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  • 1.
    Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Construction.
    Copertaro, Benedetta
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
    Sangelantoni, L.
    University of L'Aquila, Italy.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
    Suo, H.
    Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, China.
    Guan, X.
    Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, China.
    An early-stage analysis of climate-adaptive designs for multi-family buildings under future climate scenario: Case studies in Rome, Italy and Stockholm, Sweden2020In: Journal of Building Engineering, E-ISSN 2352-7102, Vol. 27, article id 100972Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Construction.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
    Copertaro, Benedetta
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
    An early-stage analysis of climate-adaptive designs for multi-family buildings under future climate scenario: case studies in Rome, Italy and Stockholm, Sweden2019In: Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a preliminary case study for climate-adaptive residential multifamily building designs located in urban centre at early stage, to allow thermal comfort and minimum energy use from today to the last part of 21st century. The generated future climate data combined with comfort model assessment has been proposed as a new way including future climate scenarios in preliminary building design for two representative sites, in Rome, Italy and Stockholm, Sweden. The existing vulnerability to the expected climate conditions from psychometric analysis indicates that: (1) the climate trend in Rome would gradually lead to more failures in the majority of conventional adaptive design measures, as the cooling and dehumidification demands would rise from 5.3% to 23.6%, while the heating and humidification demands would decrease from 27% to 16%; (2) the climate trend in Stockholm would result in an increased comfort period by exploiting more adaptive design measures, since the heating and humidification demands would be reduced from 67% to 53%. However, the cooling and dehumidification demands would increase slightly from 0% to 1.5%. Accordingly, four main key risks are identified: 1) overheating would become a rising increasing public health threat for buildings in Rome that rely exclusively on natural ventilation; 2) open questions remain for the design team in the area of correct cooling load selection, additional space for the future installation and the effectiveness of current cooling device etc.; 3) occasional heat waves and gradual rising humidity levels are expected to be a vulnerable topic for conventional lightweight building in Stockholm; 4) buildings with a heavy heating load would tend to have greater cooling demand, especially those with poor ventilation resources or greater internal gains. In conclusion, it is suggested that envelope optimization, whichever climate type, is one of the most efficient and effective adaptation measures towards future climate conditions.

  • 3. Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    He, Wei
    Xu, Peng
    Zhao, Xudong
    Design, Fabrication and Experimental Study of a Loop-heat-pipe based Solar Thermal Facade Water Heating System2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4. Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    University of Nottingham.
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Cheshmehzangi, Ali
    Wu, Yupeng
    Huang, Guiqin
    Zhong, Dan
    Xu, Peng
    Liu, Shengchun
    Characteristic study of a novel compact Solar Thermal Facade (STF) with internally extruded pin-fin flow channel for building integration2016In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 168, p. 48-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The fully building integrated Solar Thermal Facade (STF) systems can become potential solutions for aesthetics architectural design, as well as for the enhancement of energy efficiency and reduction of operational cost in the contemporary built environment. As a result, this article introduces a novel compact STF with internally extruded pin–fin flow channel that is particularly suitable for the building integration. A dedicated simulation model was developed on basis of the heat transfer and the flow mechanics. A prototype of this STF was fabricated and then it was tested under a series of controlled environmental conditions. The experimental validation illustrated a good agreement with the simulation results, indicating the established model was able to predict the STF’s thermal performance at a reasonable accuracy (i.e. mean deviation of less than 5.46%). The impacts of several operational parameters, i.e. equivalent solar radiation, air temperature, air velocity, water mass flow rate and inlet water temperature, on the STF thermal performance were then discussed respectively. Given the baseline testing condition, the collector efficiency factor F′ is almost 0.9930, leading to a relatively high nominal thermal efficiency at about 63.21%, which demonstrates such STF, with simpler structure, lower cost and higher feasibility in architectural design, can achieve an equivalent or better thermal performance than recent bionic STF or the conventional ones. It is also concluded that the thermal efficiency varies proportionally with solar radiation, air temperature, and mass flow rate of water, but oppositely to air velocity and inlet water temperature. A sharp decreasing trend of this STF’s thermal efficiency against the (Tin − Ta)/I was observed under the given operational conditions, which indicates current STF design is only suitable for pool heating, domestic hot water and radiant space heating in areas/climates with warm ambient air temperature and sufficient solar radiation. The overall research results are beneficial for further design, optimization and application of such STF in various solar driven systems, including the provision of hot water, space heating/cooling, increased ventilation, or even electricity in buildings. Such STF technology has the potential to boost the building energy efficiency and literally turn the envelope into an independent energy plant, creating the possibility of solar-thermal technologies deployment in high-rise buildings.

  • 5. Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    University of Nottingham.
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Shinohara, Hiroyuki
    Wu, Yupeng
    Wang, Hong
    Pan, Song
    Wu, Jinshun
    Xu, Peng
    Experimental study of a compact unglazed Solar Thermal Facade (STF) for energy-efficient buildings2016In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 104, p. 3-8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a real-time experimental measurement of a novel compact unglazed solar thermal facade (STF) system at outdoor environment in Shanghai, China for about a whole summer week. It demonstrates the daily average solar thermal efficiency fluctuated from 40% to 45.5%. The overall result indicates the advantages of the STF with simple structure, low cost and high feasibility in architectural design for energy-efficient building application, especially at future district or city levels.

  • 6.
    Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    University of Nottingham.
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Shinohara, Hiroyuki
    Wu, Yupeng
    Wang, Hong
    Pan, Song
    Wu, Jinshun
    Xu, Peng
    Optimizing the configuration of a compact thermal facade module for solar renovation concept in buildings2016In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 104, p. 9-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Solar concepts show potentially an improved cost-performance (energy) ratio when applied as the integrated parts of building renovations. This paper reported a compact solar thermal facade (STF) module with the internally extruded flow channel suiting for solar renovation concept in buildings. A few of impact factors were considered for the parametric study in order to optimize the STF's configuration for various applications through the validated simulation model. The overall research results are expected to be useful for further improvement in the thermal performance of solar renovation measures.

  • 7.
    Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    University of Nottingham.
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Wu, Yupeng
    Jin, Ruoyu
    Pan, Song
    Wu, Jinshun
    Xue, Peng
    Conceptual development of a compact unglazed Solar Thermal Facade (STF) for building integration2016In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 96, p. 42-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research aims to develop an initiative modular unglazed Solar Thermal Facade (STF) concept initially for hot water generation to facilitate the integration of solar energy with buildings. The new STF concept is simple structure, low cost, and aesthetically appealing with easy installation but is expected to achieve the equivalent thermal efficiency as the conventional STFs. It delivered alternative design in terms of material, colour, texture, shape, size, architectural design, installation method, array connection, hypothetical system application, and solar coverage. Two common design variants i.e. (a) the STF cladding system and (b) the prefabricated STF wall system were described respectively for existing and new low-rise building typologies. Interaction of inclination, orientation, and insolation were discussed for the optimum STF position on the building. Four currently available methods for installation of such STF with buildings were summarized and three typical array connection methods were identified. The decentralized connection was recommended for different types of STF hot water systems. It is customary to design for a solar coverage of 50 to 60 percent for water heating in detached houses; in apartment buildings 30 to 40 percent are more commonly assumed. The concept design in this paper hereby illustrates the precedence for the hypothetical function by the creation of new ideas and also forms up the physical structure or operating principle for the investigations in near future.

  • 8.
    Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Wu, Yupeng
    Pan, Song
    Wu, Jinshun
    Xu, Peng
    Design strategy of a compact unglazed solar thermal facade (STF) for building integration based on BIM concept2017In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 105, p. 1-6Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses the specific design strategy of a novel compact unglazed Solar Thermal Facade (STF) for building performance research in architectural practice. It identifies the basic role of such STF in the building performance simulation and analysis. A dedicated design strategy based on the BIM (building information modelling) concept for application of the proposed STF is then developed in details. This research work clarifies the necessary steps in ensuring that the environmental/economic factors and energy-efficiency strategies of the STF are integrated with the building design and analysis process at the early stage.

  • 9.
    Shen, Jingchun
    et al.
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    University of Nottingham.
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Wu, Yupeng
    Pan, Song
    Wu, Jinshun
    Xue, Peng
    The early design stage of a novel Solar Thermal Facade (STF) for building integration: Energy performance simulation and socio-economic analysis2016In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 96, p. 55-66Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides a feasibility study of a new solar thermal façade (STF) concept for building integration from both technical and economic aspects in Shanghai area of China. The whole set of technical evaluation and economic analysis was investigated through simulation of a reference DOE residential building model in IES-VE software and a dedicated dynamic business model consisting of several critical financial indexes. In order to figure out the cost effectiveness of the STF concept, research work consisted of: (1) exploring the overall feasibility, i.e. energy load, energy savings, operational cost and environmental benefits, and (2) investigating the financial outputs for investment decisions within three different purchase methods. This paper presents a multidisciplinary research method that is expected to be beneficial and supportive for the strategic decision at the early design stage and it also offers a different angle to assess the economic performance of the STF application.

  • 10. Wu, J.
    et al.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
    Shen, Jingchun
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Wu, Y.
    Connelly, K.
    Yang, T.
    Tang, L.
    Xiao, M.
    Xu, P.
    Wang, H.
    A review of thermal absorbers and their integration methods for the combined solar photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) modules2017In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, E-ISSN 1879-0690, Vol. 75, p. 839-854Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Thermal absorbers and their integration methods are critical to solar photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) modules. These two elements directly influence the cooling effort of PV layers and as a result, the related electrical/thermal/overall efficiency. This paper conducts a critical review on the essential thermal absorbers and their integration methods for the currently-available PV modules for the purpose of producing the combined PV/T modules. A brief overview of different PV/T technologies is initially summarized, including aspects of their structure, efficiencies, thermal governing expressions and their applications. Seven different types of thermal absorbers and four corresponding integration methods are subsequently discussed and summarized in terms of their advantages/disadvantages and the associated application for various PV/T modules. Compared to traditional thermal absorbers, such as sheet-and-tube structure, rectangular tunnel with or without fins/grooves and flat-plate tube, these four types, i.e. micro-channel heat pipe array/heat mat, extruded heat exchanger, roll-bond heat exchanger and cotton wick structure, are promising due to the significant enhancement in terms of efficiency, structure, weight, and cost etc. The appropriate or suitable integration method varies in different cases, i.e. the ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) based lamination method seems the best option for integration of PV layer with thermal absorber when compared with other conventional methods, such as direct contact, thermal adhesive and mechanical fixing. Finally, suggestions for further research topics are proposed from five aspects. The overall research results would provide useful information for the assistance of further development of solar PV/T modules with high feasibility for widespread application in energy supply even at district or city-level in the near future. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

  • 11. Xu, Peng
    et al.
    Shen, Jingchun
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    University of Hull; University of Nottingham .
    He, Wei
    Zhao, Xudong
    Design, fabrication and experimental study of a novel loop-heat-pipe based solar thermal facade water heating system2015In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 75, p. 566-571Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigated a novel loop-heat-pipe based solar thermal facade heat-pump system for hot water from concept design, prototype fabrication and experimental test. Given the specific testing conditions, the solar thermal efficiency of the facade module achieved nearly 0.71 in average and the mean system's COP was about 5.0. It is expected that such novel LHP based solar thermal facade technology would further contributed to the development of the renewable (solar) driven heating/hot water service and therefore lead to significant environmental benefits.

  • 12. Xu, Peng
    et al.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Shen, Jingchun
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Yang, Tong
    Deng, Wu
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Empirical study of the energy saving potentials in Shanghai residential buildings through human behaviour change2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 13. Xu, Peng
    et al.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    Shen, Jingchun
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Comparative study of a novel thermal absorber based solar photovoltaic/thermal against photovoltaic system2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14. Xu, Peng
    et al.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    University of Hull.
    Shen, Jingchun
    University of Hull.
    Zhao, Xudong
    He, Wei
    Li, Deying
    Parallel experimental study of a novel super-thin thermal absorber based photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) system against conventional photovoltaic (PV) system2015In: Energy Reports, ISSN 2050-0505, E-ISSN 2352-4847, Vol. 1, p. 30-35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Photovoltaic (PV) semiconductor degrades in performance due to temperature rise. A super thin-conductive thermal absorber is therefore developed to regulate the PV working temperature by retrofitting the existing PV panel into the photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) panel. This article presented the parallel comparative investigation of the two different systems through both laboratory and field experiments. The laboratory evaluation consisted of one PV panel and one PV/T panel respectively while the overall field system involved 15 stand-alone PV panels and 15 retrofitted PV/T panels. The laboratory testing results demonstrated the PV/T panel could achieve the electrical efficiency of about 16.8% (relatively 5% improvement comparing with the stand-alone PV panel), and yield an extra amount of heat with thermal efficiency of nearly 65%. The field testing results indicated that the hybrid PV/T panel could enhance the electrical return of PV panels by nearly 3.5%, and increase the overall energy output by nearly 324.3%. Further opportunities and challenges were then discussed from aspects of different PV/T stakeholders to accelerate the development. It is expected that such technology could become a significant solution to yield more electricity, offset heating load freely and reduce carbon footprint in contemporary energy environment.

  • 15.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Nottingham.
    Shen, Jingchun
    Adkins, Deborah
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Zhao, Xudong
    He, Wei
    Xu, Peng
    Liu, Chenchen
    Luo, Huizhong
    The early design stage for building renovation with a novel loop-heat-pipe based solar thermal facade (LHP-STF) heat pump water heating system: Techno-economic analysis in three European climates2015In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 106, p. 964-986Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most of the building renovation plans are usually decided in the early design stage. This delicate phase contains the greatest opportunity to achieve the high energy performance buildings after refurbishment. It is therefore important to provide the pertinent energy performance information for the designers or decision-makers from multidisciplinary and comparative points of view. This paper investigates the renovation concept of a novel loop-heat-pipe based solar thermal facade (LHP-STF) installed on a reference residential building by technical evaluation and economic analysis in three typical European climates, including North Europe (represented by Stockholm), West Europe (represented by London) and South Europe (represented by Madrid). The aim of this paper is firstly to explore the LHP-STF’s sensitivity with regards to the overall building socio-energy performance and secondly to study the LHP-STF’s economic feasibility by developing a dedicated business model. The reference building model was derived from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) commercial buildings research, in which the energy data for the building models were from the ASHRAE codes and other standard practices. The financial data were collected from the European statistic institute and the cost of system was based on the manufactured prototype. Several critical financial indexes were applied to evaluate the investment feasibility of the LHP-STF system in building renovation, such as Payback Period (PP), Net Present Value (NPV), and the modified internal rate of return method (IRR). Four common investment options were considered in this business model, including buying outright (BO), buying by instalment (BI), energy efficiency funding (EEF) and power purchase agreement (PPA). The research results indicate that the LHP-STF could contribute to the hot water load throughout the year with substantially reduced heating load in winter, and yet a slight increased cooling load in summer. Among four investment options, the BO was considered as the best investment method with the highest NPV, IRR and the shortest payback period. With regards to relatively limited solar resources, London was found to be the best place for investment with the highest economical revenues and an attractive payback period of less than four years for all purchase options. Although Madrid has the richest solar resource, this system has the lowest economic profit and the longest payback period. This outcome confirms that the renewable energy incentives have a higher impact than solar resources on current solar thermal facade technologies under such pricing fundamentals. This multidisciplinary research is expected to be helpful for the strategic decisions at the early design stage for building renovation with the proposed system and further promote development of solar driven service system, leading to the savings in fossil fuel consumption and reduction in carbon emission.

  • 16.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Hull; University of Nottingham.
    Shen, Jingchun
    He, Wei
    Xu, Peng
    Zhao, Xudong
    Tan, Junyi
    Comparative study of a novel liquid-vapour separator incorporated gravitational loop heat pipe against the conventional gravitational straight and loop heat pipes - Part I: Conceptual development and theoretical analyses2015In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 90, p. 409-426Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim of the paper is to investigate the thermal performance of a novel liquid–vapour separator incorporated gravity-assisted loop heat pipe (GALHP) (T1), against a conventional GALHP (T2) and a gravitational straight heat pipe (T3), from the conceptual and theoretical aspects. This involved a dedicated conceptual formation, thermo-fluid analyses, and computer modelling and results discussion. The innovative feature of the new GALHP lies in the integration of a dedicated liquid–vapour separator on top of its evaporator section, which removes the potential entrainment between the heat pipe liquid and vapour flows and meanwhile, resolves the inherent ‘dry-out’ problem exhibited in the conventional GALHP. Based on this recognised novelty, a dedicated steady-state thermal model covering the mass continuity, energy conservation and Darcy equations was established. The model was operated at different sets of conditions, thus generating the temperature/pressure contours of the vapour and liquid flows at the evaporator section, the overall thermal resistance, the effective thermal conductivity, and the flow resistances across entire loop. Comparison among these results led to determination of the optimum operational settings of the new GALHP and assessment of the heat-transfer enhancement rate of the new GALHP against the conventional heat pipes. It was suggested that the overall thermal resistance of the three heat pipes (T1, T2, and T3) were 0.10 °C/W, 0.49 °C/W and 0.22 °C/W, while their effective thermal conductivities were 31,365 W/°C m, 9,648 W/°C m and 5,042 W/°C m, respectively. This indicated that the novel heat pipe (T1) could achieve a significantly enhanced heat transport effect, relative to T2 and T3. Compared to a typical cooper rod, T1 has around 78 times higher effective thermal conductivity, indicating that T1 has the tremendous competence compared to other heat transfer components. It should be noted that this paper only reported the theoretical outcomes of the research and the second paper would report the follow-on experimental study and model validation. The research results could be directly used for design, optimisation and analyses of the new GALHP, thus promoting its wide applications in various situations to enable the enhanced thermal performance to be achieved.

  • 17.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Nottingham; University of Hull.
    Shen, Jingchun
    He, Wei
    Xu, Peng
    Zhao, Xudong
    Tan, Junyi
    Comparative study of a novel liquid-vapour separator incorporated gravitational loop heat pipe against the conventional gravitational straight and loop heat pipes - Part II: Experimental testing and simulation model validation2015In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 93, p. 228-238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim of the paper is to report the experimental study of a novel liquid–vapour separator incorporated gravity-assisted loop heat pipe (GALHP) (T1), against the conventional GALHP (T2) and a gravitational straight heat pipe (T3). Based on the results derived from the theoretical analyses and computer modelling, three prototype heat pipes, one for each type, were designed, constructed and tested to characterise their thermal performance under a series of operational conditions. By using the experimental data, the computer simulation model reported in the authors’ previous paper was examined and analysed, indicating that the model could achieve a reasonable accuracy in predicting the thermal performance of the three heat pipes. Under the specifically defined testing condition, T1 has more evenly distributed axial temperature profile than the other two heat pipes (T2 and T3). The start-up timings for T1, T2 and T3 were 410 s, 1400 s and 390 s respectively, indicating that the heat transfer within T2 was affected by the larger evaporator dry-out surface area and restricted evaporation area. The overall thermal resistance of T1 was 0.11 °C/W, which was around 20% and 50% that of T2 and T3. The tested effective thermal conductivity in T1 was 29,968 W/°C m, which was 296% and 648% that of T2 and T3, and 7492% that of a standard copper rod. It is therefore concluded that the novel heat pipe (T1) could achieve a significantly enhanced heat transport effect, relative to T2, T3 and standard cooper rod. The experimental results derived from this research enabled characterisation of the thermal performance of T1, relative to other heat pipes, and validation of the developed computer simulation model derived from the authors’ previous research. These two parts researches in combination will enable design, optimisation and analyse of such a new GALHP, thus promoting its wide application and achieving efficient thermal management.

  • 18.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Hull.
    Shen, Jingchun
    Lu, Yan
    He, Wei
    Xu, Peng
    Zhao, Xudong
    Qiu, Zhongzhu
    Zhu, Zishang
    Zhou, Jinzhi
    Dong, Xiaoqiang
    Active Solar Thermal Facades (ASTFs): From concept, application to research questions2015In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, E-ISSN 1879-0690, Vol. 50, p. 32-63Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the paper is to report a comprehensive review into a recently emerging building integrated solar thermal technology, namely, Active Solar Thermal Facades (ASTFs), in terms of concept, classification, standard, performance evaluation, application, as well as research questions. This involves the combined effort of literature review, analysis, extraction, integration, critics, prediction and conclusion. It is indicated that the ASTFs are sort of building envelope elements incorporating the solar collecting devices, thus enabling the dual functions, e.g., space shielding and solar energy collection, to be performed. Based on the function of the building envelopes, the ASTF systems can be generally classified as wall-, window-, balcony-and roof-based types; while the ASTFs could also be classified by the thermal collection typologies, transparency, application, and heat-transfer medium. Currently, existing building and solar collector standards are brought together to evaluate the performance of the ASTFs. The research questions relating to the ASTFs are numerous, but the major points lie in: (1) whole structure and individual components layout, sizing and optimisation; (2) theoretical analysis; (3) experimental measurement; and (4) energy saving, economic and environmental performance assessment. Based on the analysis of the identified research questions, achievements made on each question, and outstanding problems remaining with the ASTFs, further development opportunities on this topic are suggested: (1) development of an integrated database/software enabling both architecture design and engineering performance simulation; (2) real-time measurement of the ASTFs integrated buildings on a long-term scheme; (3) economic and environmental performance assessment and social acceptance analysis; (4) dissemination, marketing and exploitation strategies study. This study helps in identifying the current status, potential problems in existence, future directions in research, development and practical application of the ASTFs technologies in buildings. It will also promote development of renewable energy technology and thus contribute to achieving the UK and international targets in energy saving, renewable energy utilization, and carbon emission reduction in building sector.

  • 19.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Hull.
    Shen, Jingchun
    Xu, Peng
    Zhao, Xudong
    Xu, Ying
    Socio-economic performance of a novel solar photovoltaic/loop-heat-pipe heat pump water heating system in three different climatic regions2014In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 135, p. 20-34Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 20.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Nottingham.
    Shen, Jingchun
    University of Nottingham, Ningbo.
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Wang, Luying
    Liu, Yingqi
    Xu, Peng
    Smart meter and in-home display for energy savings in residential buildings: a pilot investigation in Shanghai, China2019In: Intelligent Buildings International, ISSN 1750-8975, E-ISSN 1756-6932, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 4-26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Smart meters and in-home displays (IHDs) have been recently adopted to help give residential users more control over energy consumption, and meet environmental and supply security objectives. The article aims to identify the effectiveness and potential of smart meters and real-time IHDs in reducing Shanghai household energy consumption by affecting occupants? behaviour. A general landscape of the occupant behaviour in residential buildings was briefly painted. A pilot study in Shanghai with an effective sample of 131 respondents was arranged into two groups as IHD and non-IHD households. A dedicated statistical analysis model was developed based on the micro-level empirical data to investigate the characteristics and the regulations of electricity consumption in these two groups, such as check frequency, electricity consumption reduction and shifting, energy bill saving, and standby power. The research results demonstrate that IHDs could lead to around 9.1% reduction in monthly electricity consumption and about 11.0% cut off in monthly electricity bills. A general comparison of the electricity consumption reduction between this research and the average UK case was further made. Barriers at current stage and challenges for further work were finally discussed. The statistical model is expected to ?future proof? smart meter and real-time displays through macro-level designing in modularity and flexibility in China. The overall research initially proves the concept of the feasible impact of smart meter and display technologies in the Chinese context, which is further expected to contribute to the empirical evidence on how IHD feedback could influence household electricity consumption in the Chinese context.

  • 21. Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    Shen, Jingchun
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Wu, Yupeng
    An initial concept design of an innovative flat-plate solar thermal facade for building integration2015In: Sustainable Buildings and Structures / [ed] Stephen P. Wilkinson, Jun Xia, Bing Chen, Taylor & Francis, 2015, p. 103-110Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Nottingham.
    Shen, Jingchun
    Yang, Tong
    Tang, Llewellyn
    Wu, Yupeng
    Pan, Song
    Wu, Jinshun
    Xu, Peng
    Assessment of the effectiveness of investment strategy in solar photovoltaic (PV) energy sector: a case study2017In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 105, p. 2977-2982Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy is now promising to offer potential solutions for sustainable development, especially in China. A representative Chinese solar PV manufacturer - Shunfeng International Clean Energy Limited (SFCE) - is therefore assessed in this paper, including (1) investment strategies in China’s recent macroeconomic exposure; (2) the market exposure and vulnerability. The macroeconomic challenges in case of China’s continuous GDP growth would have significant implications for SFCE’s investment strategy. Although SFCE’s vulnerability is high, it has mediated its macro exposure and protect itself by advanced non-pricing competition, product/service differentiation, vertical and horizontal integration, and high-profit diversification etc. The research result is expected to offer useful indications for solar PV companies to adapt and succeed in the future energy industry and simultaneously help the world to mitigate climate change.

  • 23.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Hull.
    Zhao, Xudong
    Shen, Jingchun
    Hu, Xi
    Liu, Xuezhi
    Xu, Jihuan
    Design, fabrication and experimental study of a solar photovoltaic/loop-heat-pipe based heat pump system2013In: Solar Energy, ISSN 0038-092X, E-ISSN 1471-1257, Vol. 97, p. 551-568Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, a novel solar photovoltaic/loop-heat-pipe (PV/LHP) module-based heat pump system was designed and fabricated for both electricity and hot water generation. A coated aluminium-alloy (Al-alloy) sheet was applied as the baseboard of PV cells for enhanced heat dissipation to the surroundings, which was characterised by a series of laboratory-controlled conditions over the conventional Tedlar–Polyester–Tedlar (TPT) baseboard. The whole prototype system was subsequently evaluated in outdoor weather conditions throughout a consecutive period for about one week. Impact of several external parameters to the PV panel with different baseboards was discussed and the results showed that weaker incident radiation, lower air temperature, higher wind speed, and ground mounting solution, were propitious to the PV electrical performance. Given the specific indoor testing conditions, temperature of the Al-alloy based PV cells was observed at about 62.4 °C, which was 5.2 °C lower than that of the TPT based PV cells, and its corresponding PV efficiency was about 9.18%, nearly 0.26% higher than the TPT based type. During the outdoor testing, the mean daily electrical, thermal and overall energetic and exergetic efficiencies of the PV/LHP module were measured at 9.13%, 39.25%, 48.37% and 15.02% respectively. The basic-thermal system performance coefficient (COPth) was found at 5.51 and the advanced system performance coefficient (COPPV/T) was nearly 8.71. A simple comparison was also conducted between the PV/LHP based heat-pump system and those conventional solar/air energy systems, which indicated that this advanced system harvests larger amount of solar energy and therefore enables enhanced solar efficiency and system performance. Basic analysis into the economic and environmental benefits of this prototype system further demonstrated such technology will be competitive in the future energy supply industry with a payback period of 16 (9) years and a life-cycle carbon reduction of 12.06 (2.94) tons in Shanghai (London).

  • 24.
    Zhang, Xingxing
    et al.
    University of Hull.
    Zhao, Xudong
    Shen, Jingchun
    Xu, Jihuan
    Yu, Xiaotong
    Dynamic performance of a novel solar photovoltaic/loop-heat-pipe heat pump system2014In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 114, p. 335-352Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective of the paper is to present an investigation into the dynamic performance of a novel solar photovoltaic/loop-heat-pipe (PV/LHP) heat pump system for potential use in space heating or hot water generation. The methods used include theoretical computer simulation, experimental verification, analysis and comparison. The fundamental equations governing the transient processes of solar transmission, heat transfer, fluid flow and photovoltaic (PV) power generation were appropriately integrated to address the energy balances occurring in different parts of the system, e.g., glazing cover, PV cells, fin sheet, loop heat pipe, heat pump cycle and water tank. A dedicated computer model was developed to resolve the above grouping equations and consequently predict the system’s dynamic performance. An experimental rig was constructed and operated under the real weather conditions for over one week in Shanghai to evaluate the system living performance, which was undertaken by measurement of various operational parameters, e.g., solar radiation, photovoltaic power generation, temperatures and heat pump compressor consumption. On the basis of the first- (energetic) and second- (exergetic) thermodynamic laws, an overall evaluation approach was proposed and applied to conduct both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the PV/LHP module’s efficiency, which involved use of the basic thermal performance coefficient (COPth) and the advanced performance coefficient (COPPV/T) of such a system. Moreover, a simple comparison between the PV/LHP heat-pump system and conventional solar/air energy systems was conducted. The research results indicated that under the testing outdoor conditions, the mean daily electrical, thermal and overall energetic and exergetic efficiencies of the PV/LHP module were 9.13%, 39.25%, 48.37% and 15.02% respectively, and the average values of COPth and COPPV/T were 5.51 and 8.71. The PV/LHP module was found to achieve 3–5% higher solar exergetic efficiency than standard PV systems and about 7% higher overall solar energetic efficiency than the independent solar collector. Compared to the conventional solar/air heat pump systems, the PV/LHP heat pump system could achieve a COP figure that is around 1.5–4 times that for the conventional systems. It is concluded that the computer model is able to achieve a reasonable accuracy in predicting the system’s dynamic performance. The PV/LHP heat pump system is able to harvest significant amount of solar heat and electricity, thus enabling achieving enhanced solar thermal and electrical efficiencies. All these indicate a positive implication that the proposed system has potential to be developed into a high performance PV/T technology that can contribute to significant fossil fuel energy saving and carbon emission.

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