ETI puts £500,000 into heat network research

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing nearly £500,000 in research around adding a smart heat and power network to a set of demonstration homes at the University of Nottingham.

The existing Creative Energy Homes scheme at the University Park Campus in Nottingham consists of four detached and three semi-detached properties built to different building regulations. They act as a test bed for the integration of new energy efficient technologies into houses. Under the ETI investment a small-scale heat network with heat storage capability will be added to provide heat directly to the homes.

ETI energy storage and distribution project manager Susie Winter explained the thinking behind the investment: “Our analysis has shown that heat networks could play a significant part in decarbonising the provision of heat in the UK’s future energy system and this combined with the potential for localised electricity storage using battery, hydrogen or other solutions may provide real benefits to the energy system”.

Winter added: “Developing this test facility will provide a platform for de-risking and trialling new ideas and technologies and showcasing them to potential investors.”

The ETI has published a report, Decarbonising heat for UK homes, which identifies two main potential pathways towards cutting carbon emissions from homes: local area schemes delivering low carbon heat through heat networks, and individual home systems using electricity for heating.

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