Efficiency

The Met Office is committed to inputting and promoting innovative efficiency schemes to improve sustainability and resilience of the Met Office estate whilst also reducing our carbon footprint.

Exeter HQ building

Our Exeter HQ became operational in 2003 and houses around 1200 staff. The building and the surrounding estate is managed so that the environmental impacts are as low as they can be, including the efficiency and use of the building itself.

Follow this link for more information about how we maintain the efficiency of our Supercomputers.

Of course, it is essential that we provide heat, power and water to our HQ estate to allow our employees to carry out their daily work. However, as our operations are 24/7, we understand that we must account for the potentially large carbon footprint which arises due to our activities therefore we implement some of the most efficient systems available. 

TermoDeck diagram

Heating and cooling

TermoDeck

Any building needs heating and cooling. Our HQ building uses the award winning TermoDeck system, use of which is mention in this TermoDeck website article. 

TermoDeck is a fan-assisted heating and cooling system which utilises the thermal mass of the building fabric to maintain a constant temperature of between 18-21 degrees. The amount of additional heating and cooling needed is greatly reduced as a result.

Power

Solar panels (photovoltaic)

PV cells

A photovoltaic (PV) array was installed at the Met Office in June 2012. This method allows for the conversion of solar radiation into a direct current of electricity using semiconductors.

The installation comprises of an array of mono-crystalline panels which provide the highest output and longest life span (circa 25 years), in terms of efficiency.

It provides Exeter HQ with an electrical source which is fed into the Met Office distribution system to supplement the existing HQ electricity supply. This relieves pressure on the national grid by providing the Met Office estate with its own supplement source of sun-generated energy.

Water

We have three sources of water on site; mains, borehole and runoff.

Borehole water is extracted for use within the free cooling process, and is run under an Abstraction Licence.

Rainwater runoff is retained onsite keeping it out of the drainage system and it enters our two ponds. The water is then filtered and used as non-mains water (grey water) for WC flushing.

Last updated: 24 September 2013