Demonstrating major contributions in advancing energy storage technologies, enabling zero carbon energy use to become both technically viable and affordable.

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By harnessing the concept of energy storage, the UK has the opportunity to have one of the most efficient and productive energy systems in the world

Our Key Priorities

Hydrogen storage
  • Hydrogen is used in a wide variety of industrial applications. Efficient, cost effective methods for the production and storage of it would mark a key shift towards a cleaner and more sustainable society. Work at the University of Birmingham is concentrating on ways to predict renewable power generation and manage hydrogen storage systems. At the University of Nottingham, ERA is investing in the Hydrogen Systems Test Bed for the evaluation of hydrogen as an energy source and storage medium.
Battery storage
  • Battery storage facilities are one of the key components of new, smart energy systems. They not only offer facilities to house electricity for periods of peak demand, they also make it easier to connect renewable energy sources to the grid, free up network capacity and reduce electricity prices. ERA has made a significant investment into battery storage, including state-of-the-art testing facilities at Warwick University, coupled with key R&D activities on emerging cell chemistry technologies at the University of Leicester. These activities align with the Industrial Strategy and Faraday Challenge and provide a hub for different research groups and industrial partners to interact with each other.
Thermo-mechanical storage
  • Thermo-mechanical energy storage embraces a wide spectrum of technologies using only the principles of mechanics and thermodynamics to store energy. The universities of Birmingham, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick, and also the British Geological Survey, have leading expertise in research, development and demonstration of thermal energy storage technologies and systems. 
Mechanical energy storage
  • Compressed Air Energy Storage involves compressing air, storing it and managing the subsequent heat generated. The “High Performance Compression & Expansion Laboratory” at Nottingham, will house facilities for the development and evaluation of high efficiency gas compression and expansion to provide storage solutions.
  • The Universities of Warwick, Birmingham, Nottingham and Loughborough all have activities connected with exploiting the two-way transformation between heat and chemical state. Typically, injection of heat causes complete separation of two components and the re-combination of those components enables heat to be released. These systems have the potential for very long-term storage and transportation of heat. An example of this is the metal-hydride work at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham where heat injection drives hydrogen out of a metal hydride and the heat is recovered by re-introducing hydrogen to the powdered metal.
Hybrid Systems
  • Hybrid systems enable the best of two or more component systems to be extracted resulting in the benefits associated with the combined system being more than those of the individual components added together. One example would be the integration of Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) in which the University of Birmingham has world leading expertise, which provides the potential for several tens of hours of energy storage.

Lab photo

The transition towards clean and flexible energy systems is a global trend, presenting a significant opportunity for researchers and industry alike. 

Energy Storage