Demonstrating a range of sustainable energy transformation technologies that cover electricity, fuels, chemicals and heat.

XPS machine 24404dtp

The UK is moving away from fossil fuels towards a more sustainable energy generation system based on renewable energy. These cover technologies such as colar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy, tidal power and hydroelectricity.

Our Key Priorities

Photovoltaics
  • ERA is progressing the development of new photovoltaic materials and components from early stage laboratory ideas to viable prototype systems to be realised in a timely way.
Bioenergy and Waste Conversion
  • ERA supports several demonstration facilities associated with the creation of sustainable biomass energy and resources from organic waste. These facilities address the practical challenges around energy and waste and seek to get innovative solutions implemented.
Wind Generation
  • By researching the way that wind energy is harnessed and used by the national grid, ERA can uniquely link this energy generation technology with energy distribution and storage.
High Temperature Electrolysis and Reversible Fuel Cells
  • High temperature fuel cells can be reversed to act as electrolysers, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. This technology could lead to a de-carbonised gas supply infrastructure that makes use of the existing assets. At the same time, hydrogen and syn-gas products can be converted into synthetic fuels which can support decarbonisation of transport without the need to change the fuel infrastructure.
Energy in Extreme Environments
  • The challenge of energy generation in extreme environments, e.g. on earth and in space, where other forms of energy generation are not feasible, enables different industry sectors to work together to develop innovative technology solutions. The ERA consortium has the expertise to design and develop technology solutions for the harsh environment of space / earth and coupled with novel electrical and thermal energy storage technologies, the solutions presented offer a technical solution for distributed power systems in critical infrastructure projects.  
 
Thermo-Catalytic Reformer (TCR)
  • ERA has installed a small-scale Thermo-Catalytic Reformer at the Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham. The TCR is able to convert waste matter into various forms of fuel, and ERA's aim is to demonstrate how this technology can be scaled up to provide a commercially viable solution.
Hydrogen Generation
  • ERA is pulling together a consortium on a project to support the decarbonisation of the UK gas network. This will be achieved through the development of an innovative low-cost enrichment process which subsequently produces carbon, hydrogen gas and a smaller quantity of methane.
Hydrothermal Carbonisation (HTC)
  • ERA is working closely with industrial partners to demonstrate the commercial use of HTC technologies to use biomaterials to replace fossil fuels in domestic and industrial applications.
Carbon Capture
  • The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy emphasises the need for technologies like Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) to enable the UK to meet its post-2030 greenhouse gas emission targets. Capturing carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere is a key R&D area for the University of Nottingham, Cranfield University and the British Geological Survey (BGS). The use of new, high capacity adsorbents captures CO2 either pre or post combustion, compress then store it in geological structures deep below the seabed.
Fuel Cells
  • Hydrogen will play a key role in moving towards a sustainable alternative to petrol and diesel transport applications, but a major stumbling block to its widespread use is clean production and the need for new storage devices that can provide hydrogen where and when required. Fuel cells are the logical element for transforming the transport system by turning hydrogen into electricity for electric vehicles. ERA institutes cover various aspects of fuel cell technology, ranging from materials research to integration of fuel cell systems for a variety of transport solutions including cars, marine, rail vehicles, manned and unmanned aircraft. 

Solar simulator project

ERA can demonstrate real, unique capability in a wide range of green energy generation areas, through its facilities, academic excellence, or a combination of both.

Energy Generation