Engineers from the University of Sheffield are leading the way in the area of energy storage as part of a new collaborative project. Multi-scale ANalysIs for Facilities for Energy STorage (MANIFEST) is an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded multi-institutional £5million project.

Using the collective expertise and facilities that exist in the UK, the project will address research questions and tackle key issues in storage technologies currently being developed.

These issues include the materials used in energy storage technology, integration into existing systems, as well as using process modelling and data from pilot plants to improve our understanding.

By improving the understanding of physical processes and accelerating technology development, MANIFEST will help maximise the impact from existing UK facilities in both the national and international energy landscape.

Professor's David Stone, Martin Foster and Dr Dan Gladwin from the University’s Centre for Research into Electrical Energy Storage and Applications (CREESA) are leading the work.

Professor David Stone said: “The UK demands that more energy and storage systems are needed to balance supply. We’re delighted to be a part of this important project in researching new technologies and working with industry partners, of which the University of Sheffield has a great deal of expertise.”

The project will involve senior investigators with internationally leading reputations from across the UK, including academics from five universities, as well as drawing significant industrial support from the energy sector.

The recent results from the UK’s capacity market auction features several battery energy storage projects with around 500MW of this being allocated to new-build battery storage projects. This highlights the future importance of these technologies to keeping the lights on in the UK.

The project scope will include looking at how the materials are used in energy storage technologies, including batteries and thermal energy, how processes are modelled in the technologies, including validating the models with experiments, how energy storage devices can be integrated into an energy system most effectively and how data from operational runs of pilot plants can improve our understanding of the role of energy storage.

This project can be the catalyst which leads to improved understanding of physical processes, accelerated technology development, and shared learning from the operation of energy storage technologies. The research will also drive further collaboration between institutions, build the national research and innovation community, increase recognition of the UK's role, and maximise the impact from these facilities in the international energy landscape.

The consortia demonstrated excellence in research capability as part of their original capital grant bids. This project draws on this expertise directly with the involvement of senior investigators who have internationally leading reputations.