The University of Warwick is spearheading a £5.25m project to develop energy-efficient heating and cooling technologies in a bid to reduce UK energy needs.
The Interdisciplinary centre for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy (i-STUTE) has been funded by the UK Research Councils’ Energy Programme.
It will develop technologies to reduce energy consumption and deliver cost-effective heating and cooling, aimed at helping the UK achieve its target of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80 per cent by 2050.
The new centre will bring together new engineering advances with economic, behavioural and policy expertise to produce solutions that deliver technically but also appeal to business, end-users, manufacturers and installers.
Researchers at i-STUTE aim to reduce energy consumption across a wide range of heating and cooling technology, including domestic heating, retail and commercial energy use, thermal energy storage, industrial heat pumps and thermal transformers.
The centre will bring together technologists from the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering and researchers at Warwick Business School, together with London South Bank University, the University of Ulster and Loughborough University.
Professor Bob Critoph, director of i-STUTE, said: “The technologies we use to heat and cool the buildings we live and work in will have to change if we are to meet our environmental targets.
“This is not simply a major engineering challenge, a great deal of work also needs to be done to make sure this technology is not only accessible and appealing but will be readily adopted by households and businesses.
“i-STUTE aims to tackle these two challenges by integrating engineering, behavioural economics and policy research.”
Professor David Elmes, head of Warwick Business School’s Global Energy Group, said: “This is a very exciting and challenging project, which is vitally important if the UK is to meet its targets for cutting carbon emissions.”