BEN Project

LSBU's Balanced Energy Network (BEN)

A Balanced Energy Network answers two of the most pressing problems now facing engineers:

· how to reduce on-site CO2 emissions (to nil) from heating

· how to reduce on-site NO2 emissions (to nil) from heating.

A Balanced Energy Network is a new form of district heating that circulates water at near ground temperature to each building on the network to allow each building to use its own heat pump to extract heat for heating, or to reject heat when it needs cooling.

The original BEN Project created the first Balanced Energy Network at London South Bank University with the help of funding from Innovate UK. The BEN Consortium, led by ICAX Ltd, is now able to offer to design and install Balanced Energy Networks for those who want to save energy, save costs and save carbon on an efficient flexible clean district heating network.

The BEN project beat stiff competition to be prized with The Engineer’s ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ award for 2018.

The award show featured some of the biggest and boldest infrastructure projects, with the aim to uncover and celebrate some of the UK’s most inspiring, innovative and collaborative technology. It provided a fascinating snapshot of some of the trends that are defining modern engineering and also highlighted the degree to which industry and academia are collaborating to solve fundamental problems across a variety of sectors.

The BEN project, led by ICAX Limited at LSBU, won the ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ award, beating competition from the likes of Warwick and Exeter University. BEN combines next generation heat networks with smart-grid technology to balance the production of heating, cooling, and electricity in a way that minimises costs and carbon emissions. The project is led by Professor Andy Ford, an expert in heat networks technologies. Commenting on the experience, he said:

“This has been an inspiring journey. The team coped with disappointments, delay and funding challenges to achieve something quite unique and world leading. We now have at LSBU a system which illustrates what a future multi vector city energy system might be. It has been fun to work with such talented people: who would ever know that this is how you go about saving the world from climate change. Receiving the award and achieving recognition from our peers across the sector was a blissful surprise and I am proud to have been part of it.”