'˜Eyes in the sky' will measure where Sheffield's energy goes

SHEFFIELD University announced plans today to measure the city's energy use with a network of sensors and thermal cameras attached to drones, cars and balloons.

A drone's eye view of Sheffield. Picture: Sheffield Drones/YouTube

A new £1.8m “urban flows observatory” will use the data it gathers to help understand how energy is distributed across the city, which of its buildings are losing the most heat, and where solar energy can be most effective.

The centre, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, aims to reduce the city’s environmental impact.

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Professor Martin Mayfield, co-director of the observatory, said: “Around 80 per cent of the UK’s energy and resources are used by our cities. By analysing these energy and resource flows, we will be able to advise councils and town planners on issues such as how to raise productivity or save energy and reduce heat loss across the city.

“In the future, we plan to look at other aspects such as air pollution and other social indicators.”

Co-director, Dr Danielle Densley Tingley, added: “One of the things the observatory seeks to understand is what Sheffield is made of. A detailed understanding of material use in the stock, when combined with an understanding of energy use and heat loss, will enable strategic retrofit across the city, facilitate planning decisions and support material salvage on buildings scheduled for demolition.”