Busy city at night

All in One

Dr Fatih Camci

Cranfield University

October 2011 to June 2013

Today each utility product such as water, gas, or electricity is delivered to end-users via separate infrastructure systems. Installation, management, and maintenance of these numerous disparate systems requires high levels of capital expenditure and has created a very complex network of infrastructure. Systems are located in close proximity to one another which causes undesired interactions (e.g. flooding of electrical cables due to pipe burst) and difficulty in installation, maintenance and repair of one systems without interfering with another.

The project aims to answer the questions:

  1. Can a single utility product supply all the services that end users need?
  2. What are the scientific and technological gaps on the road to the realisation of the single-utility product vision?
  3. What is the timed agenda to have a feasible single-utility product delivery by 2111?

A roadmap for scientists and engineers will be created by identifying the existing challenges and gaps in science and technology that prevent one utility product from supplying all the services.

Dissemination event

Imagining the future for utility service provision in 2111. Novel approaches to removing the need for multiple infrastructures for utility service were presented using 4 visionary ‘blue-sky’ vignettes:

  • The Blood of the City: (pdf, 790 KB) a combined delivery system for household energy and water utilities. The city circulatory system, or “city blood” is used to deliver energy and water simultaneously in one dedicated pipeline system.
  • The Intertubes: (pdf, 1.3 MB) assumes that transportation, of goods and people, can not be substituted. Creates a new infrastructure system within which other existing infrastructure technologies, electricity grids and communications networks, can be embedded and managed.
  • Subterranea: (pdf, 1.6 MB) builds on multiple subterranean and sub-aquatic systems. Envisions a modular utility infrastructure using an HVAC plus system, which includes water and electricity, to deliver thermally comfortable air, power and water for basic needs.
  • The Solar Globe: (pdf, 340 KB) solar energy can be used to create electricity, heat, light and water. It can enable communication and power transport. Less than 1 hour of solar radiation at Earth’s surface could satisfy global energy demand for more than a year if it can be harnessed.