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Techno-economic comparative analysis of solar thermal collectors and high-temperature heat pumps for industrial steam generation
Dalarna University, School of Information and Engineering, Energy Technology.
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2023 (English)In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 277, article id 116623Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Industrial heat production is responsible for around 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. To achieve the climate change goals defined in the Paris Climate Agreement, the EU commission has shifted its focus on sustainable means to generate heating. Moreover, global dependencies are leading to a re-organization of natural gas supplies. Therefore, there is a need for less vulnerable and less price-volatile solutions for heating. This paper focuses on two decarbonization technologies for industrial process heat supply: a) electricity-driven steam-generating high-temperature heat pumps (HTHP), a technology that is more efficient than fossil fuel boilers in generating steam, and b) solar parabolic trough collector (PTC), which can produce heat economically and at a minimal carbon footprint compared to other technologies. The main aim of this paper is to evaluate the levelized cost of heat (LCOH) of these technologies to fulfill a comparative techno-economic analysis. A maximum PTC collector's solar fraction limit (SFlimit) is defined to indicate when the LCOH for these two technologies is equal. This allows for distinguishing between the economic stronghold of each technology. The evaluation is carried out through the annual energy simulations using TRNSYS and Excel spreadsheets for HTHPs, while TRNSED and OCTAVE are used for the solar thermal part. Boundary conditions for European geographical constraints have been applied to establish use cases for the analysis. The result shows that the design of a PTC system with optimal SF can reach cost parity with HTHP for most of the analyzed locations. The developed methodology serves as a valuable guide to quickly determine a preferred lower carbon heat solution, thus easing the decision-making for industries

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 277, article id 116623
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-44979DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2022.116623ISI: 000921273200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85145687377OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-44979DiVA, id: diva2:1724324
Available from: 2023-01-05 Created: 2023-01-05 Last updated: 2023-11-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Solar integrated heating systems: Applications in buildings and industries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Solar integrated heating systems: Applications in buildings and industries
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

“Heat is half” of the global final energy consumption, and the decarbonization of the heating sector is critical to achieving climate goals. This thesis employs a system modelling approach to evaluate renewable heating systems. The overarching goal is to reduce fossil fuel reliance by integrating renewable energy technologies, such as solar thermal, photovoltaics, photovoltaic thermal, heat pump, and thermal energy storage in different system concepts. Two primary sectors are addressed: buildings, with a focus on utilizing solar collectors and heat pumps for heating systems in multifamily houses by recovery of waste heat; and industries, utilizing solar collectors for steam generation below 200 °C. The work is centred around five primary research questions, addressing the technical and economic feasibility of the mentioned technologies and their roles in decarbonization.

Two system arrangements were simulated to address the heating demands of buildings: a) Centralized heat pump that utilizes ventilation air as a heat source, serving three multifamily buildings, and b) A fifth generation district heating system that utilizes industrial waste heat as its source. The techno-economic performance of these systems was evaluated. The results suggest that the economic viability of such arrangements largely depends on critical factors that include the costs of heat pump sub-stations, prevailing electricity prices, and the cost of waste heat. Incorporating solar air heating collectors and optimizing flow controls enhance both component and system energy efficiency. Moreover, integrating photovoltaic systems, up to a specific capacity, is advantageous as it offers reductions in heating costs.

For industrial steam generation, the importance of the solar fraction in technological comparisons is highlighted. Parabolic trough collector and heat pump for steam generation are compared for 34 locations in the European Union, using solar fraction as an indicator. The results highlight the economic competitiveness of both technologies for a wide range of boundary conditions. However, heating costs from solar thermal collectors increase at higher solar fractions, primarily due to the storage costs. This trend sets an economic limit on the maximum feasible solar fraction. As a result, hybrid systems combining solar thermal collectors with steam heat pumps offer a promising combination to achieve a high renewable fraction for industrial applications.

Concerns about CO2 emissions from the electricity grid, and its reliability in many countries, necessitate the exploration of alternative system concepts to meet a higher fraction of heating demand. One such novel energy system combines a parabolic trough collector, photovoltaic, and thermal energy storage (using water and sand as storage media) to reach a combined solar fraction of 90 %, while remaining cost-competitive with fossil fuels. The techno-economic performance of solar thermal collectors is system dependent, largely influenced by their integration within industrial systems. Two novel indicators are introduced to quantify the integration incompatibilities, offering insights into the dynamics for specific integration point. Using this method for a case study resulted in an optimized configuration, improving the overall system performance.

Collectively, the results are expected to be leveraged by relevant stakeholders to advance the cause of heating decarbonization in buildings and industries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2023. p. 137
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 2316
Keywords
Solar heating systems, Renewable heating systems, Decarbonization, Solar thermal, Techno-economic analysis, Thermal energy storage.
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-47224 (URN)978-91-513-1914-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-11-23, 310, Dalarna university, Borlänge, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-11-07 Created: 2023-11-07 Last updated: 2023-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Saini, PuneetZhang, Xingxing

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