University of Bath

FITS LCD: Fabric integrated thermal storage for low-carbon dwellings

FITS-LCD is a collaborative project, investigating the integration and use of thermal storage in dwellings.

Info red image of an experimental fabric-integrated clay-based thermal storage system
Measurement of an experimental fabric-integrated clay-based thermal storage system

The domestic sector faces a range of challenges as the UK attempts to cut its carbon emissions by 2050. A key issue is the need to reduce the overall demand for heat and then decarbonise residual heat loads. This encompasses both the demand for space heating and hot water provision.

Our multi-disciplinary research aims to investigate how we can integrate thermal stores into the fabric of future dwellings and communities. This will cover both new build and retrofit. We will also explore how thermal stores will operate within:

  • the local context of accommodating multiple low-carbon thermal energy sources
  • the wider context of the decarbonisation of the UK's energy supply

Project activities

  • establishing the operating criteria for fabric-integrated thermal stores (FITS) in a future low-carbon energy system
  • generating prototype FITS concepts, controllers, energy services and heat sensing solutions
  • performance evaluation of FITS concepts using modelling and simulation leading to the selection of best performers for further investigation
  • construction of scaled FITS prototypes for testing of in-situ performance
  • gauging user reaction to the concept of using thermal storage for energy services to third parties, including demand management
  • testing of prototype interfaces to FITS with end-users

Benefits

Our research will benefit the construction industry; in particular, architects and structural engineers. It will offer new ideas on the space-efficient integration of thermal storage into buildings.

The project will also have a positive impact on the building services community and technology developers. It will provide information on multiple low-carbon heat sources and how to measure, manage and control stored heat over different timescales.

Finally, the work will be of value to utilities and energy service providers. It will give them insight into the potential of thermal storage to help network support services.

For more information

Visit the project website: fits-lcd.org.uk

Investigators

Acknowledgement

FITS-LCD is funded by EPSRC as part of the Thermal Energy Challenge Programme (EP/N021479/1).