Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

Energy Storage

butane bottles


Integrated, Market-fit and Affordable Grid-scale Energy Storage (IMAGES)


IMAGES is a collaborative project between the University of Warwick, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and the British Geological Survey.

The research programme is focused on the challenging technical and economic issues faced by integrating large grid scale energy storage with the energy network. The two large scale storage technologies that are being investigated are compressed air energy storage and high temperature thermal energy storage.

Loughborough is undertaking research to determine the feasibility of linking large scale high temperature thermal energy storage systems with conventional thermal and nuclear power stations. The basic concept is that nuclear/thermal plant is used to generate heat at a constant rate, at times of low electrical demand generated heat is stored, when the electrical demand increases, heat is directly used in a conventional steam cycle to generate electricity, when electrical demand increases further the store is discharged raising additional steam that can be used with an additional turbine set to meet the increased electrical load. This will facilitate the increased use of renewables, for example avoiding wind shedding by enabling Nuclear to become a more flexible generator. Possible operation is illustrated in the graph.

Constant output used to meet a variable load using storage.