One of the United Kingdom’s largest battery-based energy storage facilities has been connected to the grid as part of new research led by the University of Sheffield on the growing area of energy storage.
The £4m facility was officially launched on Thursday 17 March 2016 with the announcement of a new innovation project with energy companies E.ON and Uniper looking at future possibilities for large-scale energy storage and how to overcome the challenges associated with connecting such technologies to the grid.
The lithium titanate battery was chosen because it is fast to charge and discharge, has a long lifetime and is arguably safer than alternatives such as lithium ion.
The University of Sheffield team, together with their partners from Aston and Southampton, are already planning the next stage of research, including looking at how used electric vehicle battery packs could test the viability for domestic or industrial electricity storage. This “second life” system is due to go online later this year, aiming to combine the energy from the battery packs so that it function together as a single larger battery unit.