Innovate UK awarded £2.9m towards the £4m BEN Consortium which has built a Balanced Energy Network at London South Bank University to demonstrate innovations in integrated energy supply chains.

The Balanced Energy Network incorporates a heat sharing network which is designed to provide a more cost effective, flexible, and scalable alternative to conventional district heating network technology. Heat sharing networks transfer warmth via piping circuits between buildings at near ground temperature and extract it via heat pumps in each building: fifth generation district heating and cooling networks.

Buildings which need cooling use heat pumps to reject heat to the ground circuit – to the benefit of those that need heating.

The buildings in the network contribute to load balancing of the Grid, and earn revenue, by using Demand Side Response across the Internet of Things.

On 6 November 2018 the Balanced Energy Network was announced as the winner of The Engineer’s Collaborate to Innovate Award in the Energy and Environment category for its Fifth Generation District Heat Network which uses groundwater heat pumps.