Thermal Energy Challenge Network

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

Tackling climate change, providing energy security and delivering sustainable energy solutions are major challenges faced by civil society. The social, environmental and economic cost of these challenges means that it is vital that there is a research focus on improving the conversion and use of thermal energy. A great deal of research and development is continuing to take place to reduce energy consumption and deliver cost-effective solutions aimed at helping the UK achieve its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Improved thermal energy performance impacts on industry through reduced energy costs, reduced emissions, and enhanced energy security. Improving efficiency and reducing emissions is necessary to increase productivity, support growth in the economy and maintain a globally competitive manufacturing sector.
In the UK, residential and commercial buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of the UK's total non-transport energy use, with space heating and hot water accounting for almost 80% of residential and 60% of commercial energy use. Thermal energy demand has continued to increase over the past 40 years, even though home thermal energy efficiency has been improving.

Improved thermal energy conversion and utilisation results in reduced emissions, reduced costs for industrial and domestic consumers and supports a more stable energy security position. In the UK, thermal energy (heating and cooling) is the largest use of energy in our society and cooling demand set to increase as a result of climate change. The need to address the thermal energy challenge at a multi-disciplinary level is essential and consequently this newly established network will support the technical, social, economic and environmental challenges, and the potential solutions. It is crucial to take account of the current and future economic, social, environmental and legislative barriers and incentives associated with thermal energy. The Thermal Energy Challenge Network will support synergistic approaches which offer opportunities for improved sustainable use of thermal energy which has previously been largely neglected. This approach can result in substantial energy demand reductions but collaboration and networking is essential if this is to be achieved. A combination of technological solutions working in a multi-disciplinary manner with engineers, physical scientists, and social scientists is essential and this will be encouraged and supported by the Thermal Energy Challenge Network.

Planned Impact

Industry and business will benefit through knowledge transfer of innovative technology, best practice and behaviour related research to improve thermal energy management. The result will be advanced development, reduced fuel costs, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improving efficiency to allow them to provide thermal energy management solutions into a growing international market. Industry and business will also benefit from the opportunity to engage with researchers in order to input to inform future research strategies, identify challenges and communicate their needs and real/perceived barriers. Government and policy makers are increasingly aware of the technological, social and environmental challenges of future energy supply and demand and sustainability targets. They will benefit by having the opportunity to input their identified knowledge gaps and requirements into the international research effort. They will receive relevant information and data which will provide relevant insight and aide decision making and help shape future energy policy. Benefits will be gained from the knowledge transfer of robust technical, social and economic solutions from the academic community. The forecast of future need and identification of challenges taking account of barriers, incentives, trade-offs and opportunities to exploit effective thermal energy management across sectors will support policy and regulatory interventions. Academic researchers will benefit from the Network through the opportunity to disseminate research outcomes as widely as possible via an array of pathways as outlined in the proposal, including presentation at the conferences and journal publication in special issues. Academic researchers will also benefit from the availability of a centralised resource library on the website and the opportunity to engage with a wide range of international stakeholders. The general population will benefit as the technical, economic, social and sustainable solutions disseminated through the Network will ultimately result in reduced energy bills and this will contribute towards tackling the important issue of fuel poverty. Society as a whole will also benefit from the positive impact due to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Network website will provide open access to progress reports, research publications and advertise activities, such as conferences, forums and workshops. It will also provide general information about thermal energy challenges and important results in a way that is accessible and interesting to the non-research community. It will host a dedicated secure section for research outcomes and other confidential data. By organising international conferences, this pathway would provide an important opportunity for the research community (private and public) to reach a wide audience of other researchers, industry and policymakers. The Network will produce full length conference proceedings. High impact journals, such as Applied Energy, will be engaged to produce Special Editions resulting from the conferences. The Special Editions will be an efficient means to extend the impact to a wider group of audience and stimulate future work. The Network will establish strong links with UK, European and worldwide networks and Research Centres in order to disseminate research activity. A number of forums and workshops will be run strategically at different locations in the UK to facilitate effective engagement and communication among the stakeholders. Future need, research challenges and strategies will be identified by gathering feedback via questionnaires and interactive sessions at the Network events.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Held international conference in the Netherlands, published a special issue in leading academic journal and buildings industrial workshop.
Exploitation Route Access to new knowledge presented in conference proceedings and journal special issue
Sectors Energy

 
Description Industrial stakeholders were engaged directly via emails and one-day workshop. Their perceptions were taken into account in identifying research needs and future direction, and presented in an international conference in Hong Kong, which attracted approximately 1000 conference delegates. It was followed up with a journal publication.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Oral presentation entitled "Moving towards low-carbon manufacturing in the UK automotive industry" delivered in an international conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Approximately 1000 delegates (primarily academics and researchers working on thermal related research) attended the 10th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE2018) in Hong Kong, where the oral presentation was delivered.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.applied-energy.org/icae2018/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ICAE2018_final_Program.pdf
 
Description Oral presentation entitled "National policies and industrial stakeholder perspectives on building thermal performance in the UK" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Approximately 1000 delegates (primarily academics and researchers working on thermal related research) attended the 10th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE2018) in Hong Kong, where the oral presentation was delivered.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.applied-energy.org/icae2018/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ICAE2018_final_Program.pdf
 
Description The 4th Sustainable Thermal Energy Management International Conference (SusTEM2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact SusTEM2017 was coordinated jointly with the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN). The organising committee of ECN was led by Sigrid Bollwerk, Program Development Manager of Energy Efficiency in Industry. Also, the EPSRC-funded Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP) run a special session on relevant topics for research dissemination.

The scope of SusTEM2017 covered industrial waste heat utilisation; industrial energy, materials and products; renewable heating and cooling systems; building energy performance; control, modelling and optimisation; thermal networks; energy efficiency; economics and policy challenges. It consisted of keynote speeches, oral presentations, poster exhibition and conference dinner.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/thermal_challenge_network/events/sustem2017inthenetherlands/
 
Description Visit to the ECN facilities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact As the largest energy research institute in the Netherlands, Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) carries out research into new technologies for energy efficiency, heat technology and process technology. ECN's research in energy efficiency focusses on using (1) heat technology to reduce energy costs; and (2) process technology to improve operating processes. The visit to the ECN facilities was organised following SusTEM2017 for knowledge sharing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/thermal_challenge_network/events/sustem2017inthenetherlands/visittotheecn...
 
Description Workshop on the Thermal Energy Challenge for the Built Environment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The workshop was hosted by BRE and the scope focused on the Thermal Energy Challenge for the Built Environment. Topics included heat loss, heating systems, innovative heating solutions, energy mapping of existing buildings, building energy consumption/performance, energy efficiency, smart building, zero energy building, passive house etc. Three keynote speeches (each covered a 20-minute presentation and 10-minute Q&A), interactive sessions and group discussion were carried out which built around research challenges and future need in the subject. A site tour was organised at the end of the workshop, which allowed the workshop participants to learn about BRE's research facilities and technologies.

During the Workshop, industrial stakeholders discussed and exchanged their views on the built environment, technology and innovation, barriers and reflections on reality. The outcomes were presented as an oral presentation at the 10th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE2018) in Hong Kong, which was received well among international colleagues working in the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/thermal_challenge_network/events/workshoponthethermalenergychallenge/