Over 300 researchers and senior scientists in academia and industry attended the first UK Energy Storage Research Conference (UKES2014) on Tuesday 25 – Thursday 27 November 2014. The University of Birmingham concluded the conference with a tour of the Birmingham Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage, and a preview of the installation of the Cryogenic Storage pilot plant, set to take shape on the University’s campus in spring 2015.


The conference, organised by the Energy Storage Research Network (ESRN), the SUPERGEN Energy Storage Hub and the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and hosted by the University of Warwick, provided an inclusive platform for all researchers in Energy Storage, to present their work through talks and poster sessions and celebrate the best research and innovation in energy storage across all sectors.

Delegates rounded off the prestigious conference with a visit to Birmingham’s new Centre for Energy Storage and a preview of the Cryogenic Energy Storage pilot plant, as Highview Power Storage delivered the 60 tonne liquid nitrogen tank which acts as the energy store for the technology.

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, Programme Director of Energy Storage, Centre for Low Carbon Futures and University of Birmingham, and member of the UKES Scientific Advisory Board said:

“The conference covered a full spectrum of issues regarding energy storage, which is now recognised as an important component of efficient and resilient low carbon energy systems. Sessions have looked at research on technical challenges of batteries, to market barriers that prevent development of devices at commercial scale.

The laboratory tours were a great opportunity to show delegates around the Birmingham Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage, which will compromise a suite of state-of-the-art laboratory spaces across the University of Birmingham. The Centre will offer facilities which will take energy storage research, through to grid-connected testing. It has been enabled by a £6 million capital grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and industrial and institutional contributions.

Professor Yulong Ding, Chair of Energy Storage at the University of Birmingham said:

To support the new £6m Cryogenic Energy Storage Centre, Highview has now relocated its 350kW/2.5MWh LAES pilot plant to Birmingham. The plant will be located next to the Chemical Engineering lab. I am excited about these future developments that will be empowered by our new state-of-the-art facilities. The goal is to keep the UK’s leading edge in the area of cryogenic energy storage and to facilitate industrial applications of the technology.

The site will be fully completed in spring 2015

A preview of the plant arrival has been shared on twitter

140 academic staff from 4 colleges and 17 schools at the University of Birmingham are engaged in energy and energy related research and development. The Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) is a focal point for the University and its national and international partners, to create change in the way we deliver, consume and think about energy. The focus being ‘Energy systems’, ‘The Business of Energy’, ‘Energy and Transport’ and ‘Breakthroughs in Energy Technologies’. Co-ordinated research, education and the development of global partnerships is at the heart of the Birmingham Energy Institute vision drawing on recognised centres of excellence in Energy Storage, Nuclear Energy, Fuel Cells and their Fuels, Railway and Automotive Systems and Energy Policy and Economics.

More information about the BEI can be found at www.birmingham.ac.uk/energy