Research maps the city's heatMay 13, 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 Engineering Articles:
E. coli may have potentially harmful effects but scientists in Australia have discovered this bacterium produces a toxin which binds to an unusual sugar that is part of carbohydrate structures present on cells not usually produced by healthy cells.
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the University of Zurich announced today a cross-institutional team effort to generate a functional heart valve replacement with the capacity for repair, regeneration, and growth.
The Mackenzie Dike Swarm and the roughly 120 other known giant dike swarms located across the planet may also provide useful information about efficient extraction of oil and natural gas in today's modern world.
Academically strong, low-income would-be engineers get the boost they need to complete their undergraduate degrees.
Professor Ron Hui, Chair Professor of Power Electronics and Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, has been named a Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, one of the most prestigious national academies.
The often-maligned E. coli bacteria has powerhouse potential: in the lab, it has the ability to crank out fuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful products at a rapid rate.
Raresh Pascali, instructional associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program at the University of Houston, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Ross Kastor Educator Award.
A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A.
University of Utah engineers have discovered a new kind of 2-D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that also consume a lot less power.
A University of Bristol academic has been elected a Fellow of the world's largest and most prestigious professional association for the advancement of technology.
Related Engineering Reading:
Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology (100 Ponderables)
by Tom Jackson (Editor) (Author), Tom Jackson (Editor)
From ancient aqueducts to soaring skyscrapers, explore engineering milestones over the centuries.
Combining engaging text with captivating images and helpful diagrams, renowned science writer Tom Jackson guides readers through the history of Engineering in the 7th installment of the groundbreaking PonderablesTM series.
Engineering is all around us. From our bridges, tunnels and skyscrapers, to our cars, computers and smartphones, engineering shapes our world and influences just about everything we see and do. And it s been that way for longer than you might think.... View Details
Basic Machines and How They Work
by Naval Education And Training Program (Author)
This revised edition of an extremely clear Navy training manual leaves nothing to be desired in its presentation. Thorough in its coverage of basic theory, from the lever and inclined plane to internal combustion engines and power trains, it requires nothing more than an understanding of the most elementary mathematics.
Beginning with the simplest of machines — the lever — the text proceeds to discussions of the block and tackle (pulleys and hoists), wheel and axle, the inclined plane and the wedge, the screw, and different types of gears (simple, spur, bevel, herringbone, spiral,... View Details
The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters: 33 Thrilling Experiments Based on History's Greatest Blunders (Irresponsible Science)
by Sean Connolly (Author)
It’s hands-on science with a capital “E”—for engineering.
Beginning with the toppling of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, to the destructive, laserlike sunbeams bouncing off London’s infamous “Fryscraper” in 2013, here is an illustrated tour of the greatest engineering disasters in history, from the bestselling author of The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science.
Each engineering disaster includes a simple, exciting experiment or two using everyday household items to explain the underlying science and put... View Details
The Beginner's Guide to Engineering: Mechanical Engineering
by Mark Huber (Author)
The Beginner’s Guide to Engineering series is designed to provide a very simple, non-technical introduction to the fields of engineering for people with no experience in the fields. Each book in the series focuses on introducing the reader to the various concepts in the fields of engineering conceptually rather than mathematically. These books are a great resource for high school students that are considering majoring in one of the engineering fields, or for anyone else that is curious about engineering but has no background in the field. Books in the series: 1. The Beginner’s Guide to... View Details
Studying Engineering: A Road Map to a Rewarding Career (Fourth Edition)
by Raymond B. Landis (Author)
About the Book
Since Studying Engineering: A Road Map to a Rewarding Career exploded onto the market in 1995, it has become the best selling Introduction to Engineering textbook of all time. Adopted by over 300 U.S. institutions, and reaching more than 150,000 students, the book has made major inroads into the "sink or swim" paradigm of engineering education. Armed with the book as a powerful tool for "student development," large numbers of engineering programs have implemented Introduction to Engineering courses to improve the academic performance and retention rates of their... View Details
101 Things I Learned in Engineering School
by John Kuprenas (Author), Matthew Frederick (Collaborator)
In this unique primer, an experienced civil engineer and instructor presents the physics and fundamentals that underlie the many fields of engineering. Far from a dry, nuts-and-bolts exposition, however, 101 THINGS I LEARNED® IN ENGINEERING SCHOOL probes real-world examples to show how the engineer's way of thinking can-and sometimes cannot-inform our understanding of how things work. Questions from the simple to the profound are illuminated throughout: Why shouldn't soldiers march across a bridge? Why do buildings want to float and cars want to fly? What is the difference between thinking... View Details
The Engineering Book: From the Catapult to the Curiosity Rover, 250 Milestones in the History of Engineering (Sterling Milestones)
by Marshall Brain (Author)
Engineering is where human knowledge meets real-world problems—and solves them. It's the source of some of our greatest inventions, from the catapult to the jet engine. Marshall Brain, creator of the How Stuff Works series and a professor at the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program at NCSU, provides a detailed look at 250 milestones in the discipline. He covers the various areas, including chemical, aerospace, and computer engineering, from ancient history to the present. The topics include architectural wonders like the Acropolis, the Great Wall of China, and the Eiffel Tower; transportation... View Details
Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy
by Sadhguru (Author)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Thought leader, visionary, philanthropist, mystic, and yogi Sadhguru presents Western readers with a time-tested path to achieving absolute well-being: the classical science of yoga.
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SPIRITUALITY & HEALTH
The practice of hatha yoga, as we commonly know it, is but one of eight branches of the body of knowledge that is yoga. In fact, yoga is a sophisticated system of self-empowerment that is capable of harnessing and activating inner energies in such a way that your body and... View Details
Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition
by Paul Scherz (Author), Simon Monk (Author)
A Fully-Updated, No-Nonsense Guide to Electronics
Advance your electronics knowledge and gain the skills necessary to develop and construct your own functioning gadgets. Written by a pair of experienced engineers and dedicated hobbyists, Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition, lays out the essentials and provides step-by-step instructions, schematics, and illustrations. Discover how to select the right components, design and build circuits, use microcontrollers and ICs, work with the latest software tools, and test and tweak your creations. This... View Details
Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems
by Betsy Beyer (Editor), Chris Jones (Editor), Jennifer Petoff (Editor), Niall Richard Murphy (Editor)
The overwhelming majority of a software system’s lifespan is spent in use, not in design or implementation. So, why does conventional wisdom insist that software engineers focus primarily on the design and development of large-scale computing systems?
In this collection of essays and articles, key members of Google’s Site Reliability Team explain how and why their commitment to the entire lifecycle has enabled the company to successfully build, deploy, monitor, and maintain some of the largest software systems in the world. You’ll learn the principles and practices that enable... View Details