Birmingham Energy Institute - December 2014

University of Birmingham

December 2014

I am delighted to launch the new, dedicated Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) In Focus bi-monthly newsletter.

Energy research is a subject which transcends discipline and College boundaries and lies at the heart of a national revolution driven by the imperatives of low generation and energy security. As we look to the future, research in energy is likely to be funded strongly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK and Horizon2020, and research solutions will require bringing disciplines together.

The Birmingham Energy Institute brings together our research centres linked to:

  • Energy Storage
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Fuel Cells and their Fuels
  • Railway and Automotive Systems
  • Energy Policy and Economics

These newsletters will highlight the activity of the BEI, together with the opportunities for collaboration. In this first edition I am pleased to highlight some important new appointments to the Institute as well as developments for the new centre for energy storage and the launch of our next policy commission on the 'cold economy'.

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

Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute

We are now on Twitter! Join the online conversation with @bhamenergy

Professor Sharon Robinson

Highview Cryogenic Storage Pilot Plant Arrives at the University of Birmingham

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. Read the full article online.


Sport logo

Cryogenic Energy Storage Expands On the World Stage

Highview Power Storage, a UK based designer and developer of Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) systems and a major collaborator in the Birmingham Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage (BCCES) has signed a licence agreement with Advanced Emissions Solutions of Denver, Colorado.

High view's 350kW/2.5MWh pilot plant, which proved the viability of this grid-scale energy storage solution, is currently being moved from Slough to the University of Birmingham campus in the UK deployment of this exciting technology. Read the full article online.


Music and Alabaster

A cool appointment: Birmingham introduces new Visiting Professor of Power and Cold Economy
Toby Peters, long-time advocate of UK-based innovation in energy systems and founder of Highview Power and the Dearman Engine Company, has been appointed to the position of Visiting Professor in Power and Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham.

As the need for 'cold' across the globe increases with a rising demand for air conditioning, industrial and medical cooling and refrigerated food storage and transport, a radical new, sustainable approach needs to be taken to the way 'cold' is provided and recycled. Read the full article online.


Music and Alabaster

Appointment of Professor Ted Darby, Rolls-Royce to Honorary Visiting Chair in "Nuclear Reactor Materials"

In recognition of Ted Darby's leadership in nuclear materials and contribution to marine reactor safety the University of Birmingham has appointed him to an Honorary Visiting Chair in Nuclear Reactor Materials in the School of Metallurgy and Materials.

This coincides with a national resurgence in interest and need to underpin the nuclear new-build and life-extension programmes with nuclear materials expertise. Furthermore, there is growing interest in Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology. Read the full article online.


Music and Alabaster

High Speed Rail: Celebrating ambition
The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education last week hosted an international conference on high speed rail. The 3-day event explored new developments in transport power as part of a celebration of 50 years of high speed rail and important debate on how to prepare for future generations.

Highlights of the conference have been recorded in storify.


Music and Alabaster

Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI)- 'Commission on Cold'
In 2015, the Birmingham Energy Institute will launch its policy commission on the 'cold economy'. Birmingham Policy Commissions bring leading figures from the public, private and third sectors together with Birmingham academics to generate new thinking on contemporary issues of global, national and civic concern.

At the Birmingham Energy Institute, our aim is to look at cold at a system level, joining up the demand and the waste. This approach would cut energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, toxic air pollution and cost. Read the full article online.


Music and Alabaster

Parliamentary and Scientific Committee Appearance
On Tuesday 18 November, Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, Senior Research Fellow, and Toby Peters, Honorary Professor, Chair of Power and Cold Economy, at the University of Birmingham, presented to the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee at the Palace of Westminster, to discuss the issues surrounding Energy Storage.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee is a major focus for scientific and technological issues providing a liaison between Parliamentarians and scientific bodies, science-based industry and the academic world.

Read the full article online.


pic Reducing food waste, protecting the environment and creating economic growth in India through liquid air cold chains
43 billion (4.4 billion pounds) worth of fruit and vegetables wasted annually in India could be better conserved if the country had a sustainable cold chain of refrigerated warehousing and transport, say University of Birmingham (UK) experts in a new study.

As well as agriculture, cold chains could benefit India's position as the world's third largest pharmaceutical producer. Currently, it is estimated almost 20 per cent of temperature sensitive healthcare products arrive damaged or degraded because of a broken cold chain, including 25 per cent of vaccines. Read the full article online.


Music and Alabaster
pic Research at the University of Birmingham takes one step forward towards making fuel cells cheaper and more affordable
Research carried out at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with Royal Military College, Canada, explores new and cheaper ways of increasing the carbon monoxide (CO) tolerance, which will play a significant role in improving the durability of fuel cells and making them more cost effective.

Fuel cells are green electrochemical sources for energy generation that use hydrogen (or hydrogen based chemicals), as fuel, which combines with oxygen in the presence of platinum (Pt) based catalysts to produce electricity, water and heat. Read the full article online.


The Birmingham Energy Institute
B15 2TT


Web: us on Twitter

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences