Nottingham is one of the 5 pilot sites who will experiment 5th generation district heating and cooling (5GDHC) through the D2Grids project. It is being developed for Nottingham City Council by Nordic Heat, Ramboll, Hayestec and Shoosmiths. Positive findings from the project’s feasibility study indicate that a 5GDHC project sourced from mine water is likely to be technically viable: exciting times as 5GDHC becomes a reality for this demonstrator!
Several drilling locations providing access to mine waters close to the future network
The Coal Authority have completed their study of the mine workings, reporting that flow rates, water temperature, depth of the workings are all favourable. They have also identified several attractive potential drilling locations providing access to the mine water. These are located close to the heat loads and therefore limit the distance that the mine water must travel before releasing its heat to the network. The capital cost of the network will therefore be optimised.
Connecting 5GDHC to different types of housing for optimized energy management
The original scheme planned to connect a small number of similarly constructed houses. A revised plan has emerged from the feasibility study to connect different types of housing – flats, bungalows and terraced housing – together with a primary school and some commercial properties. This more diverse collection of heat loads enhances the value of the pilot for both Nottingham City Council and the wider expansion of 5GDHC across North West Europe through the Interreg project.
Demonstration of 5GDHC networks is also better achieved by the modified scheme as, by including the school and commercial buildings, the cooling load has increased significantly.
Training students to innovative district heating and cooling through the project
During the design and construction process we plan to offer students at the school opportunities to learn more about 5GDHC and other renewable energy technologies. This will form part of the wider educational D2Grids programme that Nordic Heat is helping to support through its Heat Academy. The Heat Academy offers online professional development programmes on subjects such as mine energy, heat networks, digital control systems and energy efficiency. The Heat Academy also delivers vocational courses at Stoke-on-Trent College and is opening new Heat Academies at Bridgend College in Wales and in Scotland – a partnership with Ramboll on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust and Scottish Government.