Newcastle University has switched on its energy storage test bed which will store energy from the local grid and test various different technologies.
The energy storage facility will evaluate new technologies such as super-capacitors and long life, high performance batteries by analysing their real-world performance. Professor Phil Taylor, director of the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University said that the university’s new test bed would help the UK establish itself as a global leader in energy storage.
Taylor said: “The energy storage test bed will help make the UK a leader in the adoption, deployment and integration of energy storage technology and establish best practice for energy distributors and industry, which is a huge part of the energy storage challenge. This exciting new research facility allows us to learn about energy storage generally, quantify its value more effectively and improve it by working with equipment manufacturers and other solution providers.”
While the test bed currently resides in the University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, it will be moved to Science Central, the £200 million urban innovation project, where it will be linked with a microgrid. The university believes that this will help researchers to develop software solutions for smart grids and energy storage.
The energy storage test bed will be able to test various combinations of energy storage technologies and the university confirmed that the facility will be open to all UK industry and academia interested in energy storage.
Dr Haris Pastios from the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering explained: “One of the main advantages of this facility is its high degree of flexibility allowing fast and easy integration of a multitude of existing electrical energy storage systems, their combinations and even the emulation of novel and emerging technologies. It is built around a high-performance, fully reprogrammable platform allowing us to study in detail a wide range of phenomena associated with the operation and control of grid-connected energy storage and develop relevant solutions.”
Taylor added that the energy storage test bed “enables the world’s leading innovators in energy storage technology to evaluate their own technologies and be able to see in real time not only how their technology is working, but what impact it is having on a distribution network”.
The facility was funded through a combined £2 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), Newcastle University University; and industrial partners Northern Powergrid and Siemens.