Established in 2013, the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage brings together research expertise from across the University to drive innovation from the laboratory to market. The Centre consists of two components: the Birmingham Centre for Thermal Energy Storage and the Birmingham Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage; both of which draw on the capability in materials, thermodynamic processes, application development, smart grid and policy economics.
We recognise how energy storage, particularly thermal and cryogenic based technologies, coupled with appropriate policy, could play an important role in delivering an integrated energy system. The service that could be provided range from enhancing power quality and reliability, transmission network stability and frequency regulation, to dealing with intermittency of renewable and improving infrastructure utilisation, along with effective and efficient utilisation of industrial waste energy. Energy systems will need to become more flexible and resilient to respond to greater variability in supply and demand. Our researchers are providing flexibility and robustness by developing new low carbon technologies that allow us to shift energy from one place or time to another – to turn highly fluctuating energy sources to stable ones.
Micro and nanostructured materials for energy applications
- Thermal energy storage materials (phase change materials and thermochemical materials) for applications from -100°C to > 1000°C
- Heat transfer intensification across multiple scales
- Novel thermodynamic processes for heat/cold recovery and power generation
- Cryogenic energy storage and cryogenic engineering
- Refrigeration and air conditioning
- Microfluidics and Nano fluids
- Thermal management of batteries and electronic devices
- Process integration, process optimization
- Energy policy and business cases of energy storage and energy conversion technologies
Personnel & Facilities:
- 6 Academics, 2 project managers; 3 technicians; > 10 Post-doctoral researchers; > 20 PhD students
- > 500m2 of dedicated facilities for materials formulation & characterization, experimental test rigs for thermal and electrical energy performance analysis and pilot demonstrators, including a 350kW/2.5MWh Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) pilot plant.