CASE STUDY: BEN – The Balanced Energy Network
The BEN Consortium has delivered an Innovate UK award project to construct a Balanced Energy Network at the London South Bank University campus, ten minutes walk from Waterloo. The demonstration project highlights the hybrid integration of high temperature heatpumps into existing buildings operating in parallel with existing gas boilers and sharing heat across the campus via an ambient temperature pipe loop.
The project is the first demonstration of this approach in UK monitored with outputs published in the academic press. This BEN Project has incorporated research packages to demonstrate that Balanced Energy Networks represent a scalable and adaptable answer to meeting the UK’s growing demand for efficient carbon-free space and hot water heating and develop the district energy management systems necessary for successful implementation.
- Development of high temperature heatpumps suitable for direct replacement of gas boilers.
- Hybrid integration of heatpumps into existing buildings, demonstration of virtual distributed storage and demand side response enabling.
- Development of CO2 negative approach to electricity generation from fuel cell.
- Balanced Energy Networks are designed to provide a more cost effective, flexible, and scalable alternative to conventional district heating networks.
The system was seamlessly integrated without disruption. However, the routing of pipework between buildings exposed legal challenges around ownership of the roadway. Similarly, of vital importance is correct survey information of plant areas and monitored temperature data being available to allow correct system design.