The Anonymous Widower

Cheesecake Energy Receives Investment From The University Of Nottingham

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on NewsAnyway.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Cheesecake Energy Limited (CEL) today announced it has received investment from the University of Nottingham to support UK-wide pilot programmes for the company’s energy storage solution.

Thse two paragraphs are a brief description of the company, their technology and what they do.

Cheesecake Energy Limited is a fast-growing startup developing energy storage at 30-40% lower cost than the current market leader, lithium ion batteries. Its system uses compressed air and thermal energy storage to achieve high efficiency, long lifetime and dramatically lower environmental impact. 

Founded in 2016, the company has already established itself within the Nottingham, and wider East Midlands energy ecosystem — having secured initial interest from local councils and bus services for pilot programmes. The company is currently designing a 150 kW / 750 kWh prototype system for completion in Q4 2020 which will be deployed with a local bus depot for charging of electric buses using renewable energy.

This is the home page of their web site, which proudly announces.

The Greenest Battery In The World

We’ll see and hear that slogan many times in the next few years.

A few of my thoughts on the company.

Cheesecake Energy’s Technology

Cheesecake Energy says it uses compressed air and thermal energy storage to achieve high efficiency, long lifetime and dramatically lower environment impact.

Three other companies also use or may use compressed air to store energy.

As Cheesecake appear to be using a thermal energy storage, have they found a unique way to create another type of compressed air storage?

Battery Sizes

How do the sizes of the three companies batteries compare?

  • Cheesecake Energy prototype – 150 kW – 750 kWh – five hours
  • Form Energy for Great River Energy – 1MW – 150 MWh – 150 hours
  • Highview Power for Vermont – 50MW – 400 MWh – 8 hours
  • Hydrostor for South Australia – 50+MW – 4-24+ hours

The Cheesecake Energy prototype is the smallest battery, but Highview Power built a 750 KWh prototype before scaling up.


  1. The first figure is the maximum power output of the battery.
  2. The second figure is the capacity of the battery.
  3. The third figure is the maximum delivery time on full power.
  4. The capacity for Hydrostor wasn’t given.

The figures are nicely spread out, which leas me to think, that depending on your power needs, a compressed air battery can be built to satisfy them.

Charging Electric Buses

Buses like this Alexander Dennis Enviro200EV electric bus are increasingly seen in the UK.

And they all need to be charged!

Cheesecake Energy say that their prototype will be deployed with a local bus depot for charging of electric buses using renewable energy.

  • An electric bus depot should be a good test and demonstration of the capabilities of their battery and its technology.
  • Note that according to this data sheet of an Alexander Dennis Enviro200EV, which is a typical single-decker electric bus, the bus is charged by BYD dual plug 2×40kW AC charging, which gives the bus a range of up to 160 miles.
  • With a 150 kW output could Cheesecake’s prototype charge two buses at the same time and several buses during a working day?
  • Would DC charging as used by Vivarail’s charging system for trains be an alternative?

To me, it looks like Cheesecake are showing good marketing skills.

I do wonder if this size of charger could make the finances of electric buses more favourable.

Suppose, a bus company had a fleet of up to a dozen diesel single-decker buses running services around a city or large town.

  • How much would they spend on electricity, if they replaced these buses with electric ones?
  • Would being able to use cheaper overnight energy to charge buses in the day, be more affordable?
  • Would electric buses run from renewable electricity attract passengers to the services?

These arguments for electric buses would also apply for a company running fleets of vans and small trucks.

To me, it looks like Cheesecake are showing good engineering/marketing skills, by designing a product that fits several markets.



May 11, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Government’s Terrible COVID-19 Statistics

In an article in The Times today, Sir David Speigelhalter lambasts the Government over their collection of COVID-19 statistics.

I have been involved in the analysis of several very large databases and four factors improve the quality of the answers you get.

  1. The more records or in this case tests you have, the better. So I back David Speigelhalter! We should stop people on the street and test them!
  2. The more fields or pieces of data in each test you have, the better. So perhaps each test should be linked to your NHS record.
  3. The quality of the data is important. In my experience NHS scores about two out of five for quality as a lot of medical staff, often fill it in badly. In one case, I was looking for reasons for low birth weight babies and in many cases, the field was filled with 9.99 Kg.
  4. And then there’s the output of the data. I was taught how to display data for idiots, by the former Chief Accountant of a FTSE 500  company, who was working as the Chief Management Accountant of a Clearing Bank. He had found showing scatter diagrams with each branch as a single point on a large sheet, really got Branch Managers to think about what they are doing, if they weren’t running with the herd. These diagrams made problem branches stand out like the sorest of thumbs!

So where are the scatter diagrams for all of the Health Authorities in the UK, so everybody can see how their area, is doing against everybody else?

By the way, I trust Sir David, as we have the same birthday and share it with James Cameron, Jeff Thomson, Katherine Hamnett, Lawrence of Arabia, Menachem Begin and Madonna.

May 11, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment