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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V042149/1
Title: SaFEGround - Sustainable, Flexible and Efficient Ground-source heating and cooling systems
Principal Investigator: Taborda, Dr DMG
Other Investigators:
Mac Dowell, Dr N Black, Professor L Al-Tabbaa, Professor A
Michaelides, Professor A A Markides, Professor CN Wright, Dr AJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr P Sapin
Project Partners:
Arup Group Ltd Atkins Cementation Skanska Limited
Dept for Bus, Energy & Ind Strat (BEIS) E.On ENERCRET Ltd
Geotechnical Consulting Hubbard Products Limited isoenergy
Leicester City Council Mitsubishi Electric R&D Centre Europe BV PCM Products Limited
Department: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2021 Ends: 31 March 2024 Value (£): 1,520,505
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Earth Engineering Energy Efficiency
Ground Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Through the 2008 Climate Change act, the UK committed to reduce by 80% its carbon emissions. While great progress has been made so far, data suggests that reductions in emissions have been achieved through switching electricity production to greener, more environmentally friendly sources, such as offshore wind. Clearly, it is inevitable that, to achieve further reductions in carbon emissions, we need to look for improvements elsewhere, such as heating and cooling of buildings, which accounts for 25% of all UK final energy consumption and 15% of carbon emissions.

Project SaFEGround aims to provide a template for reducing emissions associated to heating and cooling through the deployment of heat pumps. These are efficient devices capable of extracting heat from a storage medium, e.g. air for air-source heat pumps or the ground for ground-source heat pumps, and this is done with high efficiency, since for each unit of electricity consumed by the system, it is usual to get 3-4 units of heat. Clearly, these are more environmentally-friendly than boilers as they require only electricity, which, as mentioned above, is increasingly being generated from renewable and low-carbon sources.

Therefore, SaFEGround will investigate how ground-source heat pumps can be coupled with civil engineering structures to deliver low-carbon heating and cooling in a sustainable, safe and efficient manner. To achieve this, SaFEGround will combine research on material science, heat pump technology, energy geotechnics, building energy systems modelling, whole-system modelling and finance, to demonstrate that ground source energy systems can play an important role in the UK's future low-carbon energy mix in a cost-effective manner.

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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk