Energy Storage

What is Energy storage?

Energy storage increases flexibility and improves reliability of energy infrastructure. It decouples supply and demand, and makes it possible to separate generation from use. This ensures there is a surplus energy supply available when demand is high, and reduces wastage when demand is lower. Most things are stored between being produced and being used, energy is different and difficult to store.

Why is it important?

The flexibility given by the ability to store energy is enormous; it increases generation efficiency and lowers costs. The key to a modern, secure energy infrastructure is the ability to clearly separate energy generation from use. The increasing desire to rely on intermittent renewable energy sources places greater importance on the ability to store energy for later use, as these forms of energy generation are not always available at key times when energy is required. The simplest example of this is the need for electric lights at night, when PV generation is unavailable. Storage simply gives the ability to generate energy when it’s available, and use energy when it’s needed.

Installed energy storage capacities have been exponentially increasing worldwide, boosting the flexibility and reliability of energy infrastructure. This will need to continue as demand increases, especially in the move to electric transport, a key milestone in reducing carbon emissions. The University of Sheffield is committed to furthering high quality research in the field of energy storage, covering fundamental work on the materials required by novel energy storage technologies, through to the applied research into the optimal approach to the control of energy storage within the grid environment, and the public perceptions and interactions within the new technologies. The research is carried out across the whole university, embedded within the specific faculties, and operating under the umbrella of the University’s Energy 2050 initiative.

Energy storage can support grid balancing, energy security, and facilitate greater access to electricity generation using renewable forms of energy, lowering costs and reducing our carbon footprint.

Our expertise & activities

  • Our world class battery research and testing facilities range from cell level to pack level, capable of handling new and established battery chemistry.
  • We have over 200 channels of battery cell cycling capability, including electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EiS) facilities integrated within the cell testers.
  • We operate one of the UK’s biggest batteries – a 2MW lithium titanate battery with capability to test second use electric car batteries.
  • We lead the UK’s only national training centre for energy storage PhD training.

Detailed research areas

  • New nano materials development, battery chemistry, “Swagelok” and button cell production.
  • Button and pouch cell production, fundamental battery processes chemistry and materials.
  • State of health/charge monitoring, battery chemistry, heat and mass transfer.
  • Standard techniques and large scale battery testing and thermal imaging.
  • Hydrogen and Fuel Cells.
  • Static and mobile electrochemical storage applications, including advanced state of charge (SoC) and state of health (SoH) monitoring and estimation on battery packs.
  • Construction of advanced battery management systems.
  • EV power train research and design, including the operation of second life EV battery packs within grid support applications.

Key people (A-Z)

Dr Martin Foster
Reader, Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Dr Dan Gladwin
Lecturer, Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Prof. Peter Hall
Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Storage and its Applications

Prof. Beverley Inkson
Nanostructured Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Prof. David Stone
ProfessorElectronic and Electrical Engineering

Prof. Tony West
Professor of Electroceramics and Solid State Chemistry
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

 

For more information please contact Prof. David Stone.