There is growing interest in zero-energy and low-energy buildings, which have a net energy consumption (on an annual basis) of almost zero. Because they can generate both electricity and thermal energy through the use of solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal collectors, and with the help of reduced building thermal demand, low-energy buildings can not only make a significant contribution to energy conservation on an annual basis, but also reduce energy consumption and peak demand. This study focused on electricity consumption during the on-peak period in a low-energy residential solar building and considers the use of a building’s thermal mass and thermal storage to reduce electricity consumption in summer and winter by modulation of temperature setpoints for heat pump and indoor thermostats in summer and additional use of a solar heating loop in winter. Experiments were performed at a low-energy solar demonstration house that has solar collectors, hot water storage, a ground-coupled heat pump, and a thermal storage tank. It was assumed that the on-peak periods were from 2 pm to 5 pm on hot summer days and from 5 pm to 8 pm on cold winter days. To evaluate the potential for utilizing the building’s thermal storage capacity in space cooling and heating, the use of simple control strategies on three test days in summer and two test days in the early spring were compared in terms of net electricity consumption and peak demand, which also considered the electricity generation from solar PV modules on the roof of the house.
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