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Edinburgh-based Vert Technologies has been awarded £60,000 from Innovate UK to fund the development of revolutionary technology to harvest wasted energy from the UK’s natural gas distribution network. The grant comes from Innovate UK’s £134million Sustainable

Innovation fund aimed at helping SMEs respond to COVID-19. It will be used to optimise the company’s disruptive Conical Rotary Compressor (CRC) technology for expander applications which can harvest energy from natural gas distribution systems. Large-scale compression stations have traditionally been used to

drive the flow of gas through the UK’s fixed natural gas pipeline networks. However, as the pressure required by the majority of end-use applications is significantly lower, much of the energy added to the gas by compression is ultimately wasted. Vert Technologies believes its CRC technology can be adapted to recover

a significant portion of the wasted energy and use it to drive an electrical generator. The company will use its Innovate UK funding to develop the Conical Rotary Expander (CRE), in partnership with G-Plus Technology.


A ‘pioneering’ £40million green energy deal could provide a blueprint for local authorities seeking to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs, according to the City of London Corporation. The governing body of the Square Mile has signed a power purchase

agreement with Voltalia – an international player in renewable energies – to buy all the electricity produced by a new-build 95,000-panel solar farm in Dorset for 15 years. The deal, the first of its kind in the UK to be signed directly between

a renewables producer and governing authority, will enable Voltalia to leverage cash to build the facility, while saving the City Corporation around £3million in energy costs. The solar plant will have a total capacity of 49.9 megawatts – enough to

power the equivalent of 15,000 homes – and will provide over half the City Corporation’s electricity, powering buildings including its historic Guildhall headquarters, three wholesale markets and the Barbican arts centre. Jamie Ingham Clark, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Corporate

Asset Sub-Committee, said: “This is a pioneering scheme which we hope will lead the way for local authorities across the UK. It means they can play their part in reducing emissions without the risks of owning their own energy firms or infrastructure and without the need for Government funding.


Heat management specialist, Zircotec, has announced its involvement with Dolphin N2, now owned by FPT Industrial, and Brighton University, on a ground-breaking project to develop a new internal combustion engine that has the potential to transform the commercial powertrain market with its near zero emissions. Zircotec provides cutting edge thermal coatings and precision,

ceramically coated components, along with its patented encapsulated heatshields that meet the very high demands of this recuperated split- cycle, next generation engine. Two versions of the recuperated split-cycle engine are being developed,

called ThermoPower and CryoPower. Likely to run on diesel at first, the new technology is expected to significantly reduce the amount of fuel consumed. The new collaborative project, called RE-ARMD (Recuperated Engine – Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator) will demonstrate that it can also run on carbon-free hydrogen fuel. The engine separates the ‘cold’

and ‘hot’ parts of the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE). A first set of cylinders draw in air and compress it – in the CryoPower version, liquid nitrogen is injected at a temperature of almost -200˚C to keep this process cool for maximum efficiency. The simpler ThermoPower omits the use of liquid nitrogen and uses water. Then the compressed air passes through a recuperator, where the engine’s exhaust heats it up – saving fuel which normally has to do this. The air now passes to the second, hot cylinder set, which are thoroughly insulated – unfeasible in a normal ICE where the same cylinder handles hot and cold processes. The Zircotec coatings massively reduce the temperatures in the areas of

the engine where heat is not wanted, reducing heat transfer, keeping the heat in the hot part of the engine. Through the retention of heat in the combustion cycle, significantly less energy is lost through the cooling system, thus a high-performance efficiency is produced. The heavy duty thermal propulsion system offers fuel-cell levels of efficiency (55% Brake Thermal Efficiency) and near-zero emissions (5% EuVI NOx

). The recuperated split cycle engine is relatively low cost and easy to

manufacture. It aims to compete with zero emission drivetrains, targeting long haul trucks (where zero-emission technology is least easy to apply), 0.5-50MW distributed power generation (an area seeing rapid growth to reinforce electricity grids and balance out intermittent renewables), and mixed-mode rail.


Baxi Heating UK and Ireland, part of BDR Thermea Group, has promised to revolutionise the way we heat our homes and buildings. The announcement coincides with the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and places Baxi Heating at the heart of the ‘heating transformation’ that is required to achieve the UK’s climate targets.

Karen Boswell OBE, recently appointed managing director, said: “Our

pledge is to be carbon neutral in all our operations by 2030, and to lead the phase-out of carbon intensive heating by ensuring every product we make from 2025 will work with low carbon energy.” The company has committed to a portfolio of cleaner, greener products,

that will work with low carbon fuels by 2025, either directly such as hydrogen boilers, heat pumps, smart electric water heating and heat networks or hydrogen ready boilers than can be converted after installation. Baxi Heating plays a prominent role in the residential and commercial

heating market, providing heating and hot water solutions to UK homes and businesses. As such, it has a huge responsibility to drive positive change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Heating is responsible for 37% of the UK’s total contribution to greenhouse

gases today. To tackle that figure and decarbonise existing homes by 2050, all new heating installations must be low carbon by 2035 at the latest according to the UK’s official climate advisor, the Committee on Climate change (CCC). New builds will also have to have low carbon heating from the mid-2020s. Baxi Heating is committed to delivering low carbon solutions to homes

and businesses and to driving down costs through innovation and product evolution – building on its ambition to make the world a better place for future generations. As part of the Green Industrial Plan, the Prime Minister has committed

to create the first hydrogen heated neighbourhood by 2023, the first village by 2025 and the first entire town by the end of the decade. Baxi Heating and BDR Thermea Group intend to be at the vanguard of this mission and are currently developing and testing one of the UK’s first 100% hydrogen boilers. The boiler manufacturer has been working closely with Government to trial hydrogen and other low-carbon heating technologies. To date, Baxi Heating has been involved in the UK’s hydrogen taskforce, Hy4Heat, HyDeploy and USER projects. It has also recently introduced a new range of low-carbon heat pumps

to its portfolio of sustainable heating products, which will be targeted towards a wide range of markets. These include new build and rural properties, supporting a UK wide aspiration for 600,000 annual heat pump installations by 2028.


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