Serving as executive director of the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel, Patrick O'Connell has an extensive leadership background that includes serving as interim strategy director with High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd. During his tenure with HS2, Patrick O'Connell helped to set in place a high-speed rail system to connect the English cities of Manchester, Leeds, and London.
A recent Moneywise article brought attention to a proposal by project engineers for utilizing the heat generated by HS2 train engines and brakes to heat water for as many as 500 new homes. Traditionally, when waste heat is generated in tunnels by trains, ventilation systems extract the hot air and allow it to dissipate outside.
Under the proposal, the hot air would be pumped directly to a district heating system in the Old Oak Common region of Northwest London. This heat would then be captured in order to heat water and distributed to homes throughout the new development.
This would represent a low-carbon heating solution, with the moving trains in the enclosed tunnel acting essentially as pistons that drive hot air into a crossover box. As the air rises, the heat within it would then be harnessed through heat pumps and used to heat water, which would be transported through insulated pipes to residences.
With residents paying normal rates to use this hot water, the construction of such a system is estimated to pay for itself within four years.
The chief of naval personnel for the United States Navy, Patrick O’Connell has more than three decades of public and private senior executive experience.