Storage and Hydrogen

Assessing the value of coupling a Reversible Solid Oxide Cell energy storage system with wind farms

Student: Maria Carmona Sanchez-Pinilla

Supervisors: Dr Samuel J. Cooper, Dyson School of Design Engineering, Professor Nigel Brandon, Faculty of Engineering, Mr Aayan Banerjee, Department of Earth Science and Engineering

Solid oxide fuel cells are not a novel technology; however, combining them with their electrolyser counterparts in a reversible solid oxide cell could potentially present unexplored economic advantages when coupling them to wind farms with an intermittent power output. This thesis seeks to investigate how RSOCs could give a wind farm the ability to sell energy to the grid when prices are high and store energy in hydrogen tanks when prices are low by switching energy storage and production modes accordingly. This is achieved by creating a model through Matlab, and assessing key operational strategies within an optimal time frame to determine the commercial success of such a technology.

Techno-economic assessment of second-life lithium-ion batteries for grid applications

Student: Yi Kang Chai

Supervisor: Dr Billy Wu, Dyson School of Design Engineering

Recently there has been a growing trend of using intermittent renewable energy sources and electric vehicles to respond to climate change. This creates a market for complementary stationary energy storage due to the former and a market for second-life energy storage as a result of the latter. For this reason, this project aims to review and determine the technical options and the economic impacts of second-life batteries for use in grid applications such as in a solar home system. The considerations and compromises involved in arriving at the least regret solution are also explored and discussed.

The future cost projection of redox flow battery

Student: Chung Ho Chan

Supervisors: Dr Ajay Gambhir, Grantham Institute, Mr Oliver Schmidt, Centre for Environmental Policy, Mr Sheridan Few, Grantham Institute

This thesis is investigating the potential role of different electricity storage technologies in future low-carbon electricity systems. As part of this research, I am interested in how vanadium based flow battery costs could fall by 2030, in order to consider the potential role of RFBs in balancing intermittent renewable electricity sources. As redox flow batteries are relatively immature electrochemical storage technologies, their future systems prices are highly uncertain. While developing a bottom-up cost model for redox flow batteries in order to project future system costs, the project is also seeking views of experts in RFBs on both the potential sources of cost reduction for battery components to 2030 and the likelihood of future cost and performance improvements.

Optimising the design space of lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles

Student: Natasha Fiig

Supervisors: Dr Samuel J. Cooper, Dyson School of Design Engineering, Dr Billy Wu, Dyson School of Design Engineering

Electrification of vehicles using lithium-ion batteries as storage is currently considered one of the most promising solutions to the decarbonisation of road transportation. Despite the considerable attention lithium-ion batteries have received in industry and academia, the link between their design and performance is still poorly understood. This project therefore aims to improve this understanding by adopting a high-level, holistic approach to battery design to create a platform enabling a user to navigate the design space and trace performance from material to battery pack.

Techno-economic analysis to lower the cost of electrolytic hydrogen

Student: Erica Giuliano

Supervisor: Professor Anthony Kucernak, Energy Futures Lab

Hydrogen appears to be a very promising solution for the future decarbonization of the grid due to its versatile applications, abundance and high energy content. Among several obstacles it is facing one of them is its non-competitive cost compared to fossil fuels, and another is that it is obtained using conventional polluting energy sources. Hence, this thesis analyses possible scenarios to decrease the cost of electrolytic hydrogen in two main ways. Firstly, through the use of current byproducts and secondly through the electrochemical procurement of hydrogen from large-scale production of valuable chemicals.

Techno-economic assessment of energy storage solutions for Nigeria's rural electrification mini-grids

Student: Anyababa Nathaniel Ikem

Supervisor: Dr Zeynep Kurban, Energy Futures Lab

The Federal Government of Nigeria has set an ambitious target of increasing access to reliable electricity supply to 90% by 2030. A Key medium in achieving this aim is the efficient and rapid deployment of solar PV mini-grid networks in remote communities and villages across the country. My project carries out a techno-economic assessment of energy storage technologies for 100+ communities earmarked for the installation of mini-grids. Current and forecast storage technology data are examined, enabling an assessment of the technical and economic suitability of emerging battery technologies and hydrogen production via electrolysis for this application. The results are intended to inform policy decisions and grant awards by the Rural Electrification Agency, facilitate reduction of the levelised cost of electricity in these villages, and stimulate the establishment of alternative energy storage supply chains in Nigeria.

Techno-economic study of energy storage solutions for micro-grids in Indonesia

Student: Marine Lanet

Supervisor: Dr Zeynep Kurban, Energy Futures Lab

The objective of this techno-economic study is to analyse what is the cost-optimal storage solution for microgrids in Indonesia. It looks at if hydrogen specifically enables cost reduction in a hybrid systems. With data from PLN the national electricity utility and cost data from manufacturers, I modeled PV-diesel micro-grids and analysed whether Lithion-ion batteries with hydrogen storage could decrease costs today and in the future.

Modelling the Hybridisation of Grid-Level Energy Storage Systems for Frequency Response

Student: Duncan Reece

Supervisors: Dr Samuel J. Cooper, Dyson School of Design Engineering, Dr Monica Marinescu, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mr Adrien Lebrun, Green Hedge

This project aims to model and analyse the benefit of hybridisation in grid-level energy storage systems, particularly for Li-Ion batteries used in frequency response. As the variation in grid frequency is not homogeneous, this leads to the required response from energy storage systems to have a wide range of energy and power outputs. Due to this, there is a potential benefit to using different battery chemistries or different energy storage systems, such as supercapacitors, alongside each other as this can reduce degradation and thus extend the total lifetime of the system. Therefore, this work focuses on the optimum balancing technique to provide the greatest economic benefit when there are multiple energy systems available to fulfil the required power output.