A new sustainable energy research facility at Nottingham University will provide the city’s first hydrogen vehicle refuelling station.
The £9m Energy Technologies Building on the University of Nottingham Innovation Park will launch on Wednesday, when a hydrogen-powered black cab and transit van will be the first vehicles to officially use the new filling station.
Gavin Walker, professor in sustainable energy technologies, said: ‘Hydrogen energy is a strategic research focus for the university and an important new technology for the decarbonisation of the transport sector.
‘The new refuelling station, which also includes electric car charging points, is one of around 10 such facilities across the UK. It will be used principally for the small fleet of hydrogen-powered cars that we are planning to run in connection with research projects based at the new Energy Technologies Building.’
The Energy Technologies Building will also include laboratory space for low-carbon research, a demonstration roof for solar panels and a 400m2 prototyping facility in which researchers will be able to create full-scale building exteriors to test their energy efficiency.
It will also boast a climate chamber and an additional 200m2 of external space open to the elements where tests can be carried out in real-time weather and daylight conditions.
The sustainable design of the building includes earth duct passive cooling, that uses the thermal mass of the surrounding earth to provide cooling and preheating of ventilation air, and efficient building design with low-energy cooling and heating systems.
A bio-fuel CHP generator will generate up to 150 per cent of the total annual electricity requirement. The building will also produce more heat than it requires, with the surplus directed to its neighbour, the Institute of Mental Health.
The area close to the Energy Technologies Building will also be dominated by a 14m-tall tetrahedral structure that will offer visitors the opportunity to see the scale of proposed future offshore wind turbine supports.