China Energy Symposium
Delegates at the first UK-China symposium on energy storage

The University of Birmingham and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) organised the first UK-China symposium on energy storage – bringing together experts from both countries to plan how the innovative technology could help solve global environmental problems.

Delegates focussed on energy storage technologies with relatively high technology readiness levels or commercial potential, as well as their integration with renewable energy sources, transportation, electrical grids, and the process industry sectors.

The Beijing conference was partially funded by CAS and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in China, with the aim of establishing new and sustained links between academics, industry, government and non-government agents from both countries.

Professor Yulong Ding, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage, said: “The University of Birmingham is a global research institution and we were delighted to work with our colleagues in the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IET of CAS) to establish this ground-breaking event.

“The symposium was a great success and the opportunity to meet potential new collaborators face-to-face is something that is not replicable over Skype, telephone or similar platforms.

“One of the most telling outcomes is that we are already in discussion regarding the second UK-China Energy Storage Symposium. It will be fascinating to see what progress has been made and how new UK-China collaborations have progressed over the next year or so.”

The conference featured keynote addresses from Professor Yulong Ding; Professor Junqiang Zhu, Director, IET of CAS; and Frances Hooper, Head of the Science and Innovation Network in China.

Professor Ding and Professor Zhu focussed on the value of collaboration between the UK and China, whilst Ms Hooper highlighted the opportunities that lie ahead for UK-China collaborations in energy storage technologies.

Topics covered at the symposium included developments in energy storage technologies, the Chinese energy storage market, the recently initiated Faraday Challenge and challenges to the deployment of energy storage technologies.

Industrial partners including Dearman, Highview Power Storage, Innovatium and Sunamp presented on their respective project and product developments.

The second day of the conference featured tours at the laboratories of Institute of Physics (IOP) of CAS, IET of CAS, and Pu Neng Inc, where the symposium participants saw a compressed air energy storage demonstrator, a circulated fluidised bed for clean coal combustion, and a vanadium redox flow (VRF) battery system respectively.

The visit to the VRF was the highlight of the day, thanks to the participation of the CEO of Pu Neng, Mr Mianyan Huang. His enthusiasm for the technology was very clear and he did an excellent job of showing the various elements that are involved in manufacturing VRF batteries.

For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • It is ranked 7th in the UK for Graduate Employability (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014/15) and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment 2015/16 by The Times and Sunday Times.
  • The history of collaboration between China and the University of Birmingham dates back almost to the foundation of the University in 1901. The University’s China Institute was created in 2012 to reflect Birmingham’s extensive academic activities its colleagues undertake in China.