when possible. After finishing my master thesis, I started working in the laboratory learning different PV cells manufacturing techniques, whilst I continued improving the techno economic model. This model has helped in analysing how relevant different technical and economic aspects of the PHPS are. We have recently published some of these results in a paper ( regarding a type of PHPS, the latent heat thermophotovoltaic (LHTPV) batteries. These batteries store energy in latent heat and transforms heat into electricity when required with a thermo-photovoltaic cell. In the publication, a thorough review of the technical parameters is performed in order to see its feasibility for different applications.