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Proceedings of the ICE - Energy

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ISSN: 1751-4223
E-ISSN: 1751-4231

Impact Factor 0.526

Energy addresses the challenges of energy engineering in the 21st century. The journal publishes groundbreaking papers on energy provision by leading figures in industry and academia and provides a unique forum for discussion on everything from underground coal gasification to the practical implications of biofuels. The journal is a key resource for engineers and researchers working to meet the challenges of energy engineering. Topics addressed include: development of sustainable energy policy, energy efficiency in buildings, infrastructure and transport systems, renewable energy sources, operation and decommissioning of projects, and energy conservation.

  • - To submit to our journal is free. Papers appear Ahead of Print (below) as soon as they are ready to be published. Ahead of print articles are fully citable using the DOI system.

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  • The accelerator-driven thorium reactor power station
    Author(s): Victoria B. Ashley; Roger Ashworth; David J. Coates; John E. Earp
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  • Aker Solutions conceptually designed the accelerator-driven thorium reactor 600 MWe power station, an accelerator-driven, thorium-fuelled, lead-cooled fast reactor. Project objectives were to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the design to ensure a viable product. Aims were to apply established technology where possible, minimising research and development requirements, develop and protect intellectual property and align with Generation IV strategy. A business case demonstrates economic and market potential to stakeholders, and partners are being pursued to take the project through to successful completion. Thorium is an attractive alternative to uranium fuel, being more abundant and avoiding the need for enrichment. Additionally the accelerator-driven thorium reactor can burn waste actinides generated in uranium-fuelled reactors, providing sustainable energy for future civilisation. Choosing a sub-critical accelerator-driven system provides safe operating margins for the thorium fuel cycle. The proposed reactivity coefficient of 0·995 allows selection of an industrial-scale accelerator with commercial benefits which led to a novel solution for measurement and control of reactivity.
  • Embodied through-life carbon dioxide equivalent assessment for timber products
    Author(s): David H. Weight
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  • This study illustrates the relative importance of embodied energy to buildings and summarises the broad merits of various material types. It then focuses on timber, being the most abundant bio-renewable material used. An audit is carried out on carbon flows from forest to end of life for timber products, initially based on the assumption that the timber will be disposed of to landfill at the end of life, and then considering alternative scenarios. The author challenges a common view that, when landfilled, nearly all the embodied carbon dioxide will be eventually released by rotting and that carbon dioxide sequestration should therefore be excluded. Two opposing arguments are given. Firstly, when landfilled, only a relatively small percentage of the embodied carbon will be released by rotting. Secondly, it is very probable that in the future most waste wood, rather than being landfilled, will be used as fuel, when it will displace some fossil fuel that would otherwise have been used. The study includes a sensitivity analysis of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per final kilogramme of product and provides a summary of six scenarios, covering manufacturing complexity, various end-of-life scenarios and, most importantly, the provenance of the timber and the effect of sustainable forest management. A further sensitivity study is carried out for all scenarios on different levels of economic allocation and fossil fuel displacement.
  • UK microgeneration. Part II: technology overviews
    Author(s): Iain Staffell; Philip Baker; John P. Barton; Noam Bergman ; Richard Blanchard; Nigel P. Brandon; Daniel J. L. Brett; Adam Hawkes; David Infield; Christian N. Jardine; Nick Kelly; Matthew Leach; Mardit Matian; Andrew D. Peacock; Sohasini Sudtharalingam Bridget Woodman
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  • This paper reviews the current status of microgeneration technologies at the domestic scale. Overviews are given for nine such technologies, grouped into three sections: (a) low carbon heating: condensing boilers, biomass boilers and room heaters, air source and ground source heat pumps; (b) renewables: solar photovoltaic panels, flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal panels and micro-wind; and (c) combined heat and power: Stirling engines, internal combustion engines and fuel cells. Reviews of the construction, operation and performance are given for the leading commercial products of each technology. Wherever possible, data are presented from the field, giving the actual prices paid by customers, efficiencies and energy yields experienced in real-world use, reliability and durability, and the problems faced by users. This information has a UK focus but is generally relevant in the international context. Two issues are found to be prevalent throughout the microgeneration industry. Total installed costs are a premium and vary substantially between technologies, between specific products (e.g. different models of solar panel), and between individual installations. Performance in the field is found in many cases to differ widely from manufacturers’ quotes and laboratory studies, often owing to installation and operational problems. Despite this, microgeneration has demonstrated substantial improvements over conventional generation in terms of fossil fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and energy cost, provided that the appropriate technologies are employed, being installed and operated correctly according to the load requirements of the house and their physical location.
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  • Embodied energy and carbon in construction materials
    Author(s): G. P. Hammond; C. I. Jones
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  • The development of an open-access, reliable database for embodied energy and carbon (dioxide) emissions associated with the construction industry is described. The University of Bath's inventory of carbon and energy database lists almost 200 different materials. The data were extracted from peer-reviewed literature on the basis of a defined methodology and a set of five criteria. The database was made publicly available via an online website and has attracted significant interest from industry, academia, government departments and agencies, among others. Feedback from such professional users has played an important part in the choice of ‘best values’ for ‘cradleto-site’ embodied energy and carbon from the range found in the literature. The variation in published data stems from differences in boundary definitions (including geographic origin), age of the data sources and rigour of the original life-cycle assessments. Although principally directed towards UK construction, the material set included in the database is of quite wide application across the industrial sector. The use of the inventory is illustrated with the aid of 14 case studies of real-world new-build dwellings. It was observed that there was little difference between embodied energy and carbon for houses and apartments until external works were taken into account (energy inputs for roads, connecting pathways, etc.).
  • Adoption of energy efficiency innovations in new UK housing
    Author(s): J. Ko; R. Fenner
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  • The UK is committed to increasing housing—the Department for Communities and Local Government has set a target to provide three million more homes in England by 2020. The housing sector is responsible for over a quarter of the nation's total carbon emissions and new targets require all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016. This is a challenging objective and will require developers to adopt energy efficiency innovations more widely. Yet change in the house building industry has been slow and building regulations in England and Wales lag behind energy standards in other European countries. This paper considers the house building industry as a complex socio-technical system made up of many actors who both act together and constrain each other's actions. Through interviews with commercial developers, local and central government bodies, architectural consultancies and housing associations, barriers relating to these actors' willingness, motivation and capacity for change in introducing energy-efficient measures into new build housing are identified. A series of policy responses are proposed to overcome these barriers and help suggest strategies to drive improved energy performance in UK new build homes. In order to provide a real context to explore the implications of these recommendations, the paper considers how such responses may be integrated into a sustainable new town development. It is concluded that to stimulate innovation, all parts of the sociotechnical system need to be influenced by all the mechanisms available to the UK government.
  • Laterally loaded monopile design for offshore wind farms
    Author(s): Paul Doherty; Kenneth Gavin
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  • Expansion of the offshore UK wind energy sector has stimulated renewed interest in the response of piles to lateral and moment loads. This paper compares the state of the art in foundation design with current industry trends in offshore wind turbine construction. The historical evolution of pile design for lateral loading is described in detail, focusing on the American Petroleum Institute guidelines used by the offshore sector. The limitations of these design codes are discussed in light of the specific requirements for the wind sector. Recent research efforts attempting to bridge the gap between practice and industry are highlighted and further research needs are identified.
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