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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T021233/1
Title: Thermochemical energy storage using a closed cycle (ThermoStore)
Principal Investigator: Su, Professor Y
Other Investigators:
Riffat, Professor S Gan, Dr G
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
EPS SG Biodrying Ltd. Solar Ready Ltd
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2020 Ends: 29 February 2024 Value (£): 522,756
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Feb 2020 Decarbonising Heat Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
As part of its effort to commit essentially net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the UK Government announced a new plan in March 2019 to ban gas boilers in new houses after 2025. This is based on a fact that residential buildings accounted for about 25% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2012, of which 55% were directly from gas, according to the Committee on Climate Change. The Committee advised direct emission reductions of 36% by 2025 and 53% by 2030 from 2007 levels in buildings. This has led to an imminent demand for replacement low or zero carbon heating technologies.

Solar thermal technology appears a primary option to meet this demand, but possesses a common drawback, that is the temporal mismatch between solar heat production and heating demand in buildings. Seasonal storage of solar heat is an essential way to address the mismatch between heating demand in winter and solar heat production in summer. Of the three main technologies available, energy density of thermochemical energy storage is superior to conventional sensible and latent heat storage by several-fold factor and has a further advantage of negligible storage heat loss.

The proposed project is aimed to investigate a new solar driven thermochemical energy storage system using several innovative designs such as closed air loop, pressure control, embedded internal heating/cooling, hollow polymer fibre heat exchanger, and integrated dehumidification/evaporative cooling. The proposed system has been devised to address several drawbacks experienced by typical thermochemical energy storage systems and will also use low temperature solar heat to enhance the heat release discharging process by humidifying air flow at a slightly higher temperature. The project is built on our recent research on the design and fabrication of composite salt-in-matrix as thermochemical energy storage materials.

Development of the proposed system has the potential of reducing fossil energy usage in space heating and hot water. Implementation of such technology would allow the UK to greatly increase its utilisation of solar energy and achieve the target of decarbonisation in heating. This project will demonstrate to domestic consumers, house builders, industry and local authorities the practicality of heating buildings by renewable energy without increasing costs. The project will also provide an opportunity for UK industries to pioneer the development of a new advanced solar heat storage technology.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk