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Energies 2013, 6(2), 953-972; doi:10.3390/en6020953

Retrofitting Conventional Electric Domestic Hot Water Heaters to Solar Water Heating Systems in Single-Family Houses—Model Validation and Optimization

Energy and Building Design Division, Lund University, Box 118 SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Received: 14 December 2012 / Revised: 15 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 January 2013 / Published: 12 February 2013
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Abstract

System cost reductions and development of standardised plug-and-function systems are some of the most important goals for solar heating technology development. Retrofitting hot water boilers in single-family houses when installing solar collectors has the potential to significantly reduce both material and installation costs. In this study, the TRNSYS simulation models of the retrofitting solar thermal system were validated against measurements. Results show that the validated models are in good agreement with measurements. On an annual basis a deviation of 2.5% out of 1099 kWh was obtained between the auxiliary energy from results and from the simulation model for a complete system. Using the validated model a system optimization was carried out with respect to control strategies for auxiliary heating, heat losses and volume of auxiliary storage. A sensitivity analysis was carried out regarding different volumes of retrofitted hot water boiler, DHW profiles and climates. It was estimated that, with adequate improvements, extended annual solar fractions of 60%, 78% and 81% can be achieved for Lund (Sweden), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lusaka (Zambia), respectively. The correspondent collector area was 6, 4 and 3 m2, respectively. The studied retrofitted system achieves a comparable performance with conventional solar thermal systems with the potential to reduce the investment cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar thermal; storage tank; hot water boiler; retrofit; domestic hot water solar thermal; storage tank; hot water boiler; retrofit; domestic hot water
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bernardo, L.R. Retrofitting Conventional Electric Domestic Hot Water Heaters to Solar Water Heating Systems in Single-Family Houses—Model Validation and Optimization. Energies 2013, 6, 953-972.

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