Birmingham Energy Institute Newsletter - August 2016

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Birmingham Energy Institute bi-monthly newsletter.

In this edition, I am pleased to highlight a new collaborative Energy Storage Research Laboratory between the University of Birmingham and Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute Europe (GEIRIEU) of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). The laboratory will aim to address scientific and technological challenges in thermal and cryogenic energy storage, and their integration and application in energy networks.

The Birmingham Energy Institute is also leading on the Thermal Energy Accelerator (T-ERA), part of the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) project, to drive the development and integration of a range of thermal energy technologies. To find out about latest updates and developments, please visit the new website.

As ever, I look forward to receiving your thoughts, comments and opinions, but, most of all, your involvement.

Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute


Birmingham and China State GridBirmingham and China State Grid unveil a joint lab on energy storage research

The University of Birmingham and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) have unveiled a joint lab in energy storage research.

The laboratory will aim to address scientific and technical challenges in thermal and cryogenic energy storage as well as the integration and application in energy networks. It will also bring together complementary expertise that will accelerate the process of translating cutting edge research into practice. 


UK and BrazilEnergy Storage in the UK and Brazil   

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, Senior Research Fellow and Policy Director, Birmingham Energy Institute, co-wrote a UK-Brazil report on Energy Storage in the UK and Brazil – Challenges, Capability and Opportunities, commissioned by the British Embassy in Brasilia.

The report presents opportunities for collaborative activities between UK and Brazil in electrical and thermal energy storage innovation. The UK has strong research and demonstration capabilities, whilst in Brazil there is an expanding energy sector with a need to strengthen the infrastructure and a desire to consider the role of new technologies.


Fuel Cell ConferenceBirmingham hosts 2016 Annual Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technical Conference 

The University of Birmingham hosted the 2016 Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technical Conference (FCH2) at Millennium Point in Birmingham in May 2016.

Chaired by Professor Robert Steinberger-Wilckens, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research, University of Birmingham, the conference welcomed esteemed speakers from UK universities and businesses including Birmingham City Council, Toyota and Innovate UK. 


Toby Peters blogThe potential of air - born out of a garage invention, liquid air into two commercial demonstrations  

Toby Peters, Founder of Dearman Engine Company and Visiting Professor in Power and Cold Economy, University of Birmingham, discusses the discovery of Peter Dearman’s innovative invention.

“In the fifteen years since Peter Dearman first sprang his ‘garden shed’ invention onto the world, its significance is growing. What started as a clever way to displace fossil fuels in piston engines has spawned, not only an emerging suite of zero-emission technologies that have the potential to solve several stubborn energy problems, but also an entirely new way of thinking about cooling…”

T-ERA videoExplainer: Thermal Energy Research Accelerator (T-ERA) 

Watch Professor Martin Freer, Director, Birmingham Energy Institute; Toby Peters, Founder, Dearman Engine Company; and Neil Rawlinson, Strategic Development Director, Manufacturing Technology Centre discuss how T-ERA is driving the development and integration of a range of thermal and cryo energy technologies.


PhD blogPlatinum: The Hydrogen Economy's Achilles Heel 

James Walker, PhD student at the University of Birmingham, explores the impacts that platinum market trends are having upon fuel cell commercialisation.

“Platinum. Whether in a ring on your finger, in a filling in one of your teeth or in the catalytic converter in your car, you are probably more familiar with this versatile transition metal than you realise. Being a ductile, yet stable and corrosion-tolerant material, with established catalytic activity, platinum is a material in high demand…”


Cold Economy LectureThe Cold Economy or "the value of sorting an absence of energy"

Wednesday 19 October 2016, 17:00 - 18:00
University of Birmingham 

The Birmingham Energy Institute is delighted to invite you to attend a lecture  on ‘The Cold Economy’, delivered by Toby Peters, Founder of Dearman, and Visiting Professor in Power and Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham.

The lecture will explore the cold economy, and the role and challenges of delivering disruptive innovation as a start-up company.

To attend, please register online.


EEERA confEuropean Energy Research Alliance Conference 2016 

Thursday 24 - Friday 25 November 2016
University of Birmingham

The Energy Research Accelerator and the UK Energy Research Centre will be joint hosting the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Annual Conference 2016 at the University of Birmingham.

The conference is an opportunity for UK energy stakeholders to network and form new partnerships with over 250 representatives of universities, national laboratories and industry members from across Europe.

To attend, please register online


Critical Materials WorkshopBirmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials Workshop 

Tuesday 13 September, 9:00 - 17:00 (lunch will be provided)
University House, Lecture Theatre G12

Over recent years the world’s supply of certain elements and materials (e.g. rare earth elements and platinum group metals) has come under increasing pressure owing to short supply. Supply restrictions have occurred for a number of reasons including: low natural abundance in the earth’s crust; deliberate restrictions on supply from one or more dominant producer(s); low recycling rates; and rapid expansion of technologies that use these elements.

The Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials, a newly established Centre within the Birmingham Energy Institute, aims to address these current issues. This workshop is an introductory networking event to bring researchers together and showcase activity from across the University.

To find out more and to attend, please contact Gavin Harper.


BEI lecture seriesBirmingham Energy Institute Lecture Series

The Birmingham Energy Institute has welcomed a host of  speakers including Lord John Hutton, Chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association; Professor John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Advisor, DECC; and Nick Winser, Chairman of the Energy Systems Catapult. 

Upcoming speakers include Sir David King, Special Representative for Climate Change; Dr Karsten Muller, University Erlangen; and Suzanne Buchta, Managing Director, Debt Capital Markets. 

For more information and to attend upcoming lectures, please register online.