18 February 2020

National Battery Day 2020

Battery Day is celebrated on 18th February and is a day to acknowledge the device that makes it possible for the smallest household items to the largest heavy-duty equipment to work smoothly.

This incredible energy source makes all of our lives a lot easier. Batteries are everywhere and can be found in everything from laptops, smoke detectors, mobile phones and even the national grid is propped up by batteries. Without the simple battery, where would we be?

To celebrate Battery Day, discover how Engineering at the University of Sheffield is revolutionising research into batteries by watching our video. Without batteries our lives would certainly be very different. Batteries have literally transformed the world and have changed our society into the wireless one it is today.

History of The Battery

In 1800 Alessandro Volta discovered that when zinc and copper are placed into an acid or saline solution, that the zinc atoms break down and flow in a current and the copper atoms barely move. Which is how modern chemical batteries work. The zinc becomes a negative pole and the copper begins the positive pole. A battery is a device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy. It is thought that the term battery to describe such a device was first used by Benjamin Franklin because the setting of the capacitator he saw reminded him of a battery of cannons.

Since clean energy, provided by renewable energy sources, suffers from increased volatility, battery energy storage systems can store or supply energy whenever required to improve stability, reliability and resilience of the future smart grid.

Dr George Konstantopoulos

ACSE Senior Lecturer

ACSE Battery Research

Our battery research at ACSE focuses on the power network and its evolution into a 'smart grid'. Battery energy storage systems will play a vital role in balancing the supply with the demand while enhancing energy efficiency. Since clean energy, provided by renewable energy sources, suffers from increased volatility, battery energy storage systems can store or supply energy whenever required to improve stability, reliability and resilience of the future smart grid. 

Our 'smart inverter' is the device used to integrate and connect renewables or batteries to the main grid. This video demonstrates how quickly the smart inverter synchronises with the grid, and how it injects different values of power. It shows how it can support the grid under adverse conditions, such as grid faults, while at the same time automatically protecting itself to avoid damage.

This video is linked to a recently published IEEE journal paper, produced by ACSE's Dr George Konstantopoulos, ACSE PhD student, Alexandros Paspatis and University of Aalborg's, Professor Josep Guerrero, "Enhanced Current-Limiting Droop Controller for Grid-Connected Inverters to Guarantee Stability and Maximize Power Injection Under Grid Faults," in IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology.

Access the full journal article

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