The Modelling of Photovoltaic, Solar Thermal, and Photovoltaic/Thermal Domestic Hot Water Systems
MetadataShow full item record
Solar heating of potable water has traditionally been accomplished through the use of solar thermal (ST) collectors. With the recent increases in availability and lower cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels, the potential of coupling PV solar arrays to electrically heated domestic hot water (DHW) tanks has been considered. Additionally, innovations in the SDHW industry have led to the creation of photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) collectors, which heat water using both electrical and thermal energy. The current work compared the performance and cost-effectiveness of a traditional solar thermal (ST) DHW system to PV-solar-electric DHW systems and a PV/T DHW system. To accomplish this, a detailed TRNSYS model of the solar hot water systems was created and annual simulations were performed for 250 L/day and 325 L/day loads in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, and Calgary. It was shown that when considering thermal performance, PV-DHW systems were not competitive when compared to ST-DHW and PVT-DHW systems. As an example, for Toronto the simulated annual solar fractions of PV-DHW systems were approximately 30%, while the ST-DHW and PVT-DHW systems achieved 65% and 71% respectively. With current manufacturing and system costs, the PV-DHW system was the most cost-effective system for domestic purposes. The capital cost of the PV-DHW systems were approximately $1,923-$2,178 depending on the system configuration, and the ST-DHW and PVT system were estimated to have a capital cost of $2,288 and $2,373 respectively. Although the capital cost of the PVT-DHW system was higher than the other systems, a Present Worth analysis for a 20-year period showed that for a 250 L/day load in Toronto the Present Worth of the PV/T system was approximately $4,597, with PV-DHW systems costing approximately $7,683-$7,816 and the ST-DHW system costing $5,238.