Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Research maps the city's heat

May 14, 2012

Steel - the traditional industry for which the UK city of Sheffield is so well known - could help provide a green alternative for heating the city's homes and businesses, alongside other renewable energy sources.

Experts from the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering believe that the many steel plants located just outside the city centre could be connected to Sheffield's existing district heating network to provide an extra 20 MW of thermal energy, enough to heat around 2,000 homes.

"It actually costs the steel plants to reduce the temperature of the flue gas and to cool the water used during steel manufacture. Recovering this heat and transferring it to the district heating network reduces the cost of heat production, improves energy efficiency and is beneficial to the environment, making a 'win, win' situation for the steelworks and the city," says Professor Jim Swithenbank, who played a key role in developing the first phase of Sheffield's district heating system in late 1970s.

Sheffield already has the largest district heating system in the UK, powered through an energy recovery facility that burns the city's non-recyclable waste. Each year this generates 21 MW of electricity, enough to power 22,000 homes, and 60 MW of thermal energy in the form of super-heated steam, which is pumped around the city in a 44 km network of underground pipes. This provides space heating and hot water to over 140 public buildings and 3,000 homes across the city, reducing the city's CO2 emissions by 21,000 tonnes a year.

Engineers from the University's SUWIC Research Centre (Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering) have mapped out a possible expansion of the network which could reduce Sheffield's annual CO2 emissions by a further 80,000 tonnes.

In the study funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the researchers used digital mapping software (GIS) to identify areas of high energy demand against potential new energy sources, such as the steel works and a new biomass plant currently under construction on the site of a former coal-fired power station.

This enabled them to assess where expansion of the network would be most advantageous. Their findings are published today (May 14) in the Journal of Energy Conversion and Management.

District heating, particularly using waste as a fuel, can provide cost-effective and low-carbon energy to local populations, without exposure to the fluctuations of energy markets.

Such systems are currently rare in the UK, although widely used throughout the rest of the world. Many involve partnerships with local industry, where waste heat from process industries supplies the local district heating network; one such system in Finland uses waste heat from a steel producer.

While some UK cities are now using their waste incineration plants to generate electricity, few connect such facilities to a district heating system to realise the full economic and environmental benefits.

"The analysis we've carried out in Sheffield could be mirrored across other UK cities," says Professor Vida Sharifi, who led the research. "Heating buildings is responsible for half the energy use in the UK. The government have estimated that if district heating were used across the UK in areas with high heat demand, it could supply around 5.5 million properties and contribute a fifth of the UK's heating needs.

"District heating is a good way to decarbonise the energy supply to meet national and international legislation on emission limits. And, importantly for local people, this form of energy can also be used to provide low-cost heating, especially to those in areas of fuel poverty."


University of Sheffield


Related District Heating System Current Events and District Heating System News Articles


Megacity metabolism: Is your city consuming a balanced diet?
New York is an energy hog, London and Paris use relatively fewer resources and Tokyo conserves water like a pro. These are just a few of the findings from a new study on "megacity metabolism"--the world's first comprehensive survey of resources used and removed in each of the world's 27 largest metropolitan areas.
More District Heating System Current Events and District Heating System News Articles

Advanced District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Systems (Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy)

Advanced District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Systems (Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy)
by Robin Wiltshire (Editor)


Advanced District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Systems presents the latest information on the topic, providing valuable information on the distribution of centrally generated heat or cold energy to buildings, usually in the form of space heating, cooling, and hot water. As DHC systems are more efficient and less polluting than individual domestic or commercial heating and cooling systems, the book provides an introduction to DHC, including its potential contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, then reviews thermal energy generation for DHC, including fossil fuel-based technologies, those based on renewables, and surplus heat valorization. Final sections address methods to improve the efficiency of DHC.Gives a comprehensive overview of DHC systems and the technologies and energy...

District Heating and Cooling

District Heating and Cooling
by Svend Frederiksen (Author), Sven Werner (Author)


In urban areas, moving hot and cold air efficiently is essential. By connecting suitable customer heat and cold demands with available heat and cold sources, resource use can be lower when compared to conventional heat and cold supply, such as boilers and air conditioners. Chapters about the fundamental idea, energy markets, customer demands, load variations, supply, environmental impact, distribution, substations, system functioning, economics, planning, historical development, current and future use, organization, and information sources concerning the flows of heat and cold in district heating and cooling systems are included.

A Handbook on Low-Energy Buildings and District-Energy Systems: Fundamentals, Techniques and Examples

A Handbook on Low-Energy Buildings and District-Energy Systems: Fundamentals, Techniques and Examples
by L.D. Danny Harvey (Author)


Winner of Choice Magazine - Outstanding Academic Titles for 2007 Buildings account for over one third of global energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Reducing energy use by buildings is therefore an essential part of any strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and thereby lessen the likelihood of potentially catastrophic climate change. Bringing together a wealth of hard-to-obtain information on energy use and energy efficiency in buildings at a level which can be easily digested and applied, Danny Harvey offers a comprehensive, objective and critical sourcebook on low-energy buildings. Topics covered include: thermal envelopes, heating, cooling, heat pumps, HVAC systems, hot water, lighting, solar energy, appliances and office equipment, embodied energy,...

District Heating: Thermal Generation and Distribution (International series in heating, ventilation, and refrigeration ; v. 13)

District Heating: Thermal Generation and Distribution (International series in heating, ventilation, and refrigeration ; v. 13)
by C.Mackenzie- Kennedy (Author)


Book by Kennedy, C.Mackenzie-

Planning of Geothermal District Heating Systems

Planning of Geothermal District Heating Systems
by Alberto Piatti (Author), Carlo Piemonte (Author), Edoardo Szegö (Author)


Geothermal waters, hot enough to provide direct heating, are available in many parts of the world. Some are exploited already but many more are only now being considered, as planners begin to recognize the environmental benefits of this unfamiliar energy resource. The relative economic benefits are more marginal, however, and a successful scheme requires careful design and optimization. The nature of geothermal resources imposes special conditions which may be unfamiliar to many plant engineers. In addition, many different approaches are possible, depending on the characteristics of the resource and the user and on the operator's requirements. Must the scheme be optimized for energy recovery or for financial return, or is it more important that it should remain profitable over...

Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems, Second Edition (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series)

Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems, Second Edition (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series)
by Frank Kreith (Author)


Completely revised and updated, Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems, Second Edition presents broad-based coverage of sustainable energy sources and systems. The book is designed as a text for undergraduate seniors and first-year graduate students. It focuses on renewable energy technologies, but also treats current trends such as the expanding use of natural gas from fracking and development of nuclear power. It covers the economics of sustainable energy, both from a traditional monetary as well as from an energy return on energy invested (EROI) perspective. The book provides complete and up-to-date coverage of all renewable technologies, including solar and wind power, biological processes such as anaerobic digestion and geothermal energy. The new edition also examines social...

Technical Guide to District Heating

Technical Guide to District Heating
by Robin Wiltshire (Author)


This guide is aimed at all involved in the technical aspects of district heating networks. It provides a source of information when developing new schemes or refurbishing existing schemes, focusing particularly on technical rather than financial issues. The importance of other low-carbon sources of heat including thermal renewable energy is emphasized. Comprehensive technical information is presented, with sections outlining system and component design, and operation and maintenance.

District Heating and Combined Heat and Power Systems: A Technology Review

District Heating and Combined Heat and Power Systems: A Technology Review
by International Energy Agency (Author)




Energy Audit of Building Systems: An Engineering Approach, Second Edition (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series)

Energy Audit of Building Systems: An Engineering Approach, Second Edition (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series)
by Moncef Krarti (Author)


Buildings account for almost half of total primary energy use and related greenhouse emissions worldwide. Although current energy systems are improving, they still fall disappointingly short of meeting acceptable limits for efficiency. Well-trained energy auditors are essential to the success of building energy efficiency programs―and Energy Audit of Building Systems: An Engineering Approach, Second Edition updates a bestselling guide to helping them improve their craft. This book outlines a systematic, proven strategy to employ analysis methods to assess the effectiveness of a wide range of technologies and techniques that can save energy and reduce operating costs in residential and commercial buildings. Useful to auditors, managers, and students of energy systems, material is...

District Heating and Cooling in the United States: Prospects and Issues

District Heating and Cooling in the United States: Prospects and Issues
by Committee on District Heating and Cooling (Author), Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems (Author), Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences (Author), National Research Council (Author)


Used historically in urban areas but now mainly in institutions, district heating and cooling systems--efficient centralized energy systems that may use energy sources other than petroleum--have gained renewed interest. This volume is a nontechnical examination of the history and current extent of district heating and cooling systems in the United States, their costs and benefits, technical requirements, market demand for them, and European experience with such systems, with major focus on the problems of financing, regulation, and taxation. Appendixes provide case studies of cities and towns currently using district heating and cooling systems.


© 2016 BrightSurf.com