Why is adiabatic compressed air energy storage yet to become a viable energy storage option?

Dr. Barbour, Prof. Phil Eames and Daniel Pottie published a paper recently on iScience discussing aspects of Adiabatic Compressed Air Energy Storage failure to establish itself as a major large scale energy storage solution

Recent theoretical studies have predicted that adiabatic compressed air energy storage (ACAES) can be an effective energy storage option in the future. However, major experimental projects and commercial ventures have so far failed to yield any viable prototypes. Here we explore the underlying reasons behind this failure. By developing an analytical idealized model of a typical ACAES design, we derive a design-dependent efficiency limit for a system with hypothetical, perfect components. This previously overlooked limit, equal to 93.6% under continuous cycling for a typical design, arises from irreversibility associated with the transient pressure in the system. Although the exact value is design dependent, the methodology we present for finding the limit is applicable for a wide range of designs. Turning to real systems, the limit alone does not fully explain the failure of practical ACAES research. However, reviewing the available evidence alongside our analytical model, we reason that underestimation of the system complexity, difficulty with the integration of off-the-shelf components, and a number of misleading performance claims are the primary reasons hindering ACAES development.

Please click here to read the full publication.

A major MECS CREST (Loughborough University) study into battery-augmented cooking with electricity

eCooking Power Stations in transit. Image credit: Suns Energy Co., Ltd, Shenzhen, China.

Innovative MECS project to pilot latest battery developments enabling eCooking for 240 households in year-long field trials across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

A major MECS CREST (Loughborough University) study into battery-augmented cooking with electricity has reached a key milestone by delivering innovative Power Stations to southern partners SCODE (Kenya), TaTEDO (Tanzania) & CREEC (Uganda) for distribution to 240 households in a year-long trial. The 120 Power Stations are similar to solar home systems (SHS) but provide a major step up in their capability by enabling eCooking that will substitute for biomass cooking on a meal-by-meal basis. For more information about the MECS programme, please visit the website

Rachael Greenhalgh wins first prize for the best presentation at an IOP event

Congratulations to Rachael Greenhalgh, a PhD student in CREST.

Rachael Greenhalgh won the £100 first prize for the best presentation at an Institute of Physics event.   Rachael’s talk was titled ‘Origins of Void formation in Sputtered CdSe’.   Rachael’s research is focused on improving the efficiency of second-generation thin film photovoltaic devices.  The talk was presented at an Ion and Plasma Surface Interactions (IPSI) Group Early Career meeting, 14th -16th April 2021.

White Paper ‘Solar integration in the UK and India: technical barriers and future directions’ published

We are pleased to let you know that the white paper, Solar integration in the UK and India: technical barriers and future directions, (DOI:10.17028/rd.lboro.14453133), has now been published.

This report arises out of the UK-India Joint Virtual Clean Energy Centre (JVCEC), which is a research consortium that involves ten UK universities and thirteen Indian institutes within three virtual centres namely, the Joint UK-India Clean Energy Centre (JUICE), the India-UK Centre for Education and Research in Clean Energy (IUCERCE) and the UK India Clean Energy Research Institute (UKICERI).

Please follow the link here to access the paper.