Energy

The University of Manchester has over 600 experts working on solutions to today's energy challenges. We're involved in research across the entire energy journey – from generation for power, transport and heat, through to consumption.

What's your area of interest? Choose from the below categories.

General Academic Industry Policy

With an energy research portfolio worth in excess of £80m, our academics and researchers are working across many diverse fields, including power networks; advanced materials; climate change and clean energy generation such as nuclear, solar, wind, tidal and bioenergy. We also explore how societies can develop low-carbon futures.

With such scale and scope, there are a wide range of opportunities to work together with partners to help deliver a brighter and more sustainable world for future generations.

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Collaboration

We know the value of working together with others. We break down barriers and get involved; we collaborate across disciplines, cultures and countries to solve global problems; and we transform people’s lives by making positive change across the world.

We have partnerships with a broad range of industry partners, from innovative SMEs through to large, established multinationals, including ARUP, BP, EDF Energy, National Grid, National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, Sellafield Ltd and Siemens.

We’re also proud to be a favourite for UK businesses investing in research. Statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in 2018 showed that the University had attracted the most research income from UK industry, commerce and public corporations of any institution in the country.

Our work with industry 

Our expertise is enhancing the efficiency and viability of sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal and bioenergy. It’s supporting partners in the bridging fuel sectors, such as oil and gas, to continue to meet demand.

We’re helping to ensure energy gets to the point of need efficiently, providing UK network partners with the knowledge to deliver reliable and sustainable power. Renewable sources of generation tend to be more intermittent – so we’re working on systems that will help keep supply constant, and finding ways to persuade people to use energy at the best times.

We work closely with our local region on projects such as the UK’s largest ever trial of heat pumps. We’re finding out more about how today’s urban society uses energy, blending expertise from engineering and the social sciences to learn more about demand and how it can be met.

“One of the differences with Manchester’s approach is the push to benefit industry and society. We’re solving real problems and advising people who are making multi-million pound decisions.” 

Professor Zhongdong Wang / Professor of High Voltage Engineering

Podcast: We're solving a key flaw in solar panels

Due to their relative cost and consumer availability, solar panels are among the most available systems for generating energy through renewable sources. However, the majority of solar cells only achieve 20% efficiency. Now an international team of researchers has resolved a key fundamental issue which limits and degrades solar cell efficiency. The problem has been studied for more than 40 years, with more than 270 research papers attributed to the issue with no solution. In this podcast Tony Peaker, Matthew Halsall and Iain Crowe discuss their research and what led to this first observation of a previously unknown material defect which limits silicon solar cell efficiency and paves the way for a solution to be found.

Research paper: ‘Identification of the mechanism responsible for the boron oxygen light induced degradation in silicon photovoltaic cells’ by Michelle Vaqueiro-Contreras, Vladimir P. Markevich, José Coutinho, Paulo Santos, Iain F. Crowe, Matthew P. Halsall, Ian Hawkins, Stanislau B. Lastovskii, Leonid I. Murin, Anthony R. Peaker, published in the Journal of Applied Physics. DOI: 10.1063/1.5091759

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Unique facilities

Collaborate with us and you can access our state-of-the-art and bespoke experimental equipment and powerful computing infrastructure, all supported by specialist technical experts.

Facilities include the Dalton Cumbrian Facility (offering the world’s highest energy dual ion beam accelerator system), the UK’s largest university high voltage facility, a six-rack RTDS real-time power system simulator, fully-programmable AC grid-connected energy storage system, world-leading X-ray imaging systems and 1MW energy storage test bed. Plus facilities at the new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).

The University campus is also a living laboratory, with our 339 buildings providing a test bed for tomorrow’s energy systems. Find out more about some of our flagship facilities in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.


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