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Solar-assisted heat pumps systems for domestic hot water production in small energy communities

TitleSolar-assisted heat pumps systems for domestic hot water production in small energy communities
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMartorana, F., Bonomolo M., Leone Gian Paolo, Monteleone Francesco, Zizzo G., and Beccali M.
JournalSolar Energy
Keywordsdemand-side management, Electric power transmission networks, electricity generation, Electricity-consumption, energy conservation, Energy utilization, Heat pump systems, Hot water distribution systems, Italy, performance assessment, photovoltaic system, Photovoltaic thermals, Plant layout, Primary energy consumption, Primary energy savings, pump, Pumps, Smart grid, Solar assisted heat pump, Solar collectors, Solar heating, solar power, Solar thermal collector, Thermal contributions, Thermal power, Water, water demand

The paper investigates the energy performances of several configurations of solar-assisted heat pumps equipped with photovoltaic (PV) and photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) panels as well as solar thermal collectors for domestic hot water production. The systems are sized to serve small aggregates of users assumed as micro energy communities in low housing density context in the South of Italy. Electricity storages are also considered to smooth the interaction with the electric grid. Several indices are defined and calculated to guide toward a correct sizing, to check users’ satisfaction and to assess primary energy savings. The results show how the energy consumption from the analysed systems is mainly influenced by the amount and structure of domestic hot water demand per day. Also, according to the chosen plant layouts, it is shown that thermal contribution of PVT slightly influences the system performances. Better results in terms of less non-renewable primary energy consumption are recorded for the PV-based plant. Solar thermal collectors, even if sized for high solar fractions, do not properly support the daily heat pump operation, especially in winter, and present a certain electricity consumption for auxiliaries which results to be penalizing. Additional calculations were performed for the case of energy communities in a context with higher uses of non-renewable energy for electricity generation. Finally, opportunities to support demand-response actions for grid electricity management were investigated. © 2021 International Solar Energy Society


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Citation KeyMartorana2021113