Cranfield collaborates in a feasibility study to scale technology and efficiently convert renewable energy direct to clean thermal energy in the form of heated fluids.

At a glance

  • DatesSep 2017 - Apr 2018
  • SponsorTSB led by Rotaheat Limited – Innovate UK, EPSRC
  • Funded£90,151
  • PartnersRotaheat Ltd (lead partner)

Energy decarbonisation has traditionally focused on making green electricity, less on providing green heat.  In reality, society consumes much more energy through heating than electricity.

Cranfield is collaborating in a project, led by Rotaheat, investigating the feasibility of scaling alternate designs for producing inexpensive clean thermal energy, displacing carbon emissions.  Cranfield’s project role is focused on the analysis and evaluation of alternate designs, utilising its multi-disciplinary engineering expertise and facilities.

The project will support Rotaheat gain market share for the supply of clean heat to sectors including agriculture and industrial and for applications such as space heating and water treatment.

Why Cranfield?

Cranfield University, and in particular the Energy and Power group, was chosen due to the multidisciplinary nature of the project, perfectly matched by the wide range of energy-related expertise that can be found in the Energy and Power department. This project will engage Cranfield facilities including: Process System Engineering Lab, and Electrical Machine Test and Validation Platform.

Professor Luk will provide expertise in electric machines, Dr Teixeira in flow mechanics, Dr Collu in renewable energy devices, and Mr Fenati is the full time, MSc-level researcher dedicated to link and combine the different fields to meet the project aims.

Research led to

Rotaheat has demonstrated a highly efficient model coupled to a waterwheel in Derbyshire.  The installation is currently capable of converting up to 10kW of energy harnessed by the waterwheel to provide space heating without contributing any carbon emissions.

Work is underway in this project to evaluate a design capable of delivering over 50kW of thermal energy.

Further information

  • Research Assistant Tommaso Fenati is also supporting this project.
  • Dr Richard Miller, clean technology expert and former Deputy Director Innovation in Industry at Innovate UK, writes.
  • Read more on renewable low-carbon heat here.