Month: April 2012

UK routemap to decarbonising heating: heat pumps and heat networks

Gas is currently the main source of heating in the UK

Heat pumps and heat networks could play a major role in slashing heating emissions from our buildings and factories between now and 2050, according to a new UK Government heat strategy.

The Government set out its vision on how to cut emissions from heating homes, businesses and industry over the coming decades. As well as options for making our buildings and factories more energy efficient, the heat strategy examines different ways low carbon heat could be supplied in the future. It suggests that heat pumps could play a major role in providing low carbon heat for individual buildings, while in some areas, heat networks could be the least costly and most efficient way to connect buildings, communities or industrial sites to greener sources of energy.
The UK Government says it is already starting to make the change to low carbon heat through schemes such as the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Renewable Heat Premium Payment, which offers money off renewable kit for householders. However the heat strategy, sets out the scale of the challenge and a framework for addressing it. It also poses questions on how best to move forward.
Full Article in Greenwise.

Sydney is set to get Australia’s first citywide low-carbon energy network

Sydney is set to get Australia’s first citywide low-carbon energy network after it signed a deal with Cogent for a trigeneration network supplying electricity, heating and air conditioning.

Under the agreement Cogent, a subsidiary of Australia’s largest energy company Origin, will install the network to supply low-carbon electricity to both public and private buildings in four low carbon zones across central Sydney.

The city’s interim trigeneration masterplan included a total of 360 MW by 2030 at a cost of AUS $440 million, to provide 70 percent of the local government area’s electricity requirements. This agreement covers the initial stages of the plan. More information

Last year Origin worked with Investa Property Group to develop Australia’s first open commercial trigeneration precinct in Sydney. It is also building a trigeneration precinct in Melbourne. Cogent will begin installing Sydney’s low-carbon energy network next year.

Source: Building4Change

Altaeros Energies uses helium-filled inflatable to harness consistent winds

Altaeros Energies is capturing media attention with the blimp-like appearance of its prototype inflatable airborne turbine, but it is claimed that the innovation could also cut energy costs by up to 65 percent.

A helium-filled inflatable shell allows the airborne wind turbine (AWT) to ascend to heights of more than 1,000 feet, where winds are more consistent and more than five times stronger than those at the level of traditional tower-mounted turbines, says Altaeros Energies.

The company, which came out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has just put a 10m-wide prototype to the test. This climbed to more than 100m above ground, produced power at altitude, and landed in an automated cycle. It lifted the Southwest Skystream turbine to produce more than double the power at high altitude of a ground-based equivalent. The turbine is transported and deployed from a towable docking trailer and held steady by strong tethers. The lifting technology is adapted from aerostats, industrial cousins of the blimps that lift heavy communications and radar equipment.

Full article in Building4Change

Isle of Wight store becomes first UK supermarket to be powered by woodchip

Waitrose in partnership with energy services company, MITIE, has launched a new energy centre on the Isle of Wight. The supermarket in East Cowes is the first in the UK to obtain the vast majority of its heating, cooling and power from an independent energy source (sustainably sourced local woodchip).

Renewable and low carbon technologies installed in the store will reduce its carbon footprint by over 750 tonnes each year – equivalent to 1500 transatlantic flights. It will also generate £150,000 per annum for the local economy in the form of new jobs and through the purchase of the wood chip; around 175 tonnes will be delivered to the energy centre every month, sourced from Firestone Copse on the island. There will even be capacity in the future for the energy centre to heat local homes and community facilities.

Full article in Building4Change

English National Heat Map Launched

The National Heat Map was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and created by The Centre for Sustainable Energy. The purpose of the Map is to support planning and deployment of local low-carbon energy projects in England. It aims to achieve this by providing publicly accessible high-resolution web-based maps of heat demand by area.

The heat map in split-screen mode, showing total heat demand in Hereford (the 'hotspot' is a public swimming pool)

The heat map is primarily intended to help identify locations where heat distribution is most likely to be beneficial and economic. It is important to note that it should be used as a tool for prioritising locations for more detailed investigation – and not as a tool for designing heat networks directly or for querying energy bills.

Residential heat demand over South Manchester. Note the absence of data for the industrial estate in the centre of the image

With the exception of public buildings, the heat map was produced entirely without access to the meter readings or energy bills of individual premises. As a result it contains no personal information whatsoever. This means that once a location has been established as having potential, it will always be necessary to obtain directly metered data on the relevant sites. With the exception of public buildings, the maps are based on data that has been modelled down to an individual address level, but none of the information used in any way constitutes personal data.

Commercial and government heat demand in Portsmouth

This approach to modelling allows aggregation of results upwards without losing accuracy, whilst preserving the ability to drill down to finer scales at chosen locations. At high map zoom levels the outputs are at sufficiently fine scales to allow users to identify individual buildings and groups of buildings which could benefit from heat distribution installations, taking account of the relative accuracy of modelled data.

Individual features like CHP plants and thermal power stations can be identified. Here, the CHP station at Boots' HQ in Beeston, Nottingham is flagged

The National Heat Map is a free and publicly accessible resource providing high-resolution maps of heat demand across England.

It aims to help local authorities, community groups and other users identify locations where heat distribution projects are most likely to make a difference – by cutting carbon emissions and reducing heating costs.

The heat map is based on modelled estimates of annual heat demand at every address in England, and is extremely detailed as a result.

This detail allows users to investigate energy use patterns at the level of individual buildings and streets: exactly what’s needed to support the development of local, low-carbon decentralised energy projects across the country.

Once a potential opportunity has been identified using the heat map, the next step is to approach local stakeholders to develop interest in the project, and to obtain directly metered heat demand data for use in a feasibility study.

About the National Heat Map – DECC

Launch of National Heat Map – CSE

Other articles:-

DECC Blog – Putting Low Carbon Heating on the map