FlowCamp aims to provide 15 postgraduates (“early-stage researchers”) with the scientific and complementary skills they will need for a career in the field of energy storage. They will receive a firm grounding in the scientific skills needed for their individual project work, and also an overview of the different project disciplines and redox-flow battery technologies. Training in entrepreneurship will help them to progress from theoretical to practical knowledge, and industrial secondments will allow them to experience different schools of thoughts and implement their knowledge in an industrial setting.
Each project partner will provide training to its recruited researchers based on their individual needs. This will involve:
- Training through research (PhD expected)
- Training in transferable skills, such as language and presentation skills or project management
- On-the-job training and specialised scientific and practical training courses relevant to the individual project work of the recruited fellows
- Visits and secondments, especially to industrial and applied research partners
Seven network-wide training units will be held during the project, aiming to provide the recruited fellows with the interdisciplinary knowledge needed to transfer their results into industrial applications.
Training unit 1: Introduction to energy storage systems
TU1 will give the recruited fellows a context for their research and the necessary overview of state-of-the-art systems. This basic understanding of the battery chemistry, performance and maintenance requirements is essential to overcome limitations like short life, self-discharge and reduced efficiency at higher currents.
Training unit 2: Basic requirements of RFB cell design
TU2 will provide a more in-depth insight into the RFB systems to be developed in the project, and the interrelation between engineering (e.g. design specifications) and material developments. The business skills courses will sharpen the fellows’ awareness of IPR, and strengthen the skills needed to disseminate/ exploit their results.
Training unit 3: Membrane preparation and characterization techniques
TU3 will cover the most important scientific and technological correlations and the interplay between the various material and system options. The theoretical lecture will be complemented by practical “visualization” using several characterization techniques to improve the learning process. A management course will give the recruited fellows tools and skills needed to complete their work more effectively, and insight into a career in industry.
Training unit 4: Specialized training for different groups of ESRs
TU4 will give each group of ESRs in-depth information about issues relevant to the RFB system in which they are specializing:
- Bromine safety and corrosion
- Organic redox couple groups
- Zinc-air systems
Training unit 5: Sealing materials
TU5 will give a basic understanding on polymer technology (material and engineering) for electrochemists, especially on elastomers for sealing gaskets, possible design and integration in the RFB system. In addition, a workshop on business skills will be held. In a very active workshop the recruited fellows will develop realistic market scenarios for their results, and sharpen their individual research objectives for the benefit of potential customers, as basis for marketing dissemination and exploitation.
Training unit 6: Battery characterization techniques
While in TU3 the interplay of the several materials and components of a RFB will be shown on a more theoretical, broad basis, in TU6 this knowledge will be detailed and precisely applied for the three RFBs developed in FlowCamp. The focus on characterization will prepare the ESRs for the final validation of their systems at prototype level. In parallel, a marketing workshop will draw together the IPR, marketing and communication skills taught in previous TUs and lead to a concrete action plan for dissemination and exploiting the final results.
Training unit 7: Final conference on RFB implementation
TU7 will give the ESR team an overview of the new state-of-the-art in three RFB systems, and the opportunity to present their results to a broad audience, including possible employers..