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Sustainable power on campus

How we use power stations to generate our own sustainable energy for use on campus.


Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

One of the ways we generate our own electricity at the University is through Combined Heat and Power (CHP). There are 2 CHP engines, one for Chancellors' Building and The Quads residences and another in the Sports Training Village.

The engines generate two million units of electricity a year, which is enough to power 600 houses.

A normal power station is only 35% efficient. They have waste heat that can't be used. The National Grid also has electricity transportation losses.

CHP generates electricity on-site. We can also use the waste heat as well as the electricity on campus.

CHP is about 80 to 90 per cent efficient, meaning it consumes less fuel, costs less money and produces fewer carbon emissions.

We have another CHP in the Sports Training Village. It has operated since 1997 and generates 750,000 units of energy a year, enough to power 225 houses. The waste heat keeps the swimming pool and building warm which saves 90 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The CHP generates 250kW electricity and 295kW of heat. It produces 1,250,000 units of electricity a year, which is 5% of campus use and it saves 350 tonnes of CO2 annually and £75,000 in fuel costs.

District Heating system 2 (DH2)

The District Heating system (DH2) heats The Chancellors' Building, The Quads student residences and Lime Tree refectory.

The DH2 system is the boilers in the Chancellors' Building, a 250kW CHP engine in the main boiler house and the 30,000-litre thermal store outside. The system is called DH2 as we also have a large District Heating system that heats all the main central campus buildings around the Parade.

The DH2 systems are linked to the buildings by over a kilometre of pre‐insulated 200mm pipework.

The thermal store acts as a buffer so that the CHP will run even if there is no demand for heat. Complex control systems make sure the CHP runs rather than boilers, and make sure that it also runs during the 'Red' peak period between 5 and 7pm when electricity costs are highest.

The CHP runs for on average 5000 hours a year and provides approximately 72% of the heating and hot water for the Chancellors' Building, The Quads and The Lime Tree. The boilers are still needed to provide peak heat loads, for example on a Monday morning in winter.

Solar panels

We also have several sets of solar panels. Some are photovoltaic and others are solar thermal.

We have 200 solar panels on the roof of the Chancellors' Building which provide a 46kW peak system. This is twice size of the East Building system and generates 40,000 units of electricity. Annually, this saves another 20 tonnes CO2.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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