Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 2189–2204 | Cite as

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

  • Christian Lundgaard
  • Kurt Engelbrecht
  • Ole SigmundEmail author
Research Paper


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.


Thermal energy storage Solar energy Transient problems Topology optimization Multiphysics 


Funding information

This received financial support from the TopTen project sponsored by the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF-4005-00320).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringTechinical University of DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Energy Conversion and StorageTechinical University of DenmarkRoskildeDenmark

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