Lunchtime Seminar: The Balanced Energy Network
Andy Ford and Mark Hewitt spoke at a lunchtime seminar on Tuesday 17th October to introduce the Balanced Energy Network. Starting with the concept of a building and taking into account the needs of that particular building and its purpose, the BEN approach is to implement an energy network using technologies that are complementary to each other, essentially balancing the various energy demands of a building or group of buildings against each other. For example if you have excess heat being produced from cooling or power generation, how can it be utilised to meet demand for hot water or heating needs?
Using the campus of London South Bank University as a living laboratory this approach has been developed and continues both as an experimental system providing data for analysis and as a working energy supply system. They detailed their use of heat pumps and cold water heat network as well as other local or small scale solutions which then form a comprehensive energy network. These types of networks can subsequently be replicated and/or linked into other systems. This approach prioritises flexibility and cost of each technology in the aim to make it easy to adopt and simple to adapt across varying situations and over time.
Their audience consisted of students and staff from various areas in the university, from the School of Engineering to Computer Science and the Estates team. The talk raised plenty of questions both from a scientific perspective and a practical one. How could this approach and these technologies be applied on the campus at Warwick for example?