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Visit to the SPECIFIC project in Wales

A small delegation (Rick Greenough and Andy Wright) from DMU (De Monfort University of Leicester) visited the SPECIFIC research project (Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings) led by the Swansea University in South Wales.

 

The project involves academics from several UK universities aside from Swansea, including Cardiff, Sheffield, Bath and Imperial College; as well as industries including BASF, NSG Pilkington and Tata Steel.

It has developed several technologies that are relevant to REEMAIN, including printing technology to apply PV coatings to the materials used to clad buildings, thermal stores using salts that absorb heat from warm dry air and release it when activated by moisture and transpired solar thermal collectors.

These are used on the entire south facing wall of a factory unit and are combined with a thermal store and heat pump, which is the only method of space heating for the building. 

Our colleagues from DMU also saw a demonstration of printed electric underfloor heating elements that allow highly localised heating (for example under a desk) without the need to heat the entire space of an office or factory as well as a project to explore the benefits of nickel-iron battery chemistry for energy storage in buildings. These batteries have several advantages in any application where weight is unimportant, such as in buildings.

The SPECIFIC project technologies are particularly cost-effective on large buildings such as factories and warehouses, which makes them all very relevant to REEMAIN. More exchange of information or cooperation might be developed in the future.