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Current energy projects


i-STUTE is an interdisciplinary centre for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy. It develops technologies that aim to reduce energy consumption and deliver cost-effective heating and cooling which will help the UK achieve its target of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80% by 2050.

Underpinning Power Electronics

This £2.4M programme is part of the EPSRC project on Underpinning power electronics. It is one of four main research themes supporting the centre (along with integrated components, Converters and Integrated Drives) and focuses on the basic building block of power electronics, namely the semiconductor components. The aim is to enable a step-change in the state of the art. By enabling the development of new technology, gaining deeper theoretical insight into the physics of failure, building predictive reliability models and compact models, this programme will be of direct benefit to the central hub and the other themes as well as supporting and stimulating UK manufacturing industries in the area of power electronics and providing internationally leading research output.

Defect engineering for cheaper silicon photovoltaics

Photovoltaics have the potential to supply the majority of the world’s electricity. Today’s market is dominated from cells made from bulk silicon (~90%) and silicon’s abundance and properties (chemical stability, density, band gap, and non-toxicity) mean that there is a good chance it will continue to dominate in the longer term. Although uptake of photovoltaic technologies is increasing rapidly, without subsidy all stable photovoltaic technologies are too expensive to compete with incumbent electricity generation sources. Dr John Murphy moved his research activity to Warwick from Oxford in February 2013. His group aims to improve the cost-effectiveness of silicon photovoltaics by: (i) improving the performance of existing materials; and (ii) facilitating the use of cheaper (less pure) feedstocks. John held a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship in this area from 2008 to 2013, and his work is currently supported by an EPSRC First Grant (EP/J01768X/2).

Science City - Energy Futures Programme - Energy Efficiency and Demand

This project, funded by advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund, involves a £9.5m capital investment in research infrastructure relating to the development and demonstration of energy efficient technologies. The new facilities and equipment can be accessed by any interested academics and businesses. The investment aims to develop and promote a regional hub for academic and industrial expertise in energy efficiency and demand reduction as part of the Government’s mission to achieve a strong knowledge-based economy. Read more...


Achieving the decarbonisation of the economy while maintaining the security and reliability of the energy supply will require a profound transformation of the networks used to transport energy into and within the country. While the need is clear, the final shape of these networks is not and getting there will require a considerable amount of research. The creation of a hub will catalyse and focus the research on energy networks in the UK. In particular, this hub will provide research leadership in the field through the publication of in-depth position papers written by leaders in the field and the organisation of workshops and other mechanisms for the exchange of ideas between researchers and between researchers, industry and the public sector. It will also spur the development of innovative solutions by sponsoring speculative research in uncharted areas. Read more...

Vehicle Electrical Systems Integration (VESI)

The urgent need for electric vehicle (EV) technology is clear. Consequently, this project is concerned with two key issues, namely the cost and power density of the electrical drive system, both of which are key barriers to bringing EVs to the mass market. To address these issues a great deal of underpinning basic research needs to be carried out. Here, we have analysed and divided the problem into 6 key themes and propose to build a number of demonstrators to showcase the advances made in the underlying science and engineering. Read more...

Transformation of the Top and Tail of Energy Networks

There are two very particular places in energy networks where existing network technology and infrastructure needs radical change to move us to a low carbon economy. At the Top of network, i.e. the very highest transmission voltages, the expected emergence of transcontinental energy exchange in Europe (and elsewhere) that is driven by exploitation of diversity in renewable sources and diversity in load requires radical innovation in technologies. The Tail of the network is the so-called last mile and behind the meter wiring into customer premises. Read more...

Future reliable renewable energy conversion systems & networks

A collaborative UK-China project : The rapid growth of electrical power generation from renewable sources, predominantly wind, over the past 10 years has been fuelled by governmental policies and more recently by market demand. Research strategies around the world (including both the UK and China), have also prioritised projects aimed at developing the science and technology as well as environmental economic policies for renewable energy systems. Despite this, the situation is still lagging behind the demands of industry. Read more...

Consumer-Appealing Low Energy Technologies for Building Retrofitting (CALEBRE)

£2 million research project, funded jointly by Research Councils UK Energy Programme and E.ON. The project aims to establish a validated, comprehensive refurbishment package for reducing UK domestic carbon emissions that is acceptable and appealing to householders, specifically targeted at solid-wall properties (classified as 'hard-to-treat'). The Warwick contribution is the demonstration of a gas-fired heat pump system that could revolutionise domestic heating in the UK. Read more...

The Next Generation of Activated Carbon Adsorbents for the Pre-Combustion of CO2

The vision of the proposed research is to develop activated carbon adsorbents and system models to improve the efficiency, flexibility and operability of IGCC processes.

RAEng/Converteam Research Chair agreement: Position funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Small cooling capicity hybrid refrigeration system using R723

The current project proposes a Hybrid Refrigeration System using the environmentally friendly refrigerant R723 (azeotropic mixture: 40% DME and 60% Ammonia) that is compatible with conventional refrigeration copper alloy (CuNi10) It is a Combined Sorption-Vapour Compression Refrigeration System driven by a dual source (heat and/or electricity). Both the use of this refrigerant in an adsorption cycle and the hybrid energy source are key novelties.

Study of Supercritical Coal Fired Power Plant Dynamic Responses and Control for Grid Code Compliance

By 2015, the UK is expected to face an electrical power shortage of over 20GW, based on projected economic growth and projected life expectancy of a number of existing power plants. Currently, no supercritical or ultra-supercritical boilers operate in the UK, which make it difficult for UK researchers alone to conduct the study. There are more than 400 such units worldwide, with China operating 24 of them and more to be built. So this proposal is proposed to collaborate with Chinese top universities for this challenging research.

Novel Interlayer Cooling for Harsh Environment (NICHE) Devices and Circuitry

In this ambitious 5-year project that began in March 2012, the aim is to produce a new generation of silicon devices that will operate at temperatures exceeding 250°C. This will be achieved by combining this traditional semiconductor with silicon carbide, a material famed for its ability to dissipate heat. PI is Dr Peter Gammon.

RDF 2011/12 Strategic Award: Large Scale Thermal Power Plant Modelling and Simulation

Funded internally by the University of Warwick.


Development of a Novel Semiconductor Switch for use in medium and high power applications

Sponsored by GE Aviation.

The performance and properties of novel desiccant coated heat exchange surfaces for solar air conditioning

Sponsored by CSIRO Australia.