University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham leads on ERA’s thermal energy research theme. Birmingham’s partnership with ERA will help deliver expertise and new technologies in energy storage; cold and power; smart grids; and integration to address the balance between energy demand and supply, using existing industrial processes. With state-of-the-art facilities including the UK’s first cryogenic energy storage plant, the University are conducting pioneering work in novel cold storage materials, new thermodynamic cycles and the cold economy.

The global energy storage market is forecast to grow by 8% per annum and be worth £35 billion by 2020. Developing ways to store energy is essential to ensure it is never wasted. By developing storage capabilities, we can evolve our energy infrastructure to better incorporate new and renewable generation technologies.

T-ERA is driving the development and integration of a range of thermal and cryogenic energy technologies. It is delivering wealth creation, jobs, apprenticeships, and the next generation of scientists and engineers in the energy sector and emerging industries.

Delivering step-change

  • A new Advanced Thermal Manufacturing Centre (ATMC) will enable enhanced research and design capacity in thermal energy technologies.
  • Scaling up pioneering technology such as the Dearman piston engine, a liquid nitrogen-powered system to produce clean cold power for transport applications.
  • Enabling pioneering thermal energy storage research, and assessing the costs and performance of low-carbon heating technologies.
  • Researching thermal load reduction opportunity in buildings to develop low cost technologies that are easy to apply and retrofit.
  • Developing alternative approaches for producing green Hydrogen from biomass with the potential to produce twice the amount produced by current technology.