Kensa Contracting are the primary contractor in the Heat the Streets project, a revolutionary approach to reducing the cost of decarbonised heating. They have formed a collaboration with Deep Digital Cornwall and Cornish Lithium to undertake this project as an Innovation Voucher.
Nature of intervention
The nature of the project is that in residential areas with limited open space, the most suitable method of delivering heat involves: a large, grouped array; drilling boreholes; inserting the collector infrastructure down the hole; and looping a ring main system to distribute the low-temperature fluid to nearby houses (where a heat pump will boost the temperatures to those necessary for space and hot water heating).
However, for the first time, these boreholes and the main distribution piping will run almost wholly within the public roadway at undisclosed locations. As a result of this, the Highways Agency wish to ensure this technological approach will not unintentionally generate any adverse temperature-related effects on the integrity of the road itself, specifically any potential surface freezing.
What the business assist/grant has achieved
To answer this question, Kensa Contracting has set up an Innovation Voucher project with Deep Digital Cornwall. In this project, five sets of temperature sensors have been installed at set depths in locations that will provide a detailed picture of how the low-temperature fluid within the distribution piping dissipates the temperature to the substrate around it, and whether an increased likelihood of sub-zero temperatures is experienced at the road surface. By utilising remote monitoring equipment, readings can be viewed whenever necessary, with live reporting and low-temperature alerts possible. Once installed fully, this monitoring will continue for up to two years.
Value of any grant support
This Innovation Voucher project was awarded with a budget of £5,000.
How the DDC connection occurred
The collaboration between Kensa Contracting and Deep Digital Cornwall was formed initially in November 2022 through the late Professor Richard Cochrane, who had worked with both organisations.
Plans for the future, incl. data on DDC Data Hub
Kensa Contracting have continued to develop their collaboration with Deep Digital Cornwall by providing plans of the borehole and piping from the Heat the Streets project privately to the DDC Hub. Kensa have asked DDC to digitise these plans to create a 3D model of the Heat the Streets network for display in the Visualisation Suite. Videos will be generated of the resulting 3D models that Kensa will use for their public outreach efforts.
Following this, data will be continually live streamed to a dashboard to show the temperature and performance of the fluids in the Heat the Streets boreholes and pipes.