BEN Project

Balanced Energy Network Project (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. 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 first Balanced Energy Network in the world was created at the London South Bank University with the support of funding from Innovate UK. The BEN Consortium, led by ICAX Ltd, with the LSBU being the research leader, can now design and install balanced energy networks for developers and owners who want to save energy, save costs and save carbon on an efficient flexible clean district heating network.

The BEN project beat stiff competition from teams including some of the top UK universities to be prized with The Engineer’s ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ award for 2018. Professor Andy Ford, who led the research in the project, said at the award ceremony:

“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.”

Read more about LSBU's BEN project here.