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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R045496/1
Title: Low Temperature Heat Recovery and Distribution Network Technologies (LoT-NET)
Principal Investigator: Critoph, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Huang, Professor MJ Eames, Professor PC Maidment, Professor GG
Haines, Professor VJA Elmes, Professor DA Shire, Dr GSF
Hewitt, Professor NJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr S Metcalf
Project Partners:
3D Technical Design Ltd Asda Causeway Coast & Glens
Dept for Bus, Energy & Ind Strat (BEIS) Emerson Climate Technologies GmbH FutureBay
Greater London Authority (GLA) Islington Council London Underground Ltd
REHAU Ltd Spirax sarco SWEP International (UK)
University of Oxford
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 31 December 2024 Value (£): 5,388,928
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Energy Storage
Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 May 2018 Programme Grant Interviews - 15 and 16 May 2018 (Engineering) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Lot-NET considers how waste heat streams from industrial or other sources feeding into low temperature heat networks can combine with optimal heat pump and thermal storage technologies to meet the heating and cooling needs of UK buildings and industrial processes. Heating and cooling produces more than one third of the UK's CO2 emissions and represent about 50% of overall energy demand. BEIS have concluded that heat networks could supply up to 20% of building heat demand by 2050. Heat networks have previously used high temperature hot water to serve buildings and processes but now 4th generation networks seek to use much lower temperatures to make more sources available and reduce losses. Lot-NET will go further by integrating low temperature (LT) networks with heat pump technologies and thermal storage to maximise waste and ambient heat utilisation.

There are several advantages of using LT heat networks combined with heat pumps:

- They can reuse heat currently wasted from a wide variety of sources in urban environments, e.g. data centres, sewage, substation transformers, low grade industrial reject heat.

- Small heat pumps at point of use can upgrade temperature for radiators with minimal electricity use and deleterious effect on the electricity grid.

- Industrial high temperature waste can be 'multiplied' by thermal heat pumps increasing the energy into the LT network.

- By operating the heat network at lower temperatures, system losses are reduced.

Heat source availability is often time dependant. Lot-NET will overcome the challenges of time variation and how to apply smart control and implementation strategies. Thermal storage will be incorporated to reduce the peak loads on electricity networks. The wider use of LT heat networks will require appropriate regulation to support both businesses and customers and Lot-NET will both need to inform and be aware of such regulatory changes. The barrier of initial financial investment is supported by BEIS HNIP but the commercial aspects are still crucial to implementation.

Thus, the aim of LoT-NET is to prove a cost-effective near-zero emissions solution for heating and cooling that realises the huge potential of waste heat and renewable energies by utilising a combination of a low-cost low-loss flexible heat distribution network together with novel input, output and storage technologies. The objectives are:

1. To develop a spatial and temporal simulation tool that can cope with dynamics, scale effects, efficiency, cost, etc. of the whole system of differing temperature heat sources, distribution network, storage and delivery technologies and will address Urban, Suburban and Exurban areas.

2. To determine the preferred combination of heat capture, storage and distribution technologies that meets system energy, environmental and cost constraints. Step change technologies such a chemical heat transport and combined heat-to-power and power-to-heat technologies will be developed.

3. To design, cost and proof of concept prototype (as appropriate) seven energy transformation technologies in the first two-three years. They consist of both electrically driven Vapour Compression and heat driven Sorption technologies. Priority for further development will be then given to those which have likely future benefits.

4. To determine key end use and business/industry requirements for timely adoption. While the Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund initially support future implementation, innovative business models will reduce costs rapidly for products or services that customers want to buy and use. Thus, engagement with stakeholders and end users to provide evidence of possible business propositions will occur.

5. To demonstrate/validate the integrated technologies applicable to chosen case studies. The range of heating, cooling, transformation and storage technologies studied will be individually laboratory tested interacting with a simulated netw
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk