EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Storage and its Applications

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Storage and its Applications





Start Date
March 31, 2014

End Date
Sept. 29, 2023


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The ability to store and release energy on demand is essential to an energy future that is based on clean, non-polluting and sustainable renewable energy. This includes both electrical and thermal energy and a large number of technologies are being developed to fulfil this need.

Energy storage will become a major industry in our century and will employ hundreds of thousands of people globally. Energy storage will be everywhere - in large scale batteries connected to electrical networks, in homes to store energy generated from solar panels and in cars, replacing petrol engines.

In order to meet this challenge and to ensure that UK plays an important role in this industry we will form a Centre of Doctoral Training in to train researchers at the highest level to help form and influence the direction of Energy Storage technologies.

Our students will receive training in all aspects of energy but concentrating on the core technologies of electrochemical storage (batteries and supercapacitors), mechanical storage, thermal storage and superconducting magnetic energy storage. They will have the opportunity to interact with industrialists and gain experience in running a grid connected Lithium-ion battery. They will also undertake a major three-year research project allowing them to specialise in the topic of their choice.

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Potential Impact:
The CDT in Energy Storage is based in the Universities of Sheffield and Southampton, and draws on the expertise of a number of research groups who collectively are able to tackle the challenges inherent in developing workable energy storage technologies in an interdisciplinary fashion. The impact of such a CDT will therefore be far-reaching, as human-kind's ability to access stored energy (currently in the form of fossil fuels) has allowed great technological advances, and developing new methods to store and access sustainably produced energy will accelerate technological progress, not only in the developed world, but in less developed regions that do not benefit from a comprehensive energy infrastructure.

The ability of the CDT to combine expertise in materials science, device fabrication and electrical integration provides an environment unparalleled in the UK, so the main beneficiaries will be the graduates of our centre who will have been exposed to a variety of energy storage technologies and will become well-versed in their socio-economic aspects. Thus, researchers will have the necessary depth of knowledge and technical expertise to develop new technologies, and will be skilled in the use of various technical, analytical and modelling techniques. The soft skills training that is inherent in the training programme will enable graduates to make the most of their breadth of knowledge, allowing them to interact with a wide variety of industrial, academic and policy players and to drive their research into new and uncharted directions. Furthermore, the substantial links that exist between the PIs and European partners will add a further dimension to the students' training, allowing them to benefit from substantial activities in the area of energy storage taking place on the continent and making them more culturally aware.

The availability of a large number of PhD students working across departments, disciplines and universities will help cement the relationship between the various supervisors, allowing the exchange of knowledge and providing a catalyst for research to be taken into hitherto unknown directions. The critical mass of expertise will become recognised as a UK centre of excellence in energy storage technologies, enabling the researchers to interact and collaborate more readily with similar groups internationally. Thus, such a centre will have a direct impact on the quality and quantity of the research output of the collaborating groups and make the UK a leading player in this technical area.

Energy storage technologies are of fundamental importance to a 21st century electricity grid. The UK's ability to reduce transport emissions via increased electrification and maximise its use of an abundance of renewable energy (RE) resources is hampered by its inability to provide the energy at a time and place that suits the end user. Problems of the mismatch between the location of the resource (e.g. Scotland for wind) and location of demand (e.g. South East of the UK) and the time it is needed (e.g. dark winters) often results in a waste of the resource. The ability to store energy at a grid scale will have multiple benefits (1) environmental, as RE capacity is located in sites of maximum resource and minimum impact; (2) cost, as back-up power from fossil fuelled plant is no longer required. Such technologies can also be exported, providing new markets for UK companies and expertise. Less developed nations who do not have a comprehensive electricity grid but often have an abundance of RE resources such as solar will benefit immensely, as the impact of the availability of clean energy cannot be underestimated. Many studies have shown the correlation between energy use and well-being and health, with lives being improved dramatically once an inexpensive and clean source of energy is available.

Andrew Cruden COI_PER
David Stone TGH_PER
Peter Hall TGH_PER
Solomon Brown TGH_PER

Subjects by relevance
  1. Warehousing
  2. Energy
  3. Technology
  4. Renewable energy sources
  5. Technological development
  6. Energy technology
  7. Expertise
  8. Sustainable development
  9. Solar energy

Extracted key phrases
  1. Workable energy storage technology
  2. Magnetic energy storage
  3. EPSRC Centre
  4. Energy storage technology
  5. Sustainable renewable energy
  6. Clean energy
  7. Energy use
  8. Comprehensive energy infrastructure
  9. Thermal energy
  10. Energy future
  11. Doctoral Training
  12. Energy Storage
  13. Thermal storage
  14. New technology
  15. Electrochemical storage

Related Pages

UKRI project entry

UK Project Locations