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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J005592/1
Title: All in One: Feasibility Analysis of Supplying All Services Through One Utility Product
Principal Investigator: Camci, Dr F
Other Investigators:
Ulanicki, Professor B Varga, Professor LE Boxall, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr R Chitchyan
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Applied Sciences
Organisation: Cranfield University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2011 Ends: 28 June 2013 Value (£): 437,858
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Today each utility product such as water, gas, or electricity is delivered to end-users via a distinct infrastructure. Installation, management, and maintenance of these numerous disparate infrastructures require huge capital expenditure and they create great complexity. They are located in the close proximity from one another which causes undesired interactions (e.g. flooding of electrical cables due to pipe burst), difficulty in installation, maintenance and repair of one infrastructure without interfering with another.

Distinct physical infrastructures lead to distinct utility provision companies and a perception of each utility product as a separate physical and value-providing entity. However, the end users need the services supplied by the utilities; rather than utility products themselves. Users are interested in being warm; not the gas itself or being able to communicate; rather than the phone signal. Users employ devices that transform the utility products into services such as a phone, a central heating system or an oven.

This project is focused around following questions:

1. "Can a single utility product ("the one") supply all the services that the end users need?" The project will investigate the feasibility of supplying all services required by the users in a single utility product by studying questions like "Can the end-user have devices that 'transform' electricity to water via local sewage and rainwater recycling?", or "Can we use water pipes as communication medium"?

2. What are the scientific and technological gaps on the road to the realisation of the single-utility product vision?

3. What is the timed agenda to have a feasible single-utility product delivery by 2111?

The project involves the following steps: requirements analysis, scientific and technological feasibility studies and economic and risk analysis. In the first step, current and future emergent services (cleaning, heating, entertaining, etc.) will be identified. Then, existing and emerging science will be analyzed to evaluate the feasibility of supplying all the services via the selected utility product. Technological feasibility analysis will follow for the scientifically viable solutions. Then, the utility products identified as "the one" will be subjected to economic and risk analysis to validate their practicality.

The output of the project will create a roadmap for scientists and engineers by identifying the existing challenges and gaps in science and technology that prevent one utility product from supplying all the services.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk