Energies 2011, 4(11), 2115-2131; doi:10.3390/en4112115
Article

Efficiency Analysis of Independent and Centralized Heating Systems for Residential Buildings in Northern Italy

Politecnico di Milano, Department of Energy, Via Lambruschini 4, Milano 20156, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 September 2011; in revised form: 29 September 2011 / Accepted: 21 November 2011 / Published: 24 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Building Design)
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Abstract: The primary energy consumption in residential buildings is determined by the envelope thermal characteristics, air change, outside climatic data, users’ behaviour and the adopted heating system and its control. The new Italian regulations strongly suggest the installation of centralized boilers in renovated buildings with more than four apartments. This work aims to investigate the differences in primary energy consumption and efficiency among several independent and centralized heating systems installed in Northern Italy. The analysis is carried out through the following approach: firstly building heating loads are evaluated using the software TRNSYS® and, then, heating system performances are estimated through a simplified model based on the European Standard EN 15316. Several heating systems have been analyzed, evaluating: independent and centralized configurations, condensing and traditional boilers, radiator and radiant floor emitters and solar plant integration. The heating systems are applied to four buildings dating back to 2010, 2006, 1960s and 1930s. All the combinations of heating systems and buildings are analyzed in detail, evaluating efficiency and primary energy consumption. In most of the cases the choice between centralized and independent heating systems has minor effects on primary energy consumption, less than 3%: the introduction of condensing technology and the integration with solar heating plant can reduce energy consumption by 11% and 29%, respectively.
Keywords: efficiency; primary energy; heating system; residential building; model

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zago, M.; Casalegno, A.; Marchesi, R.; Rinaldi, F. Efficiency Analysis of Independent and Centralized Heating Systems for Residential Buildings in Northern Italy. Energies 2011, 4, 2115-2131.

AMA Style

Zago M, Casalegno A, Marchesi R, Rinaldi F. Efficiency Analysis of Independent and Centralized Heating Systems for Residential Buildings in Northern Italy. Energies. 2011; 4(11):2115-2131.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zago, Matteo; Casalegno, Andrea; Marchesi, Renzo; Rinaldi, Fabio. 2011. "Efficiency Analysis of Independent and Centralized Heating Systems for Residential Buildings in Northern Italy." Energies 4, no. 11: 2115-2131.

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