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Solar-thermal and hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems for renewable heating

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Imperial College London

Lecture Theatre 1, Imperial College Business School

Exhibition Road

South Kensington Campus

SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

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Generating heat makes up around half of total global energy demand, making this an important focus for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but one for which there are solutions in tried and tested technologies.

Solar thermal systems absorb sunlight to produce heat. The heat can be used directly for domestic hot water, space heating, and even for cooling and some industrial processes, making them useful in locations where there is a local heat demand, such as a home or a business.

Despite being less sunny than most countries, the UK ranks 6th in the world in terms of installed solar capacity. However, these are largely photovoltaic solar panels, which produce electrical energy, whereas solar thermal is far less prevalent than in other countries in Europe.

Join us to discuss the potential for this valuable technology at the launch event of Grantham Institute’s latest briefing paper Solar-thermal and hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems for renewable heating.

Experts from Imperial College London’s Department of Physics and Department of Chemical Engineering will speak about the technology, alongside policy, industry and business representatives. Professor Joanna Haigh, co-director of the Grantham Institute, will open the event and chair a discussion on the following points:

  • What are the latest technology developments?
  • Why is solar thermal technology currently overlooked?
  • What is the situation like in other countries?
  • What policies are required to change this?

The panel will include:

Join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #SolarThermal

Dr. Alba Ramos Cabal, Research Associate at Imperial's Department of Chemical Engineering and co-author of the briefing paper

Dr Alba Ramos Cabal is a Research Associate at the Clean Energy Processes group at Imperial College London. Her research involves the modelling, design, fabrication and testing of a novel hybrid PV and solar-thermal (PVT) collector technology, as part of a wider solar-energy-based heat, power and cooling (solar-based trigeneration) system.

Her previous research covered the theoretical modelling of physical and chemical vapour deposition (CVD) processes to experimental research (with CVD reactor prototypes), mainly involving Si-based PV technology, fluid-mechanics and heat and mass transfer processes, both at the laboratory level and industry scale. She was also involved in research, modelling, design, fabrication and testing of a novel thermal energy storage (TES) system that utilizes high temperature phase change materials (PCMs) and thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) cells.

Dr. Christos Markides, Reader in Clean Energy Processes at Imperial's Department of Chemical Engineering and co-author of the briefing paper

Dr. Christos Markides is currently Head of the Clean Energy Processes (CEP) Laboratory at Imperial's Department of Chemical Engineering, which was ranked 6th best Chemical Engineering Department in the world in 2016 (QS Rankings). The laboratory focuses on developing renewable energy technologies, with an emphasis on solar energy and thermal energy management (recovery, integration, conversion and storage) in collaboration with industry, international research centres and universities.

Dr Marikes has a BA, MEng, MA and PhD in energy technologies all from the University of Cambridge (UK), and has technology transfer experience as co-founder and director of Thermofluidics, a company that commercialises an award-winning solar-pumping technology. He is an editor of numerous scientific journals, and has written sole-author review papers on solar energy, heat recovery and energy conversion, and in particular the role of distributed-scale technologies in a high-efficiency sustainable energy future. He has also has written more than 230 papers published in high-impact journals or presented at international conferences, and contributed to 6 book chapters and white papers. He received the “President’s Award by Imperial College for Excellence in Teaching” in 2015, and the “President’s Award for Research Excellence” and “Medal for Outstanding Research Team” (top award for research excellence) in 2017.

Peter North, Senior Manager – Smart Energy at Greater London Authority

Peter North holds a BSc in Engineering and an MSc in Building Services Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer. He is currently a part-time PhD student at Imperial College researching London as a heat-autonomous city. His professional career has been in the energy sector in design, development and implementation of both the private and public sector energy projects. His technology experience ranges from nuclear and fossil fuels, to combined heat and power, district heating and renewables including waste. Peter’s work has involved the commercial development of energy projects combining engineering with commercial structuring and financing.

Peter is currently Senior Manager – Smart Energy with the Greater London Authority. His main role is supporting both the public and private sector to develop and deliver larger-scale urban heat network projects. He has recently taken responsibility for developing the GLA’s smart energy programme. Peter’s work also involves the research, strategy and policy development and planning of large-scale heat networks and the innovative application of local energy production to meet the Mayor’s commitment for London to be a zero carbon city by 2050.

Michael Priestnall, Innovation Lead - Energy Catalyst at Innovate

Michael Priestnall is Innovation Lead in Energy for Innovate UK, where he is responsible for the Energy Catalyst competition. This programme has, to-date, competitively grant-funded around 250 UK energy innovation projects with a budget of £80m. Michael is an energy & materials chemist and has co-founded three technology companies in fuel cells, photovoltaics and carbon capture. Previously, Michael led Energy Consulting at Sagentia in Cambridge, and the development of advanced ceramics for fuel cells and superconductors for Cookson Group in Oxford. Michael held an EPSRC Energy Research Fellowship at University of Cambridge and was a British Gas Research Scholar in ceramic fuel cells at Imperial College.

Finbarr McCarthy, Technical Manager, Kingspan

Kingspan Renewable Energy Solutions are an international leader in the development and manufacture of innovative, environmentally-friendly, renewable technology solutions, including Thermomax evacuated tubes, flat plate panels and small wind turbines.

Finbarr McCarthy has 20 years experience in the successful delivery of infrastructure projects for local authority clients, plus large scale commercial and industrial projects for the private & public sector. In his role of Technical Manager for Kingspan Renewable Energy Solutions, he harnesses a philosophy of collaboration, where he actively looks for synergies with complementary heating energy technologies to improve efficiencies and provide fully integrated, cost effective solutions that incorporate solar thermal and wind renewable solutions.

David Carlyon, Sustainability Consultant, Low Carbon Europe

David Carlyon is a Sustainability Consultant specialising in policy, compliancy and strategy in order to help organisations, including Local Authorities and NHS Trusts, secure long-term carbon reductions and increased resource efficiency in accordance with legislative and industry-specific environmental standards. David has worked with multiple Local Planning Authorities throughout London and the South East to ensure that all proposed developments achieve compliance with energy and sustainability requirements stipulated by national policies and the London/Local Plans. David has a law degree from the University of Sussex and a Master’s degree in International Environmental Law from Northumbria University.

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Location

Imperial College London

Lecture Theatre 1, Imperial College Business School

Exhibition Road

South Kensington Campus

SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

View Map

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