Energy Storage and its Applications

The ground-breaking Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Storage and its Applications at the Universities of Sheffield and Southampton opened in October 2014, funded by the EPSRC, to tackle industrial challenges and develop new technologies and skills that will enable the UK to meet its low carbon targets.

2014 Cohort PhD Projects

Dan Wright [Prof. Nuria Garcia-Araez, University of Southampton with Qinetiq]

Improved Battery Electrode Materials - Advanced Li-ion cell systems and materials, including operation at higher temperature, looking at suitable anode and cathode couples as well as appropriate electrolyte compositions. The challenge is to achieve voltage and capacity with a reasonable stability over cycle number and time.

Nina Meddings [Prof. Nuria Garcia-Araez, University of Southampton]

Li-selective membranes for Li-air batteries - Soluble redox catalysts produce a drastic improvement in battery performance but degradation reactions/battery self-discharge is a problem. Lithium conductive ceramics will be investigated in lithium-air batteries to prevent the reaction of oxygen on the Li electrode.

George Hilton & Tom Bryden [Prof. Andrew Cruden, University of Southampton]

ELEctrochemical Vehicle Advanced TEchnology – separate projects in the design/build/test of a high rate lectric vehicle charging station, employing an off-vehicle energy store, linked to a new ESPRC project “ELEVATE” EP/M009394/1. Investigation of off-vehicle energy store types, design/control to meet charging demand profile, electric grid modelling and power electronics design.

Carl Kennedy [Prof. Ian Reaney, University of Sheffield]

High Energy Density Multi-Layer Solid State Capacitors - Linked with EPSRC grant ‘Substitution and Sustainability in Functional Materials and Devices’ and affiliated with the NSF funded ‘Centre for Dielectric and Piezoelectrics’ the project will synthesise/characteriseMALI-type phases for capacitor applications,  and dielectric-type polymers to optimise interface barrier layers, and produce proto-type MLC devices to demonstrate proof-of-concept.

James Moore [Prof. Peter Styring, University of Sheffield]

High density heat storage for homes – feasibility of low carbon heat supply for very high density/temp long term storage via a small low pressure electrolyser to absorb excess electricity and output H2 and O2 to thermally charge a heat store. Development of technology and/or materials with cost, conversion efficiency, standing loss, responsive whilst energy dense, lightweight, safe and reliable. 

Connor Smyth [Prof. Beverley Inkson, University of Sheffield]

In-situ Liquid Microscopy for next generation nanostructured battery design - Novel nanoscale electrode designs to maintain electrode integrity under long term cyclic charging, with nano-fibre and graphene reinforcements, including Si-nanocomposites will be fabricated/evaluated in prototype battery cells. In-situ battery testing using liquid microscopy facilities, in-situ electrochemical cycling to characterise the battery material phase transformations in real time.

Andreas Georgakarakos [Prof. Martin Mayfield, University of Sheffield]

Energy Storage Characteristics of Smart Grid Optimised Buildings- Exploring the hypothesis that the storage characteristics of buildings will play a crucial role in ensuring that they function as an effective sub-system a Smart Grid environment.  Seeking to define at what scale, using what technology and distributed in what manner should storage be located in buildings and how is this influenced by the evolutionary state of the wider smart grid?

Alex Holland [Dr Richard Wills, University of Southampton]

High Specific Energy Aluminium-Ion Rechargeable Decentralized Electricity Generation Sources - Linked to a new Horizon 2020 project (H2020-NMP-2014 ALION) in materials selection, manufacture, characterisation and recycling of Li and Al ion cells. The project will develop Li cells, separators, current collectors and characterise, to produce and characterise aluminium ion cells. 

Richard Johnson [Prof. Martin Mayfield, University of Sheffield]

Energy Storage Characteristics of Future Cities – sustainable use of energy resources and integration of sub-systems for city scale networks. Models will be developed for metabolism and storage vectors, technical/social interactions, energy sources, answering what scale/technology and distribution mechanism should storage be located in cities? How does regulation and incentives affect the deployment of energy storage across cities?

Ian Brocklebank [Prof. Peter Styring, University of Sheffield with H. J. Enthoven & Sons]

Designing a District Heating Network for a rural location – heat storage, demand variability and network design for a rural location, developing a heat supply chain model making use of waste heat from a nearby industrial lead smelter in the Darley Dale.