Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research maps the city's heat

14.05.2012
Steel – the traditional industry for which the UK city of Sheffield is so well known – could help provide a green alternative for heating the city's homes and businesses, alongside other renewable energy sources.

Experts from the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering believe that the many steel plants located just outside the city centre could be connected to Sheffield's existing district heating network to provide an extra 20 MW of thermal energy, enough to heat around 2,000 homes.

"It actually costs the steel plants to reduce the temperature of the flue gas and to cool the water used during steel manufacture. Recovering this heat and transferring it to the district heating network reduces the cost of heat production, improves energy efficiency and is beneficial to the environment, making a 'win, win' situation for the steelworks and the city," says Professor Jim Swithenbank, who played a key role in developing the first phase of Sheffield's district heating system in late 1970s.

Sheffield already has the largest district heating system in the UK, powered through an energy recovery facility that burns the city's non-recyclable waste. Each year this generates 21 MW of electricity, enough to power 22,000 homes, and 60 MW of thermal energy in the form of super-heated steam, which is pumped around the city in a 44 km network of underground pipes. This provides space heating and hot water to over 140 public buildings and 3,000 homes across the city, reducing the city's CO2 emissions by 21,000 tonnes a year.

Engineers from the University's SUWIC Research Centre (Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering) have mapped out a possible expansion of the network which could reduce Sheffield's annual CO2 emissions by a further 80,000 tonnes.

In the study funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the researchers used digital mapping software (GIS) to identify areas of high energy demand against potential new energy sources, such as the steel works and a new biomass plant currently under construction on the site of a former coal-fired power station.

This enabled them to assess where expansion of the network would be most advantageous. Their findings are published today (May 14) in the Journal of Energy Conversion and Management.

District heating, particularly using waste as a fuel, can provide cost-effective and low-carbon energy to local populations, without exposure to the fluctuations of energy markets.

Such systems are currently rare in the UK, although widely used throughout the rest of the world. Many involve partnerships with local industry, where waste heat from process industries supplies the local district heating network; one such system in Finland uses waste heat from a steel producer.

While some UK cities are now using their waste incineration plants to generate electricity, few connect such facilities to a district heating system to realise the full economic and environmental benefits.

"The analysis we've carried out in Sheffield could be mirrored across other UK cities," says Professor Vida Sharifi, who led the research. "Heating buildings is responsible for half the energy use in the UK. The government have estimated that if district heating were used across the UK in areas with high heat demand, it could supply around 5.5 million properties and contribute a fifth of the UK's heating needs.

"District heating is a good way to decarbonise the energy supply to meet national and international legislation on emission limits. And, importantly for local people, this form of energy can also be used to provide low-cost heating, especially to those in areas of fuel poverty."

Abigail Chard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.campuspr.co.uk

Further reports about: CO2 CO2 emission energy source thermal energy waste heat

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht 'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes
25.06.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Scientists print sensors on gummi candy: creating microelectrode arrays on soft materials
21.06.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Superconducting vortices quantize ordinary metal

Russian researchers together with their French colleagues discovered that a genuine feature of superconductors -- quantum Abrikosov vortices of supercurrent -- can also exist in an ordinary nonsuperconducting metal put into contact with a superconductor. The observation of these vortices provides direct evidence of induced quantum coherence. The pioneering experimental observation was supported by a first-ever numerical model that describes the induced vortices in finer detail.

These fundamental results, published in the journal Nature Communications, enable a better understanding and description of the processes occurring at the...

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid water formation in diffuse interstellar clouds

25.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Using tree-fall patterns to calculate tornado wind speed

25.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes

25.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>