Programme and Methodology

The research will be organised into 7 work packages focused on a specific technical or economic activity and deliverable, along with an 8th work package focused on project management and dissemination of outcomes. A phased approach will be adopted: initially using performance simulation to assess different FITS configurations and operating strategies. This will eventually lead to the development of scaled demonstrators, which will be constructed and their performance monitored in field trials. The demonstrators will also be used to trial user interfaces for FITS and gauge end-user reaction. The work will generate FITS concepts (including monitoring and control strategies); provide insight in to the performance of FITS systems in a wide range of operating conditions; highlight issues relating to fabrication, architectural integration, and end-user interaction.

Work Package A - Operational Context for FITS
The operating parameters for FITS will be established at the individual and community scale, taking into account potential participation in active energy networks. Building on the work undertaken in EP/I031707/1, heat and power demand profiles for individual and groups of houses will be developed taking into account different climatic conditions assuming different rates of progress in energy efficiency. Corresponding local energy supply profiles based on projections for the development of household microgeneration will be developed, again accounting for the influence of climates around the UK. The possible needs for participative demand response will be established for a range of future energy mixes. The work will determine the type and quantity of energy that would need to be stored and the timescales for energy storage for a range of house types and operating contexts. Milestones: report detailing operational specifications for FITS.

Work Package B - Generation of FITS Concepts
The requirements from WP A will be used as a basis to develop a range of fabric integrated storage design concepts, which will integrate combinations of energy supplies including but not restricted to ground/air/water source heat; district heat; solar thermal heat; local solar and grid electricity; heat recovery; grid electricity and district heat. The activity will consider different architectural integration options, materials options, and balance of plant for charging and discharging of FITS at different temperatures and mechanisms for interfacing with external energy systems. Milestone: concept designs of up to 10 FITS systems completed.

Work Package C - Measurement and Control and Optimisation of FITS
Building on work done in the EU Origin Project, this WP will develop mechanisms for the measurement and management of heat in FITS participating in active networks. There will be three core activities. (1) Measurement approaches for charge estimation in integrated storage and multiphase materials. (2) Developing balance of plant control algorithms for the orchestration of local and low carbon heat sources. Finally, (3) the development of algorithms governing participation in active energy networks and managing conflicts with local end-user requirements. Milestone: control solutions for FITS completed.

Work Package D - Economic Incentives and Energy Services for Thermal Storage
The WP will feature 4 activities. (1) Exemplar fiscal mechanisms to incentivise the deployment of FITS in housing and its use as flexible load will be developed - market mechanisms for participative load management will be reviewed and the approach extended and tested for domestic FITS. (2) Approaches to calculating the environmental benefits of FITS will be established. (3) Establishment of financial metrics and cost benefit analysis of FITS. (4) Prototype energy services for thermal store management (e.g. negotiation between multiple energy actors) will be developed for testing in WP F. Milestone: metrics for financial assessment available.

Work Package E - Energy, Environmental and Economic Assessment of FITS
Using the criteria established in WP A and D. An integrated assessment methodology (IAM) will be developed for FITS to enable the performance of different concepts to be compared and also identifying the data requirements. The concepts developed in WP B & C will be developed as computer models and simulations undertaken to generate performance data; the data along with the IAM will be used to identify best performing FITS options to be tested in WP F. Work will also be undertaken to draw together learnings from WP A,C,E and F for the development of outline design guidance. Milestone: best performing FITS systems identified.

Work Package F - Development and Testing of Scaled Demonstrators
The two best performing FITS options as identified in WP D will be constructed and instrumented as scaled demonstrations at BRE's test site at Ravenscraig and Bath University's 'HIVE' test facility near Swindon. Each will feature energy supplies appropriate to its geographical location. Initially, concept designs of the demonstrators will be developed as computer models of the physical test beds to be used for experimental design and testing of operating strategies; this will lead on to finalised designs and tests. The control strategies for use with the physical models will be developed under LABVIEW, which will be used as the data acquisition and control platform. The demonstrators will serve multiple functions: the build process will highlight issues with the integration of storage materials, balance of plant and sensors; allow measurement of in-situ performance and provide data for calibration of models for scaling up of outcomes. Milestone: demonstrator build completed.

Work Package G - The End User - Interfaces and Interaction
This work package focus on how the end-users could best interact with FITS. The project will engage industry and end user groups (including client organisations such as housing associations, house-builders, tenants and homeowners) to examine and develop strategies for usability for different user groups and occupancy regimes. There are two main activities. First, a focus group will be formed and polled regarding their expectations of what a heating system (and by extension FITS) should provide in terms of comfort, performance, usability, control and maintenance. The attractiveness of the financial inducements proposed in WP D and the concept of active network participation will also be gauged. Secondly, building on the work undertaken in ORIGIN and findings from the IUK BPE programme, prototype interfaces, providing end-users the means to direct both the operation of FITS and dictate the terms of participation in active network load management (i.e. the energy services offered externally by the FITS) will be developed and tested on focus group members, initially for virtual thermal stores. Feedback from this exercise will then be used to refine the FITS interfaces, which will then be deployed on the demonstrators and final feedback gathered from the focus group and test users. Milestone: interfaces developed.

Work Package H - Management Dissemination Activities
Management - A joint academic industrial advisory group will be established to provide advice on issues of design, construction and operation. Meeting quarterly, an academic/industrial steering group will be established to provide advice on FITS integration into housing and co-operation with energy networks, scrutinise research outcomes, and advise on the activities relating to routes to impact. Additionally, a work package leaders' meeting will convene monthly (teleconference) to assess progress in individual work packages and progress towards project objectives. As indicated in the letters of support, senior representatives of the industry partners have agreed to serve in this capacity in addition to their other project contributions. Dissemination - A project website with associated Twitter feed, Facebook and LinkedIn pages will be established, which will be used to publicise and make project outcomes available as they emerge from the research. The website will also stream live data feeds from the monitoring of prototype energy stores. Academic papers will be published from each of the 7 technical work packages targeting relevant journals and conferences: Energy and Buildings, Building and Environment and the CLIMA conference - buildings and building physics; IEEE Transations on Smart Grids - future energy networks; Energy Policy - energy economics and markets. Two seminars will be held in London and Glasgow in conjunction with project partners in order to disseminate the project outcomes to the construction industry, specifically how storage can be successfully integrated into building designs and interfaced with internal and external systems and promote awareness of the outline design guidance. A third seminar will be held in order to disseminate outcomes to the energy networks industry, focusing on the demand flexibility that fabric-integrated stores enables, financial mechanisms and potential new energy services. Milestone: Workshops delivered.