Energy Storage & Alternative Energy Erasmus Project

General information for the Energy Storage & Alternative Energy Erasmus Project

Energy Storage & Alternative Energy Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Energy Storage & Alternative Energy

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for Schools Only

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Energy and resources; Environment and climate change; Research and innovation

Project Summary

Non-destructive alternative energy technologies have the advantage of being green suppliers of energy. They do – however – have one great disadvantage in them being highly unsteady. When the wind doesn’t blow – windmills do not generate enough power to satisfy demand. When the wind really blows – they generate too much power, again a great problem. Fluctuations in demand and production do not follow the same curve. And you cannot store the energy in the grid!

At present, we balance the fluctuations with fossil / nuclear fuel which again creates problems such as depletion of fuel, pollution, toxic waste, huge CO2-emissions and dependency on nations that EU has no interest in being dependent upon.
The solution is energy storage, hence the title of the project. There are many ingenious ways to store energy, but so far none that satisfy the needs of a European grid. If we want green energy to become a truly viable energy supply, we had to crack some serious nuts.
Solid-state batteries show a high-energy density but also long charge / discharge times. In addition, they are based on metals that are mined non-sustainably. Capacitors, fuel cells, salt heating, water dams etc. have other but equal problems.
The aim of this project was to engage and motivate high school students across Europe to be masters of energy storage technology and theory to facilitate a lift in the European knowledge base of this area. In short, our students will play a small but important part in saving the world. Ambitious, yes – but also possible and to be honest, essential.

We were four upper secondary schools from very different regions of EU, in political and geographical terms: Greece, Poland, United Kingdom and Denmark. Each country has its own political and scientific discourses when it comes to energy and we need to learn from each other. What works
best in Greece does not necessarily work in the UK – but what if it does! The laws of physics are the same no matter where you are born.

Our schools represented a good cross section of European youth – both talented and challenged. We had a strong focus on science and knowledge sharing in an international context and knew that ambition is a great tool for learning and motivation.
Through the two year program our students learned the physics behind energy storage as well as political and not least logistical complexities of alternative energy production and of course storage thereof. They conceptualized and build new ways of storing energy, such as a new concept dubbed Hydro-Buoyancy through which energy could be stored in large air-filled tanks under the sea showing an efficiency of no less than 80% (which is as high as you can get with our current level of technology – not bad for young students!!!). With the aid of universities, labs, external experts and not least hard hands-on work etc. the students got a grasp of the scientific approach to critical thinking and became more aware of possibilities and paths to employability in vital sectors.

From physical problem solving and theoretical physics, via hands-on and entrepreneurial approaches to energy storage and on to the seemingly easy communication and evaluation of these complex matters, this methodology ensured that both hard & soft skills improved in a holistic manner.
The results are tangible. A steeper learning curve through learning that actually matters and makes a difference. Highly motivated and skilled students that are now more than ready to be passed on to universities or other sectors dealing with green energy. Young future scientists that are trained in multilingual contexts and entrepreneurial cooperation. Schools where the cooperation skills, know-how, expertise of teachers and the European identity improved.

Potential longer term benefits are even more promising. To have a future solid network of young scientist in the field of energy storage base on both professionalism and friendship. “All” It takes is one really good idea developed in this network to vastly improve the chances of having a true European electrical grid based on green and sustainable technology. This is the real promise of our project.

Besides this the active communication of the urgent need for research into energy storage might reach politicians, decision makers and companies. As an example, we reached the local politicians of Kos in an hour long and televised debate about the energy storage challenges and possibilities for the island, lifting the awareness of the mayor and the staff.

All expectations of the project were met and surpassed with an in-depth meta-analysis of the projected 2050 need for short, mid and long-term energy storage for the entire EU (including UK) in case of total fossil fuel independency, a rather staggering work (involving staggering numbers too). This was finished in Kos at the final meeting with the students.

Finally, many of our students are now on their way to university to do further work. Excellent!

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 114510 Eur

Project Coordinator

NEXT UDDANNELSE KØBENHAVN & Country: DK

Project Partners

  • Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace im. Piotra Skargi
  • New river trust
  • 2nd Lyceum of Kos