Increasing amounts of renewable energy will be critical to meeting the UK’s net zero targets. However, wind and solar are variable over timescales from seconds to seasons, and electricity consumption is expected to grow over coming decades.
The development of new and alternative energy storage approaches will be an important feature of the future energy system that allows the grid to be managed effectively. This requires an increase to the current storage capacities and associated scale-up and integration of energy storage technologies.
I am delighted that our BCES colleagues have been awarded the grants to address grid scale storage challenges. This research, the development of the technologies and the integration of these solutions in to existing and future infrastructure all play a key role in our national commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 goals.Professor Yulong Ding, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage
The projects supported are:
- Energy Storage Integration for a Net Zero Grid
Led by the University of Sheffield and supported by Dr Jonathan Radcliffe the Energy Storage Integration for a Net Zero Grid project will determine how different distributed energy storage devices, of different sizes and technologies, can be integrated into the grid.
This project will build on the £5m MANIFEST project, led by Dr Radcliffe. The project will investigate where and how energy storage could be connected to the grid, how it could be controlled and what policies and market conditions would be required to meet the storage requirements of the grid.
- Plasma Assisted Thermo-Chemical energy storage for Carnot batteries (PATCH)
PATCH is a collaborative project led by Professor Yongliang Li and supported by Professor Gary Leeke, in partnership with the University of Liverpool and the London School of Economics and Political science. The project will focus on the development of a new, high-temperature thermochemical heat storage technology that can be integrated into the retrofitting of thermal power plants.
More specifically, the intermittent and excessive grid electricity can be flexibly absorbed via plasma assisted reduction reaction (charging process). The ‘charged’ thermochemical heat storage materials can be used as ‘fuel’ to generate electricity to the grid during times of peak demand. This approach is also cost-effective as it uses recycled waste metallic materials for the manufacture of the thermochemical heat storage materials.
- High Performance Compressed Air Energy Storage Elevated through High-Temperature Thermal Storage (Hi-CAES)
The Hi-CAES project, led by University of Warwick and supported by Professor Yulong Ding, aims to hybridise Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) with High Temperature Thermal Energy Storage (HTES) and address achieving a high energy conversion efficiency, high energy and power density, and operation flexibility.
The HTES work will build on the NexGen-TEST project, which will use high-voltage (33-132kV) and low-current electrical supply for generating high temperature heat (600-950oC) and storing the heat in high temperature composite phase change materials. This will reduce energy losses and eliminate the needs for transformers, leading to cost reduction and helping mitigate network congestion.