Fulcrum, Thermal Energy Storage, Knowledge Transfer Partnership
The London-based firm wanted to explore aquifer thermal energy storage, which is widely used in Europe, but had not been adopted at the time in the UK. In order to do this, they formed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with LSBU.
KTPs are programmes that encourage collaboration between universities and businesses in the UK. KTPs involve three parties: a university, a recent graduate and a company – including small, medium and large companies, charities, not-for-profit organisations and the public sector.
First in the UK
One of the first tasks for KTP Associate Fuqiao Wang was to develop a database and map of aquifer thermal energy systems in the UK. This invaluable and unique map meant Fulcrum could identify areas in the UK where using underground aquifers is feasible.
Armed with this information, Fulcrum became the first company in the UK to specify an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage system to store energy on an inter-seasonal basis. Andrew Ford, Managing Director of Fulcrum says: "No one else in the UK has this right now and it is a direct result of the KTP."
This technology is now being implemented by Fulcrum for the prestigious 1851 Zero Carbon Masterplan Project in South Kensington Cultural Estate which includes Imperial College, National History Museum and Royal Albert Hall.
Fulcrum is also currently working to install Aquifer Thermal Technology in the Westway Beacons, a new development in West London – the first of its kind in the UK. "In 10 years we hope to have a noticeable impact on the carbon footprint of this country," said Andrew Ford.
The KTP has been a great success for Fulcrum who have become leading experts in the field. Their income has increased by £1.13 million, the number of their employees has grown from 53 to 160 and they've started two new businesses. For LSBU there have been significant academic benefits arising from papers, awards, new students and new grants, including £680k of funding. LSBU is now regarded as the UK expert in ground-coupled cooling technology.
As well as gaining technical expertise and developing commercial skills Fuqiao Wang has joined Fulcrum permanently in a technical expert position.
Fulcrum is recognised at industry and government levels as one of the UK's leading providers of sustainable energy solutions for buildings and the built environment. It joined Mott MacDonald in 2009. Read more on the Mott MacDonald website.
More about KTPs
Part-funded by the government, KTPs provide unique benefits to all three parties; the university as a whole, the student associate and the business. LSBU apply their knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses, identifying new research themes and undergraduate and postgraduate projects. The results are often published in high quality journals and conference papers. Recent LSBU graduates are able to enhance their employability and skills and get the opportunity to earn a full salary. The company gets the qualities of an outstanding graduate partially paid for and the expertise and technical support of the university – who work in close connection with all parties. Read more about KTPs.
Exploring a brand new low carbon technology with Fulcrum Consulting.
Fulcrum Consulting - infographic (PDF File 99 KB)
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