In northern European climates, domestic space heating and hot water represents a significant proportion of total primary total primary energy use and meeting these demands from a national electricity grid network supplied by renewable energy sources provides an opportunity for a significant reduction in EU CO2 emissions. However, in order to adapt to the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation and to avoid co-incident peak electricity usage from consumers that may exceed current capacity, the demand for heat must be decoupled from its generation. Storage of heat within the fabric of dwellings for use some hours, or days, later provides a route to complete decoupling of demand from supply and facilitates the greatly increased use of renewable energy generation into a local or national electricity network. The integration of thermal energy storage into the building fabric for retrieval at a later time requires much evaluation of the many competing thermal, physical, and practical considerations such as the profile and magnitude of heat demand, the duration of storage, charging and discharging rate, storage media, space allocation, etc. In this paper, the authors report investigations of thermal storage in building fabric using concrete material and present an evaluation of several factors that impact upon performance including heating pipe layout, heating fluid flow velocity, storage geometry, thermo-physical material properties, and also present an investigation of alternative storage materials and alternative heat transfer fluids. Reducing the heating pipe spacing from 200 mm to 100 mm enhances the stored energy by 25% and high-performance Vacuum Insulation results in heat loss flux of less than 3 W/m2, compared to 22 W/m2 for the more conventional EPS insulation. Dense concrete achieved the greatest storage capacity, relative to medium and light-weight alternatives, although a material thickness of 100 mm required more than 5 hours to charge fully. Layers of 25 mm and 50 mm thickness can be charged in 2 hours, or less, facilitating a fast response that could, aggregated across multiple dwellings, provide significant and valuable reduction in demand from grid-generated electricity in expected periods of high demand and potentially eliminate the need for additional new generating capacity from conventional sources such as gas, coal, or nuclear.
Emissions are a consequence of electricity generation. A major option for low carbon generation, local energy systems featuring Combined Heat and Power with solar PV (CHPV) has significant potential to increase energy performance, increase resilience, and offer greater control of local energy prices while complementing the UK’s emissions standards and targets. Recent advances in dynamic modelling and simulation of buildings and clusters of buildings using the IDEAS framework have successfully validated a novel multi-vector (simultaneous control of both heat and electricity) approach to integrating the wide range of primary and secondary plant typical of local energy systems designs including CHP, solar PV, gas boilers, absorption chillers and thermal energy storage, and associated electrical and hot water networks, all operating under a single unified control strategy. Results from this work indicate through simulation that integrated control of thermal storage can have a pivotal role in optimizing system performance well beyond the present expectations. Environmental impact analysis and reporting of all energy systems including CHPV LES presently employ a static annual average carbon emissions intensity for grid supplied electricity. This paper focuses on establishing and validating CHPV environmental performance against conventional emissions values and assessment benchmarks to analyze emissions performance without and with an active thermal store in a notional group of non-domestic buildings. Results of this analysis are presented and discussed in context of performance validation and quantifying the reduced environmental impact of CHPV systems with active energy storage in comparison with conventional LES designs.
Achieving nearly zero carbon heating continues to be identified by UK government analysis as an important feature of any lowest cost pathway to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Heat currently accounts for 48% of UK energy consumption and approximately one third of UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Heat Networks are being promoted by UK investment policies as one means of supporting hybrid heat pump based solutions. To this effect the RISE (Renewable Integrated and Sustainable Electric) heating system project is investigating how an all-electric heating sourceshybrid configuration could play a key role in long-term decarbonisation of heat. For the purposes of this study, hybrid systems are defined as systems combining the technologies of an electric driven air source heat pump, electric powered thermal storage, a thermal vessel and micro-heat network as an integrated system. This hybrid strategy allows for the system to store up energy during periods of low electricity demand from the national grid, turning it into a dynamic supply of low cost heat which is utilized only when required. Currently a prototype of such a system is being tested in a modern house integrated with advanced controls and sensors. This paper presents the virtual performance analysis of the system and its design for a micro heat network with multiple dwelling units. The results show that the RISE system is controllable and can reduce carbon emissions whilst being competitive in running costs with a conventional gas boiler heating system.
An experimental study was conducted for ascertaining electrical and thermal characteristics of a pair of photovoltaic (PV) modules integrated with solar wall of an outdoor room. A pre-fabricated outdoor room was setup for conducting outdoor experiments on a PV solar wall with passive and active ventilation through the outdoor room. The selective operating conditions for glass coated PV modules were utilized for establishing their electrical and thermal characteristics. The PV solar wall was made up of glass coated PV modules, a ventilated air column, and an insulating layer of polystyrene filled plywood board. The measurements collected were currents, voltages, electric power, air velocities, temperatures, solar intensities, and thermal time constant. The results have demonstrated that: i) a PV solar wall installed on a wooden frame was of more heat generating capacity in comparison to a window glass or a standalone PV module; ii) generation of electric power was affected with operation of vertical PV solar wall; iii) electrical and thermal characteristics were not significantly affected by heat and thermal storage losses; and iv) combined heat and electricity generation were function of volume of thermal and electrical resistances developed across PV solar wall. Finally, a comparison of temperature plots of passive and active ventilation envisaged that fan pressure was necessary to avoid overheating of the PV solar wall. The active ventilation was necessary to avoid over-heating of the PV solar wall and to maintain adequate ventilation of room under mild climate conditions.
Fabric as the first and most common layer that is in permanent contact with human skin is a very good interface to provide coverage, as well as heat and cold insulation. Phase change materials (PCMs) are organic and inorganic compounds which have the capability of absorbing and releasing noticeable amounts of latent heat during phase transitions between solid and liquid phases at a low temperature range. PCMs come across phase changes (liquid-solid and solid-liquid transitions) during absorbing and releasing thermal heat; so, in order to use them for a long time, they should have been encapsulated in polymeric shells, so-called microcapsules. Microencapsulation and nanoencapsulation methods have been developed in order to reduce the reactivity of a PCM with outside environment, promoting the ease of handling, decreasing the diffusion and evaporation rates. Methods of incorporation of PCMs in textiles such as electrospinning and determining thermal properties had been summarized. Paraffin waxes catch a lot of attention due to their high thermal storage density, repeatability of phase change, thermal stability, small volume change during phase transition, chemical stability, non-toxicity, non-flammability, non-corrosive and low cost and they seem to play a key role in confronting with climate change and global warming. In this article, we aimed to review the researches concentrating on the characteristics of PCMs and new materials and methods of microencapsulation.
Parabolic solar trough systems have seen limited deployments in cold northern climates as they are more suitable for electricity production in southern latitudes. A numerical dynamic model is developed to simulate troughs installed in cold climates and validated using a parabolic solar trough facility in Winnipeg. The model is developed in Simulink and will be utilized to simulate a trigeneration system for heating, cooling and electricity generation in remote northern communities. The main objective of this simulation is to obtain operational data of solar troughs in cold climates and use the model to determine ways to improve the economics and address cold weather issues. In this paper the validated Simulink model is applied to simulate a solar assisted absorption cooling system along with electricity generation using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and thermal storage. A control strategy is employed to distribute the heated oil from solar collectors among the above three systems considering the temperature requirements. This modelling provides dynamic performance results using measured meteorological data recorded every minute at the solar facility location. The purpose of this modeling approach is to accurately predict system performance at each time step considering the solar radiation fluctuations due to passing clouds. Optimization of the controller in cold temperatures is another goal of the simulation to for example minimize heat losses in winter when energy demand is high and solar resources are low. The solar absorption cooling is modeled to use the generated heat from the solar trough system and provide cooling in summer for a greenhouse which is located next to the solar field. The results of the simulation are presented for a summer day in Winnipeg which includes comparison of performance parameters of the absorption cooling and ORC systems at different heat transfer fluid (HTF) temperatures.
Surplus electricity can be converted into potential energy via pumped hydroelectric storage for future usage. Similarly, thermo-electric energy storage (TEES) uses heat pumps equipped with thermal storage to convert electrical energy into thermal energy; the stored energy is then converted back into electrical energy when necessary using a heat engine. The greatest advantage of this method is that, unlike pumped hydroelectric storage and compressed air energy storage, TEES is not restricted by geographical constraints. In this study, performance variation of the TEES according to the changes in cold-side storage temperature was investigated by simulation method.