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A New Approach to Energy Centre Design

Recent years have seen on-site, low carbon energy generation and storage technologies emerge as increasingly viable alternatives to the fossil-fuelled, grid reliant systems which have supplied heating, cooling and power to the built environment for decades. This transition brings increased complexity and uncertainty, which poses many significant challenges to engineers and developers alike.

The built environmeAnt’s gradual transition from reliance upon externally supplied energy to a more distributed, low carbon approach can be attribute to a wide range of social, economic, environmental and technical factors. However, it is the legislative changes which have been introduced in response to these factors which can be seen as the primary driving force behind the transition itself, and the emergence of the rapidly evolving Energy Centre market which exists today.

As a result, the measurement, simulation and mitigation of carbon emissions is big business, and affects developers, designers and building users. This poses challenges to designers as they must ensure that projects meet the increasingly stringent carbon emissions target which are defined at a national level through Building Regulations and at a local level through planning initiatives.

New Challenges

For developers, this poses many challenges as it shifts away from the traditional, tried and tested approach towards the use of new and emerging technologies, some of which are intermittent in nature, adding risk and uncertainty. This represents a barrier to the selection of technologies.

To integrate these technologies into the built environment successfully, engineers must select size appropriate combinations of energy generation and storage technologies, which are capable of satisfying energy demands under a range of potential scenarios.

This is approached using the same process that has been used to specify energy systems for fossil-fuelled, grid reliant buildings. However, this is not conductive to the integration of non-dispatchable technologies and presents many design issues. The design emphasis which is placed on ‘peak’ and ‘base’ load estimates when sizing items of plant serves as a barrier to the design of complex hybrid systems where multiple system components may be working in combination, and thermal and electrical processes are more closely linked.

This approach under-utilises the range of highly capable software tools which are currently available. Instead, established benchmarks (which have shown to result in oversizing) are used in lieu of detailed project specific information.

The HPF Approach

A new approach is required which utilises the range of energy modelling and simulation tools which are currently available and provides a structured approach to the detailed quantification of energy demands and the selection and sizing of appropriate technologies.

We work closely with academic partners at the University of Strathclyde to develop a new approach to Energy Centre design to address the limitations of the traditional approach and to support key decision making during early stages of project development. This is achieved through development of high resolution system models which incorporates all aspects of energy generation, storage and consumption. Our approach utilises a wide range of state-of-the-art software tools drawn from industry and academia which are applied within a structured selection and sizing methodology. Matching energy supply and storage technologies is emphasised to the specific demand characteristics of each individual project and allows the design of Energy Centres to be carried out to far greater details.

This approached can be used to provide technical, economic and environmental performance information. The integration of demand and supply within a single system model created an additional design resource to be used to carry out design sensitivity analysis and impact studies quickly and accurately. This can be used to produce detailed design and performance information earlier in the design process than before. Therefore, the design team and other decision makers can make informed decisions by reducing the uncertainty associated with low and zero carbon technologies, thereby facilitating the delivery of Energy Centre solutions which are both technically and financially efficient.

This approach allows engineers and developers to seize the opportunities it presents. This can include reduced operating costs, improved energy reliability, a more cost-effective route to compliance and access to additional revenue streams.

Recent years have seen on-site, low carbon energy generation and storage technologies emerge as increasingly viable alternatives to the fossil-fuelled, grid reliant systems which have supplied heating, cooling and power to the built environment for decades. This transition brings increased complexity and uncertainty, which poses many significant challenges to engineers and developers alike.

The built environment’s gradual transition from reliance upon externally supplied energy to a more distributed, low carbon approach can be attribute to a wide range of social, economic, environmental and technical factors. However, it is the legislative changes which have been introduced in response to these factors which can be seen as the primary driving force behind the transition itself, and the emergence of the rapidly evolving Energy Centre market which exists today.

As a result, the measurement, simulation and mitigation of carbon emissions is big business, and affects developers, designers and building users. This poses challenges to designers as they must ensure that projects meet the increasingly stringent carbon emissions target which are defined at a national level through Building Regulations and at a local level through planning initiatives.

New Challenges

For developers, this poses many challenges as it shifts away from the traditional, tried and tested approach towards the use of new and emerging technologies, some of which are intermittent in nature, adding risk and uncertainty. This represents a barrier to the selection of technologies.

To integrate these technologies into the built environment successfully, engineers must select size appropriate combinations of energy generation and storage technologies, which are capable of satisfying energy demands under a range of potential scenarios.

This is approached using the same process that has been used to specify energy systems for fossil-fuelled, grid reliant buildings. However, this is not conductive to the integration of non-dispatchable technologies and presents many design issues. The design emphasis which is placed on ‘peak’ and ‘base’ load estimates when sizing items of plant serves as a barrier to the design of complex hybrid systems where multiple system components may be working in combination, and thermal and electrical processes are more closely linked.

This approach under-utilises the range of highly capable software tools which are currently available. Instead, established benchmarks (which have shown to result in oversizing) are used in lieu of detailed project specific information.

The HPF Approach

A new approach is required which utilises the range of energy modelling and simulation tools which are currently available and provides a structured approach to the detailed quantification of energy demands and the selection and sizing of appropriate technologies.

We work closely with academic partners at the University of Strathclyde to develop a new approach to Energy Centre design to address the limitations of the traditional approach and to support key decision making during early stages of project development. This is achieved through development of high resolution system models which incorporates all aspects of energy generation, storage and consumption. Our approach utilises a wide range of state-of-the-art software tools drawn from industry and academia which are applied within a structured selection and sizing methodology. Matching energy supply and storage technologies is emphasised to the specific demand characteristics of each individual project and allows the design of Energy Centres to be carried out to far greater details.

This approached can be used to provide technical, economic and environmental performance information. The integration of demand and supply within a single system model created an additional design resource to be used to carry out design sensitivity analysis and impact studies quickly and accurately. This can be used to produce detailed design and performance information earlier in the design process than before. Therefore, the design team and other decision makers can make informed decisions by reducing the uncertainty associated with low and zero carbon technologies, thereby facilitating the delivery of Energy Centre solutions which are both technically and financially efficient.

This approach allows engineers and developers to seize the opportunities it presents. This can include reduced operating costs, improved energy reliability, a more cost-effective route to compliance and access to additional revenue streams.

t years have seen on-site, low carbon energy generation and storage technologies emerge as increasingly viable alternatives to the fossil-fuelled, grid reliant systems which have supplied heating, cooling and power to the built environment for decades. This transition brings increased complexity and uncertainty, which poses many significant challenges to engineers and developers alike.

The built environment’s gradual transition from reliance upon externally supplied energy to a more distributed, low carbon approach can be attribute to a wide range of social, economic, environmental and technical factors. However, it is the legislative changes which have been introduced in response to these factors which can be seen as the primary driving force behind the transition itself, and the emergence of the rapidly evolving Energy Centre market which exists today.

As a result, the measurement, simulation and mitigation of carbon emissions is big business, and affects developers, designers and building users. This poses challenges to designers as they must ensure that projects meet the increasingly stringent carbon emissions target which are defined at a national level through Building Regulations and at a local level through planning initiatives.

New Challenges

For developers, this poses many challenges as it shifts away from the traditional, tried and tested approach towards the use of new and emerging technologies, some of which are intermittent in nature, adding risk and uncertainty. This represents a barrier to the selection of technologies.

To integrate these technologies into the built environment successfully, engineers must select size appropriate combinations of energy generation and storage technologies, which are capable of satisfying energy demands under a range of potential scenarios.

This is approached using the same process that has been used to specify energy systems for fossil-fuelled, grid reliant buildings. However, this is not conductive to the integration of non-dispatchable technologies and presents many design issues. The design emphasis which is placed on ‘peak’ and ‘base’ load estimates when sizing items of plant serves as a barrier to the design of complex hybrid systems where multiple system components may be working in combination, and thermal and electrical processes are more closely linked.

This approach under-utilises the range of highly capable software tools which are currently available. Instead, established benchmarks (which have shown to result in oversizing) are used in lieu of detailed project specific information.

The HPF Approach

A new approach is required which utilises the range of energy modelling and simulation tools which are currently available and provides a structured approach to the detailed quantification of energy demands and the selection and sizing of appropriate technologies.

We work closely with academic partners at the University of Strathclyde to develop a new approach to Energy Centre design to address the limitations of the traditional approach and to support key decision making during early stages of project development. This is achieved through development of high resolution system models which incorporates all aspects of energy generation, storage and consumption. Our approach utilises a wide range of state-of-the-art software tools drawn from industry and academia which are applied within a structured selection and sizing methodology. Matching energy supply and storage technologies is emphasised to the specific demand characteristics of each individual project and allows the design of Energy Centres to be carried out to far greater details.

This approached can be used to provide technical, economic and environmental performance information. The integration of demand and supply within a single system model created an additional design resource to be used to carry out design sensitivity analysis and impact studies quickly and accurately. This can be used to produce detailed design and performance information earlier in the design process than before. Therefore, the design team and other decision makers can make informed decisions by reducing the uncertainty associated with low and zero carbon technologies, thereby facilitating the delivery of Energy Centre solutions which are both technically and financially efficient.

This approach allows engineers and developers to seize the opportunities it presents. This can include reduced operating costs, improved energy reliability, a more cost-effective route to compliance and access to additional revenue streams.

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