Cohort three (2017–18)


Tom Fantham

Background: MEng Aerospace Engineering, University of Sheffield (2016)

Supervisor: Dr Dan Galdwin and Professor Martin Foster, University of Sheffield

Sponsor: Siemens

Project: Advanced diagnostics of large scale cloud connected batteries. This project involves the development of local embedded algorithms to track key battery metrics for large scale batteries on the electricity grid. Furthermore, these advanced algorithms can both inform, and learn from other cloud connected batteries to provide better estimations or predict future states. This project undertakes research to experimentally examine the variances across a large battery to identify what they are, characterise them across a range of operating modes, and to quantify the effects on key battery conditions such as SOC, SOH and cell balancing.

Ewan Fraser

Background: MEng Mechanical Engineering, University of Southampton (2016)

Supervisor: Professor Andy Cruden, University of Southampton

Project: Developing engineering aspects of the soluble lead flow battery. This project aims to develop engineering aspects of the soluble lead flow battery by combining an experimental approach with the development of a computational model, including both electrochemical and flow conditions within the battery. Aspects including cell and stack design, operation and failure mechanisms and the development of a maintenance cycle, and a comparison of electrode materials in battery conditions will be explored.

Sam Homan

Background: MPhys, University of Oxford (2015)

Supervisor: Dr Solomon Brown, University of Sheffield and Dr Niall Mac Dowell, Imperial College

Sponsor: RWE

Project: Investigating coupled conventional power and energy storage for grid services. This project investigates the optimal selection of energy storage technologies to be coupled with a conventional power plant (ie CCGT or OCGT) for the provision of grid support services and the optimal operation for such a coupled system.

Harriet Kimpton

Background: BSc Chemistry, University of Portsmouth (1997), PhD Materials Science, University of Loughborough (2003)

Supervisor: Dr Xunli Zhang and Dr Eugen Stulz, University of Southampton

Project: Investigating the use of silver nanofluids for enhanced solar capture connected to a thermal storage system. This project aims to investigate different silver nanofluids to ascertain their potential for use to enhance solar thermal energy capture. Parameters to consider include nanofluid stability, concentration and type of stabilisation, system geometry and integration of the capture system with an appropriate thermal store with the aim of developing a capture/storage system that could be used to help decarbonise the thermal heating requirement of buildings.

Rachel Lee


  • BEng Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield (1990)

  • Utilities Manager, ICI/Zeneca (19901996)

  • Project Engineer, Symonds Power and Energy (19962001)

  • DSM Manager, South Australian Government (20012004)

  • Director, Pracsus Ltd (20042006)

  • Program Director, Future Energy Yorkshire (20062009)

  • Consultant, CleanTech (20092011)

  • Director, 350 Strategy (2011–2016)

Supervisor: Dr Solomon Brown, University of Sheffield and Professor Andy Cruden, University of Southampton

Sponsor: Drax Power Limited

Project: Using agent based modelling to understand the interaction between customers and vehicle-to-grid systems. This project is developing an agent-based model for the use of an electrical car charging facility utilised as part of a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) scheme. The model incorporates the behaviour of the individual users of the facility and factors which impact its use; for example, the impact battery degradation has on vehicle performance will be included, which is expected to impact the take-up of such a scheme. Following this, control and scheduling of the batteries as a grid service will be added.

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James Le Houx

Background: MEng Mechanical Engineering, University of Southampton (2016)

Supervisor: Dr Denis Kramer and Dr Richard Wills, University of Southampton

Project: Advanced X-ray imaging and modelling of thermally safe battery electrodes. Thermo-electrochemical properties of composite electrodes were studied by implementing fully 3D multi-physics, continuums models (electro-chemical, thermal, electrical) driven by real microstructure as obtained by X-ray tomography.

Julia Ramirez-Gonzalez

Background: BSc Mechanical Engineering, Iteso University Mexico (2014), MSc Materials Engineering, University of Sheffield (2016)

Supervisor: Professor Anthony West and Dr Denis Cumming, University of Sheffield

Sponsor: CONACYT

Project: Electrical characterisation of fluorite-structure ceramics. This project investigates the electrical properties of a family of electroceramics, which are used in energy/storage devices, with the purpose of having a deep understanding of the physical behaviour of material.

Diarmid Roberts

Background: MSci Chemistry, University of Glasgow (2008), Chemist for Velocys (2009–2015)

Supervisor: Dr Solomon Brown, University of Sheffield, Professor Andy Cruden, University of Southampton

Sponsor: Drax Power Limited

Project: Selection and operation of flow cells as a partner for conventional batteries for grid support. In a redox flow battery (RFB) the material costs of the energy and power components are decoupled, and the former is low compared to that of a lithium-ion battery. In this research project, techno-economic modelling and optimisation is used to determine whether this feature gives RFBs an advantage over alternatives (lithium-ion being the incumbent) when providing electrical grid support in the context of various power generation mixes.



Lithium titanate/pyrenecarboxylic acid decorated carbon nanotubes hybrid – alginate gel supercapacitor. Manoranjan Ojhaa, James Le Houx, Radha Mukkabla, Denis Kramer, Richard Wills, Melepurath Deepa, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Kandi, Sangareddy, 502285, Telangana, India, and the Energy Technology Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Southampton.

A closed-loop analysis of grid scale battery systems providing frequency response and reserve services in a variable inertia grid. Rachel Lee, Samuel Homan, Solomon Brown, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, the University of Sheffield, Niall MacDowell, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London.

Developments in soluble lead flow batteries and remaining challenges: an illustrated review. M Krishna, E J Fraser, R G A Wills, F C Walsh. Journal of Energy Storage, 15.

Summer projects

Design evaluation of a micro hybrid generator with attached energy storage (PDF, 596KB)
Andreas Zimmermann

Socio-economic influences of decarbonised urban heat provision
Liam Bennett

The soluble lead flow battery: medium term storage of energy (PDF, 781KB)
Ewan Fraser

Investigation of battery storage for grid frequency regulation
Samuel Homan

Functional ceramics for energy materials applications
Julia Ramírez-González

The use of silver nanofluids for direct absorption solar collectors connected to a thermal storage system
H J Kimpton

Use of phase change materials as a passive battery thermal management system
J Le Houx

Stacking models for grid-scale batteries: impact of capacity and system inertia (PDF, 665KB)
Rachel Lee

Modelling redox flow battery economics in Python with integer optimisation in PYOMO
Diarmid Roberts

Variation of lithium-ion cells in a module (PDF, 465KB)
Tom Fantham

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