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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number ETI-EN2010
Title Transportable Energy Storage (FRP)
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 50%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 50%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Geography and Environmental Studies) 10%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 70%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 50%;
Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 50%;
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
EA Technology Limited
Award Type Institute Project
Funding Source ETI
Start Date 01 March 2011
End Date 30 January 2012
Duration 11 months
Total Grant Value £99,000
Industrial Sectors
Region North West
Programme Energy Storage and Distribution
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , EA Technology Limited (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Project Contact , University of St Andrews (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract With increasing utilisation of renewable energy sources, there are many cases where the ability to site generation of electricity within easy reach of demand becomes more limited (e.g. offshore wind farms). More remote locations are more costly to connect to electricity networks or pipelines. Additionally, intermittency of renewable energy sources places a greater emphasis on the use of energy storage to balance the different variations in supply and demand over time. Transporting stored energy is one possible way to address these concerns simultaneously. The aim of the project was to understand and quantify transporting energy for a number of different scenarios. Cases were developed for offshore wind farms located off the UK and concentrated solar in the Sahara. A range of options were then analysed for transporting and transmitting energy from source to demand with the different approached quantified and compared. Three sources of generation were considered within this project:
  • Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) generated in the Sahara to be imported to the UK;
  • Wind energy generated in the Outer Hebrides to be imported to the UK; and
  • Wind energy generated in the Orkney Islands to be exported to Norway

Key findings of the study are:

  • Electricity transmission represents the least cost solution if electrical energy is required at the demand site
  • Chemical energy carriers do however compare favourably with electricity transmission where they can be used directly

In terms of the levelised costs per unit of energy delivered to the UK, the analysis demonstrates that electricity transmission represents the least cost solution if electrical energy is required at the demand site. This is true for all of the three generating site scenarios. For example, the cost associated with transferring electrical energy via a transmission network from the Outer Hebrides to the UK mainland is just over £70/MWh and fromthe Sahara £139/MWh compared to between £232/MWh and £281/MWh using chemical storage media.
The chemical energy carriers do however compare favourably with electricity transmission where they can be used directly. If energy can be supplied as a fuel rather than electricity, the case for the chemical energy storage media becomes economically viable. For example,hydrogen can be delivered to the UK from the Sahara at a cost of £124/MWh by ship or £120/MWh by pipeline, which is less than that for direct transmission (i.e. £139/MWh).

The results also indicate that using electro-chemical energy storage media (i.e. a Zinc-Air Battery ship concept) is unlikely to represent an economically viable concept. The overall costs are dominated by the cost of the batteries themselves. Even assuming an extremely ambitious cost target for a transportable battery the levelised cost per unit of electricity delivered is over six times that of the baseline transmission option.

Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 11/10/18