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Energies 2019, 12(1), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12010177

Optimized Dimensioning and Operation Automation for a Solar-Combi System for Indoor Space Heating. A Case Study for a School Building in Crete

Wind Energy and Power Plants Synthesis Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Estavromenos, 714 10 Heraklion Crete, Greece
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Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Sources of Energy Modeling and Automation)
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Abstract

This article investigates the introduction of hybrid power plants for thermal energy production for the indoor space heating loads coverage. The plant consists of flat plate solar collectors with selective coating, water tanks as thermal energy storage and a biomass heater. A new operation algorithm is applied, maximizing the exploitation of the available thermal energy storage capacity and, eventually, the thermal power production from the solar collectors. An automation system is also designed and proposed for the realization of the newly introduced algorithm. The solar-combi system is computationally simulated, using annual time series of average hourly steps. A dimensioning optimization process is proposed, using as criterion the minimization of the thermal energy production levelized cost. The overall approach is validated on a school building with 1000 m2 of covered area, located in the hinterland of the island of Crete. It is seen that, given the high available solar radiation in the specific area, the proposed solar-combi system can guarantee the 100% annual heating load coverage of the examined building, with an annual contribution from the solar collectors higher than 45%. The annually average thermal power production levelized cost is calculated at 0.15 €/kWhth. View Full-Text
Keywords: heating and cooling loads; biomass-solar combi systems; buildings energy performance upgrade; solar collectors’ simulation; thermal energy storage heating and cooling loads; biomass-solar combi systems; buildings energy performance upgrade; solar collectors’ simulation; thermal energy storage
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Katsaprakakis, D.A.; Zidianakis, G. Optimized Dimensioning and Operation Automation for a Solar-Combi System for Indoor Space Heating. A Case Study for a School Building in Crete. Energies 2019, 12, 177.

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