Integrated, Market-fit and Affordable Grid-scale Energy Storage (IMAGES)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

It is accepted that UK energy networks face a number of unprecedented challenges in the upcoming decades. These challenges include the threat to the security of energy supply due to declining indigenous fossil fuel reserves, increased reliance on imported fossil fuel (78% of coal and 50% of natural gas are imported, it is predicted that gas import will be over 80% in 2020), and planned retirement of ageing generation capacity over the next decade (approximately 20GW or 25% of the existing generation capacity); decarbonising electricity generation to achieve the goal of 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050; and coping with the future increases in electricity demand from electrification of transportation and space heating. To address these great challenges, it is recognized that the UK energy networks, must change, strategically and the existing regulatory arrangements should be examined to check if they are fit for the purpose of future energy network operations.

To ensure that power supply closely matches demand, the amount of electricity generated must be well controlled and managed. If the balance between supply and demand is broken and the difference exceeds a critical level, the power system may fail and cause a regional blackout. The UK is especially vulnerable in terms of network stability as it has a relatively isolated small island power network. Currently, 80% of our electricity is generated from fossil fuel (coal or gas) with the load balancing function mainly managed through fossil fuel peaking generation plants that respond to load changes. The mix of electricity generation in the UK will change dramatically with a large reduction in the use of coal and gas and an increase in the clean variable, intermittent renewable energy generators. The inherent energy storage capability that we currently enjoy due to our dependence on fossil fuel power generation will then be greatly reduced by 2030.

Solutions are needed to address the network challenges that will occur due to a decrease in the implicit energy storage available with the planned reduction in fossil fuel power generation and the integration of large amounts of unpredictable intermittent renewable sources. Energy storage can provide manifold values in i) help meeting of peaky large scale electrical loads, ii) providing time varying energy charge management, iii) allowing renewable power generation to be stored to alleviate intermittence, iv) improving power quality/reliability, v) meeting remote load needs, vi) storage for management of distributed power generation, etc. This proposed research programme will focus on the challenging technical and economic issues faced by integrating large grid scale energy storage with the energy network.

Planned Impact

The scope of our proposed project is very broad and this is reflected in the breadth of beneficiaries. They include:

- Government, policy makers and regulators who are seeking economically and technically viable solutions to the long-term challenges faced by our electricity network which are also socially and environmentally acceptable.

- A wide range of UK industries including electricity generators, network operators, infrastructure maintenance and equipment manufacturers who will benefit from the techno-economic context that our work will provide for energy storage in relation to future grid operation and also the new IP we will produce. Our project partners will have the initial access to the results under the agreement signed between partners.

- Industry and the wider general public who consume electricity (i.e. everyone - both domestic and commercial users) and who will become increasingly reliant on its efficient delivery in the coming decades. They will expect a reliable and consistent supply at a reasonable cost and with minimum impact on climate from greenhouse gas emissions.

- The British Geological Survey work will have direct input to UK geological underground storage resource information and contribute to formulation of energy policy and regulations.

- Other researchers in academia, industry and government, who will be interested in the scientific breakthroughs we make through our unique multi-disciplinary approach. This includes researchers both in the immediately related area of energy storage but also those engaged in the wider energy research field. The models and methodology developed for the whole system and CAES technology study can be shared among the academic community.

- Part of the research work proposed will utilise the data and parameters supplied by the industrial partners, which is very beneficial to the academic community. Results from the scientific and technical research will have direct relevance to the industrial business thereby creating immediate industrial impact.

- The group of researchers who will acquire an array of techno-economic and transferable skills and will therefore be well positioned with prospective employers. During the project, we plan to bring PhD research students to the team to explore the extended topics resulting from the project programme. The PhD researchers will gain experience of working with industry and a multidisciplinary academic team.

- The research findings can be integrated in the teaching contents at undergraduate and master's level across the disciplinary areas from technology, engineering, geology, economics and system sciences.
 
Description Through the project, a number of key findings are obtained. The findings will be updated next year. This time, one key finding is presented.

Through our study, we are confident about the UK underground storage space for compressed air energy. Based on the current technology, the underground salt caverns can storage over 6TWh energy which can be used for maintaining the balance of the power generation and the demand variations. A software tool is developed for CAES and TES modelling and simulation, which is placed to website as an open source software.
Exploitation Route The above find was presented at high level EPSRC scientific advisory board meeting and EERA report.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL http://integratedenergystorage.org/
 
Description Three animation programme were designed through this project which have been converted into a programme uploaded to Youtube. The viewing is over 1000 times already. http://integratedenergystorage.org/
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Education,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Poster at EPSRC Scientific Advisory meeting
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Title CAES and TE dynamic simulation tool 
Description The simulation tool is the first dynamic system modelling and simulation tool. THe project is now working on web design to allow the tool to be as open access resources to research community. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This will provide an open source tool for a wide research community. As it is just placed on the website, more story can be followed next year. 
 
Description Alstom - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Alstom
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description Atlas Copco - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Atlas Copco Compressors
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description Costain - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Costain Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description E ON - IMAGES project collaboration 
Organisation E ON
Department E ON Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description EMS for storage management 
Organisation Electrical and Mechanical Services UK Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have signed an evaluation license to the company.
Collaborator Contribution The company provide the test data to us.
Impact Power Meter to be used for the company's products (single phase)
Start Year 2011
 
Description ETI - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Energy Technologies Institute (ETI)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description Energetix Group plc 
Organisation Flowgroup
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007
 
Description GE Energy - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation General Electric
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description Gaelectric - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Gaelectric
Country Ireland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description Gateway - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Gateway Storage Company Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description Highview Power Storage - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Highview Power Storage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description INEOS - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation INEOS Enterprises
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description KBB Underground - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation KBB Underground
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2015
 
Description National Grid - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation National Grid Transco
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description PNU Power - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Energetix PNU Power
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description Rolls-Royce - IMAGES project collaboration 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Rolls-Royce - IMAGES project collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Rolls-Royce - IMAGES project collaboration
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description Saipem sa - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation Saipem S.p.A.
Country Italy 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution .
Impact .
Start Year 2012
 
Description renewableUK - IMAGES collaboration 
Organisation RenewableUK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution .
Collaborator Contribution wind farm location data in the UK
Impact .
Start Year 2015
 
Title Compressed Air Energy Storage System Exploits Low Grade Heat Capture to Increase Exergy Output 
Description en 
IP Reference GB1521372.1 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact ..
 
Title Compressed air energy storage system uses high grade thermal store to increase exergy storage capacity 
Description Garvey SD, Cárdenas B, Kantharaj BK and Pimm AJ, Compressed air energy storage system uses high grade thermal store to increase exergy storage capacity, September 2015 
IP Reference  
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact .
 
Title Direct Electricity Generation from Magnetic Scrolls 
Description Wang, J and Luo X., Direct Electricity Generation from Magnetic Scrolls, GB2014051062, 2014 (in the process of signing assignment of license agreement) 
IP Reference GB2014051062 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed No
Impact .
 
Title Direct electricity generation from magnetic scrolls 
Description It is an invention to generate electricity directly from the energy stored in compressed air. 
IP Reference GB1306165 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2013
Licensed Yes
Impact The invention has helped improve efficiency of the compressed air battery efficiency.
 
Title Energy Storage System Blends Two Different Air Compression Resources and Exploits External Low Grade Heat Input 
Description .. 
IP Reference GB1612878.7 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed No
Impact ..
 
Title High-efficiency adiabatic compressor/expander uses covered liquid pistons 
Description High-efficiency adiabatic compressor/expander uses covered liquid pistons 
IP Reference GB1509508.6 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact .
 
Title System for Compressed Air Energy Storage Boosts Net Work Output Using Low-Grade Heat 
Description Garvey SD, Cárdenas B, Kantharaj BK and Pimm AJ, "System for Compressed Air Energy Storage Boosts Net Work Output Using Low-Grade Heat". October 2015 
IP Reference  
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact .
 
Title CAES Dynamic System Simulation Software 
Description A compressed air energy storage simulation tool is developed, which uses Matlab/Simulink as its simulation platform. This is going to be released by May 2016. Anyone can download the software if they need it for research and design. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2016 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact This will be the first software tool for the whole CAES system dynamic modelling and simulation. 
 
Description Imagination event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The University organised a 50 year's anniversary celebration event to invite all the public and school students for a science or research open day. The project helped provide a Flywheel Energy Storage demonstration kit for the event to explain what energy storage is and how it works.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://integratedenergystorage.org/
 
Description Industrial Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A workshop was held in University of Warwick. The workshop invites a number of industrial speakers to discuss the potential of CAES and the cost to be acceptable by business.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://integratedenergystorage.org/
 
Description Represent UK in EERA for mechanical energy storage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The IMAGES project has been actively involved in European Energy Research Alliance to lead on compressed air energy storage. The CAES development report to EERA has great influence on European Research community. There are high citations to the report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
URL http://integratedenergystorage.org/
 
Description THE FUTURE OF COMPRESSED AIR ENERGY STORAGE (CAES) IN THE UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Purpose of event: The meeting will bring together various potential stakeholders to form a consistent understanding of what role CAES can and will play up to 2030. Type of Event: Serious discussion meeting aiming to affect UK government policy, kick-start some demonstration projects and galvanise technology developers into action. More than 100 attended mainly from industry and academia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://gridstorage.org.uk/