The battery business is powering up in Science Vale

Battery power is key to a wealth of recent engineering advances, and several organisations based in Science Vale are at the forefront of battery technology development.

Recently, Harwell Campus launched its third cluster – the EnergyTec Cluster – which focuses on solving the world’s energy challenges.

The EnergyTec Cluster joins the successful Space and Life Science Clusters at Harwell in leading the way to a brighter future.

“Our aim is to make a huge impact on the UK energy sector,” explains campus business development director, Barbara Ghinelli. “We want to create a pipeline, which sees cutting edge research and development transformed into products and services that make a difference to the way we are storing and disseminating energy.”

The Faraday Institution has already opened its headquarters in the new cluster and the energy storage experts are spearheading a challenge to create the next generation of batteries. With the help of £246 million government investment, The Faraday Battery Challenge will incentivise researchers and companies to develop energy storage technology to support the transition to a low carbon economy.

Science Vale UK has already proved to be fertile ground for award-winning battery organisations.

Earlier this year Grove-based Williams Advanced Engineering won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for their achievements in commercialising their battery technology. They have provided batteries for all the cars used in the Formula E electronic car racing championship since it began in 2014. This has enabled them to hone the technology, which could lead the way to future sustainable transport innovations.

Harwell-based Zap&Go also picked up an award – for Best Technical Development within Energy Storage – at the IDTechEx Show in Berlin, for their Carbon-Io™ cell technology. Their ground-breaking carbon-based rechargeable batteries offer high energy density and charge in less than five minutes, without any of the fire risk or safety concerns associated with lithium-ion batteries. The batteries are very durable too and should last for up to 30 years, after which they can be recycled.

The EnergyTec Cluster should become a focal point for collaboration and cross-fertilisation of ideas in this exciting and important field, fuelling further innovation.