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Dr Steven Metcalf

Academic profile photograph

Dr Steven Metcalf

Assistant Professor in Sustainable Thermal Energy Technologies (Research & Teaching)

Steven dot Metcalf at warwick dot ac dot uk
+44 (0)24761 51287


Steven Metcalf obtained his MEng and PhD in mechanical engineering from Warwick in 2004 and 2009, respectively. During his PhD he began work as a researcher within the School’s Sustainable Thermal Energy Technologies (STET) research group and has since worked on several EPSRC, EU, BEIS and industry funded research projects. His research interests include thermally driven heat pumps and refrigeration, heat storage and low-temperature heat networks. He became an Associate Professor (Research) in 2018 following the award of a BEIS grant to develop a gas-fired heat pump. This is his primary research interest and was the topic of his PhD. The product under development is aimed as a replacement for the domestic gas boiler with 30-40% less gas consumption. The technology is seen as a short to medium term solution to decreasing carbon dioxide emissions while the necessary electric grid upgrades are carried out to accommodate electric heat pumps. In the long term, the product would also reduce the supply of gas required in future sustainable gas grids (whether biomethane, hydrogen, etc.). He has represented the UK and the University in two International Energy Agency (IEA) Annexes on thermally driven heat pumps (IEA Annex 34 and Annex 43) and represents the University in the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA).

In October 2023, he took up a Research & Teaching role in the Mechanical, Materials and Process (MMP) stream. He is module leader for ES3B5 Engines and Heat Pumps.

Research Interests

  • Gas-fired heat pumps
  • Thermally driven heat pumps and refrigeration
  • Thermochemical and PCM heat storage
  • Low-temperature heat networks
  • Vehicle air conditioning

Teaching Interests

  • ES3B5 Engines and Heat Pumps Module Leader
    • Gas cycles lectures: Reciprocating engines, gas turbines and combustion
    • Refrigeration laboratory

Steven is available to supervise students with a keen interest in sustainable technologies (particularly those interested in laboratory-based practical projects), including individual and group undergraduate projects and MSc projects.

Selected Publications

Metcalf, S., Rivero-Pacho, Á., Critoph, R., Design and large temperature jump testing of a modular finned-tube carbon–ammonia adsorption generator for gas-fired heat pumps, (2021) Energies, 14 (11)

Albers, A. et al, IEA Annex 43 Final Report: Fuel driven sorption heat pumps, (2020) Heat Pump Centre, Report no. HPT-AN43-1, ISBN 978-91-89167-50-6

Gluesenkamp, K.R., Frazzica, A., Velte, A., Metcalf, S., Yang, Z., Rouhani, M., Blackman, C., Qu, M., Laurenz, E., Rivero‐Pacho, A., Hinmers, S., Critoph, R., Bahrami, M., Füldner, G., Hallin, I., Experimentally measured thermal masses of adsorption heat exchangers, (2020) Energies, 13 (5)

Critoph, R.E., Metcalf, S.J., UK Summary Report on IEA Heat Pump Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) Annex 43: Thermally Driven Heat Pumps, (2019) BEIS,

Rivero-Pacho, A.M., Critoph, R.E., Metcalf, S.J., Alternative monolithic/composite carbons for adsorption generators and simulation for optimal performance, (2017) Applied Thermal Engineering, 126, pp. 350-357

Rivero-Pacho, A.M., Critoph, R.E., Metcalf, S.J., Modelling and development of a generator for a domestic gas-fired carbon-ammonia adsorption heat pump, (2017) Renewable Energy, 110, pp. 180-185

Rivero Pacho, A.M., Critoph, R.E., Metcalf, S.J., Study of Thermal Conductivity and Geometry Wall Contact Resistance Effect of Granular Active Carbon for Refrigeration and Heat Pumping Systems, (2016) Heat Transfer Engineering, 37 (7-8), pp. 720-728

Wang, L.W., Metcalf, S.J., Critoph, R.E., Tamainot-Telto, Z., Thorpe, R., Two types of natural graphite host matrix for composite activated carbon adsorbents, (2013) Applied Thermal Engineering, 50 (2), pp. 1652-1657

Kühn, A. (Ed.), Thermally driven heat pumps for heating and cooling, Technische Universität Berlin, (2013) ISBN 978-3-7983-2596-8

Metcalf, S.J., Critoph, R.E., Tamainot-Telto, Z., Optimal cycle selection in carbon-ammonia adsorption cycles, (2012) International Journal of Refrigeration, 35 (3), pp. 571-580

Wang, L.W., Metcalf, S.J., Critoph, R.E., Thorpe, R., Tamainot-Telto, Z., Development of thermal conductive consolidated activated carbon for adsorption refrigeration, (2012) Carbon, 50 (3), pp. 977-986

Wang, L.W., Metcalf, S.J., Critoph, R.E., Thorpe, R., Tamainot-Telto, Z., Thermal conductivity and permeability of consolidated expanded natural graphite treated with sulphuric acid, (2011), Carbon, 49 (14), pp. 4812-4819

Metcalf, S.J., Tamainot-Telto, Z., Critoph, R.E., Application of a compact sorption generator to solar refrigeration: Case study of Dakar (Senegal), (2011) Applied Thermal Engineering, 31 (14-15), pp. 2197-2204

Wang, L.W., Tamainot-Telto, Z., Thorpe, R., Critoph, R.E., Metcalf, S.J., Wang, R.Z., Study of thermal conductivity, permeability, and adsorption performance of consolidated composite activated carbon adsorbent for refrigeration, (2011) Renewable Energy, 36 (8), pp. 2062-2066

Wang, L.W., Tamainot-Telto, Z., Metcalf, S.J., Critoph, R.E., Wang, R.Z., Anisotropic thermal conductivity and permeability of compacted expanded natural graphite, (2010) Applied Thermal Engineering, 30 (13), pp. 1805-1811

Veselovskaya, J.V., Critoph, R.E., Thorpe, R.N., Metcalf, S., Tokarev, M.M., Aristov, Yu.I., Novel ammonia sorbents "porous matrix modified by active salt" for adsorptive heat transformation: 3. Testing of "BaCl2/vermiculite" composite in a lab-scale adsorption chiller, (2010) Applied Thermal Engineering, 30 (10), pp. 1188-1192

Critoph, R.E., Metcalf, S.J., Tamainot-Telto, Z., Proof of concept car adsorption air-conditioning system using a compact sorption reactor, (2010) Heat Transfer Engineering, 31 (11), pp. 950-956.

Tamainot-Telto, Z., Metcalf, S.J., Critoph, R.E., Zhong, Y., Thorpe, R., Carbon-ammonia pairs for adsorption refrigeration applications: ice making, air conditioning and heat pumping, (2009) International Journal of Refrigeration, 32 (6), pp. 1212-1229

Tamainot-Telto, Z., Metcalf, S.J., Critoph, R.E., Novel compact sorption generators for car air conditioning, (2009) International Journal of Refrigeration, 32 (4), pp. 727-733

Critoph, R.E., Metcalf, S.J., Specific cooling power intensification limits in ammonia-carbon adsorption refrigeration systems, (2004) Applied Thermal Engineering, 24 (5-6), pp. 661-678

Projects and Grants



Start date

End date

Low Temperature Heat Recovery and Distribution Network Technologies (LoT-NET)


January 2019

December 2023

Adsorption Gas Heat Pump


July 2018

March 2022

Small Smart Sustainable Systems for future Domestic Hot Water (4S-DHW)


March 2016

November 2019

Interdisciplinary Centre for for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy (i-STUTE)


April 2013

December 2018

Consumer-Appealing Low Energy Technologies for Building Retrofitting (CALEBRE)


October 2008

April 2013

Development of a quadcon refrigerated container with first generation prototype solar adsorption refrigeration system


October 2007

April 2010

Thermally Operated Mobile Air Conditioning Systems (TOPMACS)


March 2005

March 2009