Integrated Energy System for a High Performance Building
Integrated energy systems have the potential to reduce of the energy consumption of residential buildings in Canada. These systems incorporate components to meet the building heating, cooling and domestic hot water load into a single system in order to reduce energy losses. An integrated energy system, consisting of a variable speed heat pump, cold and hot thermal storage tanks, a photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) collector array and a battery bank, was designed for the Queen’s Solar Design Team’s (QSDT) test house. The system uses a radiant floor to provide space- heating and sensible cooling and a dedicated outdoor air system provides ventilation and dehumidifies the incoming fresh air. The test house, the Queen’s Solar Education Centre (QSEC), and the integrated energy system were both modelled in TRNSYS. Additionally, a new TRNSYS Type was developed to model the PV/T collectors, enabling the modeling of the collection of energy from the ambient air. A parametric study was carried out in TRNSYS to investigate the effect of various parameters on the overall energy performance of the system. These parameters included the PV/T array size and the slope of the collectors, the heat pump source and load-side inlet temperature setpoints, the compressor speed control and the size of the thermal storage tanks and the battery bank. The controls of the heat pump were found to have a large impact on the performance of the integrated energy system. For example, a low evaporator setpoint improved the overall free energy ratio (FER) of the system but the heat pump performance was lowered. Reducing the heat loss of the PV/T panels was not found to have a large effect on the system performance however, as the heat pump is able to lower the inlet collector fluid temperature, thus reducing thermal losses. From the results of the sensitivity study, a recommended system model was created and this system had a predicted FER of 77.9% in Kingston, Ontario, neglecting the energy consumption of circulation pumps and fans. Simulations of the recommended integrated energy system were also performed in several other Canadian cities and the predicted FER was above 60% in all except for the most northern city investigated, Yellowknife. Thus, the integrated energy system has the potential of reducing the energy consumption of residential buildings in Canada.
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