The University of Birmingham - Equipment Account

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Vice Chancellors Office

Abstract

This proposal is to bid for capital support for the creation of a Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with the University of Hull and a range of industrial partners. Such a Centre is essential for the accelerated development of a technology which can bring multiple energy system benefits and economic value to the UK. A pilot-plant has been shown to function as intended, but to be a viable technology for commercialisation, a research effort is needed to improve the efficiency of the system, to develop novel materials with lower costs and longer life-times, and to assess, model and simulate its dynamic performance characteristics as a grid-scale technology.
Investment in equipment and a specialist dedicated lab facility at Birmingham would create an internationally-renowned centre keeping the UK at the leading edge of cryogenic energy storage (CES) R&D. The Centre's approach will cover the full CES system, from materials to devices / components and applications, and critically to key aspects of systems integration, control and optimisation. The work of the Centre will transfer directly to full-demonstration through partnerships with industry. Bringing this focus on a viable technology gives it the best opportunity for success.
The University of Birmingham has grown an exceptionally strong research community around closely related topics with in excess of £20m research income across energy related areas over the last five years. The University is internationally renowned in the areas of hydrogen storage and applications, road and rail transport, and smart grid analysis drawing on the disciplines of materials science, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, chemical & process engineering, and electrical engineering. With the arrival of a new Professor with an international reputation in energy storage, the University will build on its existing capability to deliver a world-leading CES centre which can pave the way for industry in the UK.

Planned Impact

Impact summary
The most important impact from the proposed investment in equipment will be to advance key out-reaching themes in the College of Engineering and Physical Science (EPS) from not only an academic perspective, but also through engagement with partner Schools in Life Sciences and Social Sciences and collaboration with industrial partners. This will establish a specialist UK research and innovation platform for cryogenic energy storage (CES) systems and help to address associated manufacturing needs. In the Schools of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy and Materials the new facilities will enable our work in high temperature thermodynamic systems, engine and power train systems development and new high performance materials for arduous duty to be extended to low cryogenic conditions. Expanding existing facilities in Electronic and Electrical and Computer Engineering will advance our work in optimising integrated resilient energy systems. Through these activities, we confidently expect academic, economic and societal benefits to emerge, as the science in each of these areas matures and finds application in fields as diverse as new high performance materials for deep cold storage, improved efficiency of heat and cold exchange devices, hybrid diesel/cryogenic generation systems and energy storage/generation of low grade heat systems though hybridisation with cryogenic technology. In addition, we expect that the research facilitated by this equipment investment will allow us to secure further Research Council, TSB, EC and international development funding, and further enable industrial collaboration. Over the initial 5 year business plan we conservatively estimate that we will attract additional research investment >£6.5M. Its value will be measured by how it leverages the potential of liquid air for the UK economy. In the recent report 'Liquid Air in the energy and transport systems' it was clear that in addition to the inherent value in its contribution to balancing an electrical grid (15GW of liquid air energy storage would reduce grid emissions by 4.5%, while 30GW would cut them by 20%), liquid air could also turn waste heat into power at high levels of efficiency (UK industry loses up to 40TWh of waste heat each year, enough to heat 2.4 million homes). In diesel gensets and in transport, liquid air could combine with conventional combustion systems to create highly efficient heat hybrids and raise fuel efficiency to 60%.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Member of EPSRC Energy Scientific Advisory Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL http://epsrc.ukri.org/research/ourportfolio/themes/energy/programme/further-information-about-the-pr...
 
Description Reviewer of and panelist at launch of Liquid Air on the European Highway report (cited EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling, 2016)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.euagenda.eu/2015/9/29/Liquid-Air-on-the-European-Highway-report-launch
 
Description member of project evaluation committee for Brazilian energy regulator ANEEL
Geographic Reach South America 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact 23 projects were selected for funding by the regulator; as the projects are executed, the results will feed into future policy and regulation such that the Brazilian energy system can be operated efficiently and sustainably.
URL http://www.aneel.gov.br/sala-de-imprensa-exibicao-2/-/asset_publisher/zXQREz8EVlZ6/content/agencia-a...
 
Description Conversion of V type compressor to Sterling engine and investigate effect of cooling temperature
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Ahmad Almajri 
Organisation Government of Libya 
Sector Public
Country Libya
Start 01/2015 
End 01/2018
 
Description Development of a drop-in biofuel emulsion
Amount £121,228 (GBP)
Organisation Future Blends 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Development of small scale cryogenic expander
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Khalil Khalil 
Organisation Iraqi Government 
Sector Public
Country Iraq
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account: Follow on Fund
Amount £16,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Birmingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 04/2019
 
Description EPSRC Programme Grant
Amount £5,590,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K002252/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2017
 
Description EPSRC Programme Grant
Amount £4,227,886 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P00945X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 11/2021
 
Description EPSRC Studentship
Amount £55,251 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 10/2019
 
Description Ebergy Storage Capital Equipment related call
Amount £4,013,527 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N032888/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Energy Catalyst -Early Stage - Round 4
Amount £297,922 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P032052/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description Energy Stoage Grand Challenge
Amount £924,591 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P003435/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description External collaboration grants
Amount £430,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SGRI Project No 1 
Organisation State Grid Corporation of China 
Sector Public
Country China
Start 01/2015 
End 10/2017
 
Description External collaborative research
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SGRI Project No 2 
Organisation State Grid Corporation of China 
Sector Public
Country China
Start 12/2015 
End 11/2018
 
Description External research grant
Amount £470,000 (GBP)
Funding ID CRRC Project No 1 
Organisation CRRC Corporation Limited 
Sector Private
Country China
Start 10/2015 
End 07/2017
 
Description Feasibility of using cryogenic energy storage for air conditioning applications
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Abdalqader Ahmed 
Organisation Government of Libya 
Sector Public
Country Libya
Start 05/2014 
End 04/2017
 
Description Feasibility study
Amount £82,000 (GBP)
Organisation Enel SpA 
Sector Private
Country Italy
Start 03/2016 
End 05/2017
 
Description Flow and heat transfer of air under supercritical conditions
Amount £67,000 (GBP)
Organisation Air Products 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 06/2018
 
Description Generation Integrated Energy Storage - A Paradigm Shift
Amount £1,040,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P023436/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 11/2021
 
Description IDP11
Amount £401,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 102281 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2015 
End 07/2017
 
Description Innovation Action
Amount € 7,045,594 (EUR)
Funding ID 691761 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description Newton-Bhabha Fund: India-UK Research and Innovation Bridges
Amount £1,363,744 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P025838/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 04/2019
 
Description Performance of Sterling engine with low temperature cooling.
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Suleiman Alfarawi 
Organisation Government of Libya 
Sector Public
Country Libya
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2016
 
Description PhD studentship
Amount £72,000 (GBP)
Organisation EDF Energy 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description Reduce of End Use Energy Demand
Amount £1,573,522 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P004709/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 12/2020
 
Description UK-Indian Collaboration
Amount £5,094,437 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P003605/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description industry funding
Amount £55,000 (GBP)
Organisation Ford Motor Company 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 02/2017 
 
Description invited call
Amount £4,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N032888/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2020
 
Description n-COSH
Amount £924,591 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P003435/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 10/2019
 
Description CRRC 
Organisation CRRC Corporation Limited
Country China 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of next generation air-conditioning technology based on thermal energy storage for train carriages
Collaborator Contribution Provision of application conditions and funding
Impact Results not allowed to report before the project is completed - will report in the future.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Composite PCM production and demonstration 
Organisation Nanjing Jinhe Energy Materials Co Ltd
Country China 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have helped with the process design of the world first large scale commercial demonstration plant using composite phase change materials for the use of the curtailed wind power.
Collaborator Contribution The partner has helped us in the development of our materials for engineering applications. We have also be able to access their facilities for measuring our materials properties.
Impact The collaboration has led to a new collaborative project funded by Innovate UK and Jiangsu Provincial Government.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Consultancy - Tribology 
Organisation Dearman
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Review of tribological/ friction reduction related options and provided advice relating to issues of friction, wear and lubrication of the Dearman engine and associated technologies.
Collaborator Contribution N/A
Impact IDP 11 - Innovate UK funded project Royal Society Industrial Fellowship application Undergraduate student placements and final year projects (1 x BEng, 2 x MEng)
Start Year 2014
 
Description Dearman Company Collaboration 
Organisation Dearman
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution - Given access to Dearman to the Engine Lab - Technical Support -Advice
Collaborator Contribution - Engine Test Cell commissioning - Prototype Engine - Instruments - Advice
Impact - 2 Research Fellows - Postgraduate Students - Undergraduate projects - Student Placements - Training of Staff
Start Year 2014
 
Description EDF energy 
Organisation EDF Energy
Department EDF Energy Nuclear Generation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We studied the microstructure of the nuclear fuel cladding steel to understand the mechanism of mitigating carbon deposition on these steel during simulated service conditions
Collaborator Contribution financially sponsored a PhD studentship
Impact publication in preparation
Start Year 2014
 
Title Nuclear power peak shaving system based on cryogenic energy storage 
Description The invention discloses a nuclear power peak shaving system based on cryogenic energy storage 
IP Reference CN104279012 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2013
Licensed Yes
Impact Further development and installation of pre-commercial scale cryogenic plant in UK
 
Company Name KELVIN THERMOTECH LTD 
Description It is set for holding Ups related to cold storage, cold chain technologies, thermal energy storage, consulting. 
Year Established 2019 
Impact Just started, to be updated next year
 
Description Christos Paterakis at 15th International Symposium on Metal-Hydrogen Systems (MH2016), Switzerland, August 2016. 
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 Presented a poster on the effects of substitutions on the low-temperature phase change on NaBH4. Discusses applications for thermal energy storage
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://mh2016.ch
 
Description 'The Anthill' podcast for The Conversation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed as pat of The Anthill podcast which focused on 'fuel', describing how liquid air can be used in the energy system.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://theconversation.com/anthill-4-fuel-64021
 
Description 1st CPFL International Workshop for Energy Storage 
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 The "1st CPFL International Workshop for Energy Storage" gathered technical, commercial and regulatory knowledge, approaching how Energy Storage is being discussed internationally. The event also aimed to share experiences and knowledge about the theme for the electrical sector and show the importance of energy storage systems associated or not to Distributed Generation. This opportunity was to bring knowledge of another component of Smart Grids and allow evaluate the possibilities of new business, in addition to the improvement in the electrical energy supply.
Over 50 people attended the workshop with live streaming of the event. Questions and discussions followed presentations, informing participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.rge-rs.com.br/energias-sustentaveis/inovacao/workshop-energy-storage/Paginas/default.aspx
 
Description BBC Radio 4 Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact It was for the opening of the first commercial demonstration plant of the liquid air energy storage in Pilsworth, Manchester
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BBC TV World News interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact It was about global cooling challenges
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Contribution to IEA Expert Group on R&D Priority Setting and Evaluation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The goal of the workshop was to learn from examples of how the transition from blue skies research to application has been successfully undertaken in other sectors for example, space research, medicine or solid state physics in the context of microelectronics, and to identify from current basic research selected areas or ideas that might potentially have a huge impact on the energy sector. This should inform an understanding of how different governments engage in, fund, and structure their investments in energy-related basic science programmes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ieadsm.org/wp/files/IEA_EGRD_Blue_Sky_Workshop_Final.pdf
 
Description EPSRC blog & UKRI filming 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The blog and UKRI film generated significant impact, with over 10 industrial companies coming to Birmingham seeking for collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://epsrc.ukri.org/blog/the-renewables-conundrum/
 
Description Energy Storage Seminar Series, INEEL, Brasilia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A series of seminars over four days, delivered to industry, policy makers and regulators in Brazil, describing technical and non-technical aspects of energy storage. This has led to joint proposals being submitted and further invitations to present in Brazil.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description International Workshop (Bonn, Germany) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop on technologies that can improve emissions from road transport vehicles. This was a two hours interactive workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.emission-control-gasoline.com/MM
 
Description Presentation at International Flow Battery Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The purpose of the IFBF is to raise the profile of flow batteries as a crucial technology within the electrical energy storage sector, to educate and inform a wide audience of the benefits, features and attributes of flow batteries. >200 delegates from 24 countries attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.flowbatteryforum.com/ifbf-2017/
 
Description Presentation on energy to a meeting of Dorridge U3A and the British Science Association (Dorridge) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact a talk on energy to members of the U3A and British Science Association in Dorridge (near Birmingham), with lively Q&A and discussion afterwards - audience reported that they understood the issues better and had been well-informed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Radio Documentary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Radio documentary for BBC World Service, This documentary is exploring why the issues highlighted by the VW emissions scandal are so important. As part of the documentary areas such as atmospheric measurements, health impacts of emissions from road transport where covered by other scientists, I had an input on the science/technology with some ideas of what solutions may be there in the future. The VW case raises the role of catalysts, and the question of how much room for improvement, what that would take, what are the costs (in performance, as well as financial) ... so my work on catalyst and aftertreatemnt systems was to demonstrate to listeners what directions are possible.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Scottish Renewables Low Carbon Heat Conference (Perth) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Describing research on using variable renewables in Scotland through distributed thermal energy storage to an audience of policy makers and technology developers, and others from research community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Study Tour - Building clean cold energy to boost Indian farmers' income 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact University of Birmingham Energy experts, recently joined forces with the Indian National Centre for Cold-chain Development, and the UK's Science and Innovation Networks to identify and accelerate the deployment of future-ready technologies to build a sustainable, modern supply chain linking farm gate and consumption centres.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/campaigns/ir/India-heroes.aspx
 
Description UK-China Energy Storage Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop is to bring together academia, industrialists, policymakers, NGOs and government officials between UK and China, building close links for future collaborations, and trading relationships. Over 100 participants attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description UK-China Workshop on Clean Energy Utilisation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is for building close and sustainable collaborations between UK and Chinese early career researchers working on clean energy generation, storage and utilisation. Over 70 people attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UKRI Research and Innovation Infrastructure workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) was commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's Ministers to develop the first national research and innovation infrastructure roadmap. About 30 people at the workshop on energy infrastructure, providing input and expertise that informed the roadmap.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ukri.org/research/infrastructure/