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University of Sheffield / AMRC North West

Supporting the University of Sheffield AMRC in the development of the UK’s most advanced building energy management system.

  • Industry:  University
  • System no:  2
  • Power:  600kW
  • Capacity:  720kWh
  • Application:  Site optimisation
  • Functionality:  Site decarbonisation and grid-load management


The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has an ambition to create one of the UK’s most advanced building energy management systems.

Located at AMRC North West in Samlesbury, Lancashire, the centre is designed as a low-carbon building demonstrator site. It will be used to support North West manufacturing businesses to showcase how they can reduce carbon emissions while maintaining productivity and manufacturing output.

AMRC North West wished to install two types of solar on-site – a traditional rooftop array and another comprising two solar flowers – and needed battery energy storage to support them. Connected Energy was chosen following a competitive tendering process.

The Brief

AMRC North West were looking for an energy storage solution to demonstrate:

Balancing peak demand
The drive to electrification – with additional requirements such as heat pumps to electric vehicles – has created a capacity issue on manufacturing sites across the UK. The system is demonstrating how businesses can manage that demand with battery energy storage.

Storing renewable energy generated on site
The BESS will also allow surplus energy generated onsite to be stored and used. Manufacturers keen to store and use as much of their own clean energy as possible, rather than sell it back to the grid, will be able to gain an understanding of how this can support both cost-reduction, energy security and carbon reduction targets.

Act as a showcase
The site aims to combine the latest in clean energy technologies, including solar and battery storage, and showcase the opportunities and advantages that they can provide when introduced to a commercial manufacturing setting.

The site is all about demonstrating how companies can use connected technologies to get the most out of their manufacturing sites – whether that’s reducing their carbon footprint or helping them to reduce long-term costs especially when it comes to energy.

Ben Smith, Low carbon building specialist at AMRC North West

The Solution

Two Connected Energy 300kW battery storage units were installed on site linked to photovoltaic flowers.

The system itself will employ the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to gather information from thousands of sensors that connect manufacturing machinery and energy equipment enabling results to be accessed and employed for the benefit of all.

The choice of BESS was particularly important to the AMRC, with Connected Energy chosen for its innovative use of second life batteries. The environmental impact of the system was a key driver in the equipment chosen for the site.

One of the biggest levers for the world to become more sustainable is the widespread adoption of circular economy principles as the norm – so reusing and repurposing as much as we can. And Connected Energy’s system using second life batteries is a great example of that.

Ben Smith, low carbon building specialist, AMRC North West

Next Steps

Now installed, the AMRC will continue to monitor and research the system, investigating what is possible using AI and data modelling. One advancement that the team have already planned is to investigate how to maximise revenue opportunities around weather conditions.

Any business with renewables on site could hugely benefit from a battery storage solution. For us, it will allow us to maximise the energy generated from our renewables by storing as much as we possibly can which means that we never need to go off our green tariff. It also gives the site a level of resilience that we otherwise would not have.

Ben Smith, low carbon building specialist, AMRC North West
Anya Bramich and Ben Smith at AMRC
E-STOR systems at AMRC
Ben Smith, AMRC North West

Let's connect!

Get in touch with our team to discuss whether battery energy storage can work for your business, and how we can offer a free feasibility study.