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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L014211/1
Title: Next Generation Grid Scale Thermal Energy Storage Technologies (NexGen-TEST)
Principal Investigator: Ding, Professor Y
Other Investigators:
Chen, Dr J Wang, Professor J Garvey, Professor S
Kiselychnyk, Dr O
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
China General Nuclear Power Group China Recycling Energy Corporation ESCN
Gateway Storage Company Ltd Highview Power Storage Inner Mongolia Power Group
Pnu Power
Department: Chemical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 30 April 2014 Ends: 29 October 2017 Value (£): 984,845
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Nov 2013 UK China Grid scale storage Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The energy systems in both the UK and China face challenges of unprecedented proportions. In the UK, it is expected that the amount of electricity demand met by renewable generation in 2020 will be increased by an order of magnitude from the present levels. In the context of the targets proposed by the UK Climate Change Committee it is expected that the electricity sector would be almost entirely decarbonised by 2030 with significantly increased levels of electricity production and demand driven by electrification of heat and transport. In China, the government has promised to cut greenhouse gas emission per unit of gross domestic product by 40-45% by 2020 based on the 2005 level. This represents a significant challenge given that over 70% of its electricity is currently generated by coal-fired power plants. Energy storage has the potential to provide a solution towards these challenges.

Numerous energy storage technologies exist currently, including electrochemical (batteries, flow batteries and sodium sulphate batteries etc), mechanical (compressed air and pumped hydro etc), thermal (heat and cold), and electrical (supercapacitors). Among these storage technologies, thermal energy storage (TES) provides a unique approach for efficient and effective peak-shaving of electricity and heat demand, efficient use of low grade waste heat and renewable energy, low-cost high efficiency carbon capture, and distributed energy and backup energy systems. Despite the importance and huge potential, little has been done in the UK and China on TES for grid scale applications. This forms the main motivation for the proposed research. This proposed research aims to address, in an integrated manner, key scientific and technological challenges associated with TES for grid scale applications, covering TES materials, TES components, TES devices and integration. The specific objectives are:

(i) to develop novel TES materials, components and devices;

(ii) to understand relationships between TES material properties and TES component behaviour, and TES component behaviour and TES device performance;

(iii) to understand relationship between TES component behaviour and manufacturing process parameters, and

(iv) to investigate integration of TES devices with large scale CAES system, decentralized microgrid system, and solar thermal power generation system.

We bring together a multidisciplinary team of internationally leading thermal, chemical, electrical and mechanical engineers, and chemical and materials scientists with strong track records and complementary expertise needed for comprehensively addressing the TES challenges. This dynamic team comprises 15 leading academics from 4 universities (Beijing University of Technology, University of Leeds, University of Nottingham and University of Warwick, and 2 Chinese Academy of Sciences Research Institutes (Institute of Engineering Thermophysics and Institute of Process Engineering), and 7 industrial partners.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk