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Socio-economic performance of a novel solar photovoltaic/loop-heat-pipe heat pump water heating system in three different climatic regions
University of Hull.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2369-0169
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2014 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 135, 20-34 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aimed to study the socio-economic performance of a novel solar photovoltaic/loop-heat-pipe (PV/LHP) heat pump water heating system for application in three different climatic regions, namely, cold area represented by London, warm area represented by Shanghai, and hot (subtropical) area represented by Hong Kong. This study involved prediction of the annual fossil-fuel energy saving, investment return period and carbon emission reduction of the new system against the traditional gas-fired and electrical boilers based water heating systems. An established dynamic model developed by the authors was utilised to predict the system’s energy performance throughout a year in the three climatic regions. A life-cycle analytical model was further developed to analyse the economic and environmental benefits of the new system relative to the traditional systems. Analyses of the modelling results drew out several conclusive remarks: (1) the system could achieve the highest energy efficiency when operating at the hot (subtropical) climatic region (represented by Hong Kong), enabling the heat output of as high as 922 kW h/m2 yr and water temperature of above 45 °C, while the grid power input is only 59 kW h/m2 yr; (2) the system is worth for investment when operating at the high energy charging tariff area (represented by London), with the cost payback periods of 8 and 5 years relative to the traditional gas-fired and electrical boilers based systems, respectively; (3) the system could obtain the most promising environmental benefits when operating in Shanghai where the energy quality (embodied carbon volume of per kW h energy) is relatively poor, enabling reduction in life-cycle carbon emissions of around 4.08 tons/m2 and 17.87 tons/m2 respectively, relative to the gas-fired and electrical boilers. Answer to such a question on which area is most suitable for the system application is highly dependent upon the priority order among the three dominating factors: (1) energy efficiency, (2) economic revenue, and (3) environmental benefit, which may vary with the users, local concerns and policy influence, etc. The research results will be able to assist in decision making in implementation of the new PV/thermal technology and analyses of the associated economic and environmental benefits, thus contributing to realisation of the regional and global targets on fossil fuel energy saving and environmental sustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 135, 20-34 p.
Keyword [en]
PV; Loop heat pipe; Simulation; Energy performance; Economic; Environment
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-24871DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.08.074ISI: 000345470100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-24871DiVA: diva2:1094457
Available from: 2017-05-10 Created: 2017-05-10 Last updated: 2017-05-11Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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