Newton Fund - Zero Peak Building Energy Design for India

Project: Research council

Description

In many developing countries, rising energy demand, and consequently carbon emissions, is seen as an unequivocal indicator of increasing prosperity. This trajectory has important consequences not just for global carbon emissions but for the ability of countries such as India to achieve its developmental goals. This is because, in most developing countries, growth in energy demand far outstrips growth in supply due to the large capital investment required to build energy infrastructure. Thus, even people *with* access to energy networks often find that they are unable to meet their comfort needs due to supply shortages.

However, the most critical problem is often not mean demand - e.g. mean per capita energy demand in India is only 13% that of the UK - but rather **peak demand** as it lays immense stress on already fragile networks. Hence, people's ability to attain comfortable internal conditions is compromised at the precise time that they need it the most - during extreme heat or cold.

This project directly addresses the problem of peak demand reduction by aiming to eliminate peak demand in buildings, where it is created. In most developing countries, the vast majority of the building stock of the future is still to be built, so there is a real opportunity to decouple economic growth from building energy use whilst ensuring comfortable conditions. We aim to achieve this through laying the foundations for a **new science of zero peak energy building design** for warm climates.

This will be achieved through a careful consideration of the weather signal (now and in the future) which is critical for any realistic assessment of mean dan peak energy demand. A second focus is on delivering a method of construction that is compatible not only with the Indian climate but also its building practices and social customs, thus avoiding the trap of an "imported" standard. This will be delivered through the creation of 60 pathways for a range of building types in 6 cities comprising different climates. Finally, we will also consider how loads can be moved between buildings to achieve a smooth demand profile at network level.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/11/1731/10/21

Funding

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council