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Interview with Panagiotis Lykas: PhD candidate at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece for StoRIES transnational access programme



Introducing Panagiotis Lykas, a committed Ph.D. candidate at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece's Department of Thermal Engineering. Driven by a desire to progress energy conversion and storage systems, Panagiotis Lykas took the opportunity to be a part of the StoRIES international access programme. Under the guidance of their supervisor, Professor Christos Tzivanidis, the transnational access programme offered an opportunity to visit state-of-the-art research facilities and work with subject matter experts.


In this interview, Panagiotis Lykas talks about their time at the PROTEAS research facility in Cyprus, exploring the valuable experiences and knowledge they had while there.


1. Why did you decide to participate in the StoRIES transnational access

programme?


Currently, I am conducting my PhD research at the Department of Thermal Engineering in the School of Mechanical Engineering, at the National Technical University of Athens in Greece. The focus of my PhD is on novel energy conversion, and storage systems, with an emphasis on thermal storage applications. My supervisor, Professor Christos Tzivanidis first informed me about the StoRIES transnational access programme and the funding opportunities it offers to young researchers to visit various research facilities and work at them. My supervisor also had some collections with the Cyprus Institute, which is the host research organization. So, he encouraged me to participate in the transnational access programme and visit the PROTEAS research facility in Cyprus. This facility focuses on the exploitation of renewable energy sources, and energy storage techniques. I accepted this suggestion, as I was interested in visiting a real research facility, observing its real-time operation, and conducting experimental, and simulation studies on it.



2. How was your stay at the research infrastructure organisation?


The purpose of my trip to Cyprus was to work at the PROTEAS research infrastructure and the Cyprus Institute. My work was mainly focused on the concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, which was placed there, and included a heliostat field associated with a central receiver, and a molten salt storage tank. First, I visited all the systems which were integrated into that facility, and also the main building of the facility, which included the receiver, the storage tank, and the control room. During that visit, I had the opportunity to observe and understand the performance of a CSP plant in real-time conditions. The staff explained to me how the implemented systems were working and interacted with each other during the daily operation. Additionally, I watched how the staff was dealing with problems that arose during the operation. From that database, I received experimental data about the performance of the central receiver and the molten salt storage tank. Based on the received experimental data, I performed data processing, simulation studies, and model validation procedures.


3. How did the transnational access enrich your research?


My Ph.D. research and scope is the investigation and analysis of thermal energy storage systems, as well as the possible hybridization with other storage technologies, in solar power plants, and buildings. At PROTEAS research infrastructure and the Cyprus Institute, I had the opportunity to work at a high level research facility, that was focused on solar concentration technology, and thermal energy storage. More specifically, I observed the real-time operation of the facility, and I received experimental data to perform data processing and simulation studies. The significant experimental feedback received during that visit was very useful and beneficial for my research. That research experience was not possible in my home organization. Finally, I contacted research staff and received feedback from experts in my research fields.


If you would like to apply for the 5th transnational access call, click here!

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