Shoreham District Heat Network

District Heating with marine source heat pumps

ICAX, the project leader of the BEN Consortium, is designing a new district heat network based on marine source heat pumps as part of a major Innovate UK award project to construct a smart local energy system at Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.

Energy Trilemma

Developing low carbon heat networks is critical to meeting heat demand, and to reaching the UK’s 2050 carbon reduction targets. Developing heat network infrastructure is both a technical and social challenge due to the high infrastructure costs, and the diverse actors and supply chains involved.

A cost effective, low-carbon alternative to conventional CHP district heating

The Shoreham Heat Network is designed to provide a very low carbon alternative to conventional district heating networks. The SmartHubs network will provide a case study in how marine source heat pump heat networks can be used as a reliable source of heat for a fourth generation district heating network.

Smart Local Energy Systems Demonstration at Shoreham

The SmartHubs Project incorporates research packages by Newcastle University to investigate how smart grids can contribute toward meeting the UK’s growing demand for efficient low-carbon space and hot water heating and develop the district energy management systems necessary for successful implementation.

The Intranet of Heat

High Temperature Ground Source Heat Pump

This new heat infrastructure is the birth of an "Intranet of Heat". The Intranet of Heat enables a two way exchange of information about sources and needs of heat – and electricity – and then allows heat exchange to those buildings needing of heat at the lowest price of electricity – and the lowest carbon emissions.




SmartHubs Explained

The combination of a fourth generation heat network, based on marine source heat pumps, together with thermal energy storage in buffer tanks, demand side response and exploiting the thermal mass of the buildings for heat storage will allow the Shoreham Heat Network to provide a balancing service to electric infrastructure at the local level, in conjunction with plans of other partners described below.

SmartHubs Consortium

ICAX is pleased to be a partner in the SmartHubs consortium which consists of:

Connected Energy

Connected Energy

Connected Energy which is leading the project and will be installing recycled electric vehicle batteries to provide electrical storage services to help balance the local grid capacity.



ICAX has developed Interseasonal Heat Transfer to enable buildings to be heated in winter with solar energy captured in the previous summer. ICAX will provide the marine source heat pump at the heart of the heat network and design the abstraction and rejection systems for heat exchange with the Adur River in the tidal estuary.

ICAX provides turnkey packages for meeting sustainable energy targets on construction projects and undertakes design and installation to ensure that heating and cooling needs are met in a sustainable way by recycling energy. ICAX provides a complete range of services from initial feasibility through thermal modelling, design and delivery, to in use maintenance.



Moixa will be providing local electrical storage and linking the demand side management of heat pumps and electric vehicles, including providing Vehicle to Grid (V2G) services to enable electric vehicles to be charged using off peak electricity, and using electric batteries in EVs to be used as a source of energy at times of peak demand.



PassivSystems which will be installing 250 air source heat pumps in existing housing association properties linked in to the existing gas replacement cycle to establish a significant electrical load that can be used to balance the local grid capacity.

Mesh networks grid

Mesh networks grid reinforcement will be installed to boost the local electrical infrastructure and increase its resilience by balancing supply and demand at the local substation level at the grid edge. This is designed to help move from the current pattern of radial network balancing toward a mesh balancing system which also allows balancing at the local level as well.


ITM Power

ITM Power will be providing local hydrogen refuelling stations for electric vehicles. Its 'Power-to-Gas' stations use off peak electricity to generate hydrogen from electrolysis and store this for refuelling fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) that use hydrogen fuel cells to produce electricity for their drive trains. Its refuelling stations will also provide electricity for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Newcastle University

Newcastle University

Newcastle University which will be modelling simulations of the multiple energy vectors to be employed in the SmartHubs Project, both individually and as an energy systems integration. The modelling will cover energy efficiency, carbon saving and a full cost benefit analysis.

West Sussex CC


West Sussex County Council which, in co-ordination with Adur and Worthing Councils, will establish a multi-vector local smart grid in Shoreham-by-Sea and develop a new procurement approach for smart grids that can be replicated elsewhere and be financeable.