All three themes are seeking to tackle key energy challenges to the benefit of consumers and businesses. ERA aims to develop demonstrators that put its integrated research programme into practice to test and refine ideas. Early demonstrators include:
Community Energy Demonstrator at Trent Basin
Cities, which represent three quarters of energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide, are a major environmental policy challenge. The Community Energy Demonstrator at Trent Basin in Nottingham is part of one of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe and works across ERA’s research strengths to help ensure smart technologies and innovation can be utilized effectively, ensuring that the 350 planned homes are designed with effective use of clean energy in mind. The demonstrator will produce data to support the ongoing development and regeneration of the city.
GeoEnergy Test Bed
The GeoEnergy Test Bed (GTB), based at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus, is a facility designated for the testing and ‘ground-truthing’ of borehole sensors and software. The GTB will provide facilities to develop a range of new monitoring technologies applicable to a number of geoenergy industries. An array of boreholes will aid research into the rock-fluid interaction theme underpinning GERC. The GTB will provide the capacity to investigate subsurface activities relevant to geoenergy, to aid with the development of affordable low-carbon energy and technologies, in a safe and well-understood facility. The GTB will enable the development and testing of innovative monitoring technologies; with scientific experiments undertaken to understand the in situ mechanisms, rates and interactions of fluid migration in the subsurface. The outcomes will be of interest to a wide range of subsurface monitoring and energy industries.
WMG Energy Innovation Centre
The Energy Innovation Centre at the University of Warwick provides testing capabilities and characterisation of hybrid powertrains, components and control systems. The high power pack level battery cycler provides a system for testing whole battery packs under extreme real-world driving conditions. These tests provide information on battery pack capacity, performance characteristics and ageing. Results from this work have been used to inform the design of a next generation battery pack and battery management system to deliver improved power, performance and reliability.
Birmingham Thermal Belt
ERA will build on the cyrogenic energy storage plant to create a Birmingham Thermal Belt: a proposal to deliver a network of 25 bioprocessing plants, each consuming on average 20,000 tonnes/year of biogenic waste (dry matter) and residue, delivering as much as 600 GWh of combined green power and heat. This would create a grid around the city producing up to 60 tonnes of green hydrogen per day for use in transport, as well as substantial biochar – a charcoal used as a soil amendment – for fertilisation.