Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

Technology

In pictures: Six innovative projects using onsite renewables

30 September 2020

CM spotlights groundbreaking examples of projects installing onsite renewable energy technology

Penzance’s ‘blue lagoon’ heated by geothermal energy

The UK’s first geothermal lido opened this summer in Penzance, Cornwall. The system extracts warm water from a geothermal well, drilled around 410m deep, takes heat out of the water using pumps and distributes it to the pool via a heat exchanger. The geothermal energy heats a section of the pool to a water temperature of 35oC. The well at Penzance’s 85-year-old Jubilee Pool, the UK’s largest lido, was constructed by Geothermal Engineering with grant support from the European Regional Development Fund.

The world’s greenest railway station?

Given planning approval in August, HS2’s interchange near Birmingham is the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM Outstanding certification. Energy generating technology includes air source heat pumps and over 2,000 sq m of solar panels. The station’s design includes use of natural ventilation and daylighting, a rainwater harvesting tank with 150 cu m capacity and 222 electrical vehicle charging points.

Powering construction sites with hydrogen

A zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell capable of providing enough heat and power for an entire off-grid construction site has been installed on a project in Lincolnshire. Siemens, contractor for National Grid’s Viking Link interconnector project, installed the system because the site will not have a grid connection for at least six months. The hydrogen power system was installed in August and will provide 250kVA of standard three phase, 400V of electrical power and up to 80kW of heating.

UK’s biggest heat pump system powers giant greenhouses

Two giant greenhouses constructed in East Anglia will be powered by the UK’s largest ground source heat pump system, according to project manager Step Associates. The 7m-tall glass structures have been built next to Anglian Water sewage works and the closed loop heat pumps will draw in waste heat from the treatment facilities to power the greenhouses. The greenhouses, one near Norwich and one near Bury St Edmunds, have used more glass than The Shard and each one is 50% bigger than London’s O2.

Oxford Superhub is ‘world first’ smart energy system

An energy ‘superhub’, compromising 300 ground source heat pumps, the world’s largest hybrid energy storage facility and a 10km network of electric vehicle (EV) charging points, is under construction in Oxford. Energy Superhub Oxford’s partners, which describe the scheme as a world first, include the University of Oxford, the city council, and Kensa Contracting, which is installing the smart heat pumps on a Blackbird Leys housing development (pictured). 

Demand side response trial in south Wales

This government-backed housing pilot aims to align energy generated by renewable technology in the homes with demand on the grid, using energy more intelligently and reducing residents’ bills. Dubbed FLATLINE (Fixed Level Affordable Tariffs Led by Intelligently Networked Energy), the scheme uses 3.6kW of solar PV per property, 6kW of ground source heat pumps, 5kW of battery storage plus various sensors and meters. The three pilot houses are being built by Sero Homes at The Mill development near Cardiff.

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