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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T022760/1
Title: H2-Heat: Thermal energy transport for heating and cooling with innovative hydrogen(H2) technologies
Principal Investigator: Ge, Professor Y
Other Investigators:
Maddy, Mr J Tassou, Professor S Dehouche, Dr Z
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
HiETA Technologies Ltd Kelvion Searle Ricardo Group
Tata Steel
Department: Faculty of Computing, Eng. and Science
Organisation: University of South Wales
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2020 Ends: 31 March 2023 Value (£): 995,241
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Sustainable Energy Vectors
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Feb 2020 Decarbonising Heat Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
In the UK, heat accounts for over a third of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the heating and cooling in our industries and buildings are delivered directly or indirectly by fossil fuels. Apart from the greenhouse emissions, the extensive consumption of fossil fuels can also lead to a large depletion of energy resources, waste heat production and pollution to the surrounding environment. To meet the target of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there is an urgent need for decarbonising heating and cooling by utilising renewable energy and industrial waste heat with advanced technologies. Compared to renewable energy such as solar, the resources from industrial waste heat have clear advantages including greater stabilisation, less cost and larger temperature ranges. Therefore, industrial waste heat recovery for decarbonised heating and cooling is an attractive concept that could simultaneously reduce fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Evidently, in the UK, based on a recent report, it was identified that around 48 TWh/yr industrial waste heat sources were available of which about 28 TWh/yr could be potentially used to meet the heating and cooling demands. All heat-intensive industrial sectors including iron & steel, refineries, ceramics, glass, cement, chemicals, food and drink, paper and pulp can contribute to this potential. Even so, high efficient energy conversion systems need to be designed and applied so as to maximize the waste heat utilisations for heating and cooling. On the other hand, the locations of industrial waste heat providers such as steel plants are mostly far away from the utilisers for heating and cooling. Conventionally, hot water heated by the industrial waste heat is transported through long distance water pipe to the end user site which can cause huge pump power consumption and heat losses due to significant friction pressure drop for the water flow and large temperature difference between water flow and ambient. There are therefore challenges to the long-distance waste heat transport and high-efficient and innovative energy conversion technologies for the decarbonising heating and cooling.

To address these challenges, in this proposal, strategies for a novel concept of decarbonising district heating and cooling system (H2-heat) will be developed with the integration of metal hydride (MH) heat pump on site, long distance hydrogen and heat transport, and MH heating and cooling for end users. In such a system, low grade heat (~210C) and extra low grade heat (~40C) from TATA Steel plant or a similar industry site will be used as heat sources while building heating and cooling spaces are applied as heat sink and low temperature heat source respectively at end user side. Technologies of MH heat pump, a thermal driven chemical compressor with MH, long distance hydrogen and heat transport, MH space heating and cooling, MH alloys and reactors applied in the systems and processes, controls for space heating and cooling etc. will be identified and investigated. Ultimately, a decarbonising district heating and cooling test system with industrial waste heat from TATA Steel plant or other industrial sites will be constructed in lab with 5 kWth heating or cooling capacity and high heat transport efficiency. Furthermore, a detailed mathematical model will be developed and validated for the established system; this can be used for a system scale-up into actual application in TATA Steel plant or other industrial sites where low grade waste heat is available. As yet, no research activity on such a system can be found either nationally or internationally. Important reasons include the difficulty in choosing a thermal driven long distance hydrogen and heat transport system and associated MH alloys for space heating and cooling and complicated designs of MH reactors in the H2-heat system. These challenges and issues will be addressed and solved by this proposed project.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.southwales.ac.uk