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Targeting Energy Efficiency through Air Conditioning Operational Modes for Residential Buildings in Tropical Climates, Assisted by Solar Energy and Thermal Energy Storage. Case Study Brazil

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Programa de Pós-Graduação em Engenharia Civil, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Passo da Pátria 156, Niterói 24210-240, Brazil
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Departament d’Enginyeria Mecànica, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
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Departament d’Enginyeria Química, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
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Departamento de Construção Civil, Escola Politécnica da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Av. Athos da Silveira Ramos 149, Rio de Janeiro 21941-909, Brazil
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paulo Santos
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12831; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212831
Received: 26 October 2021 / Revised: 15 November 2021 / Accepted: 16 November 2021 / Published: 19 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life-Cycle Assessment of Energy Storage in Building Applications)
Economy and parsimony in the consumption of energy resources are becoming a part of common sense in practically all countries, although the effective implementation of energy efficiency policies still has a long way to go. The energy demand for residential buildings is one of the most significant energy sinks. We focus our analysis on one of the most energy-consuming systems of residential buildings located in regions of tropical climate, which are cooling systems. We evaluate to which degree the integration of thermal energy storage (TES) and photovoltaic (PV) systems helps to approach an annual net zero energy building (NZEB) configuration, aiming to find a feasible solution in the direction of energy efficiency in buildings. To conduct the simulations, an Energy Efficiency Analysis Framework (EEAF) is proposed. A literature review unveiled a potential knowledge gap about the optimization of the ASHRAE operational modes (full storage load, load leveled, and demand limiting) for air conditioning/TES sets using PV connected to the grid. A hypothetical building was configured with detailed loads and occupation profiles to simulate different configurations of air conditioning associated with TES and a PV array. Using TRNSYS software, a set of scenarios was simulated, and their outputs are analyzed in a life cycle perspective using life cycle costing (LCC). The modeling and simulation of different scenarios allowed for identifying the most economic configurations from a life cycle perspective, within a safe range of operability considering the energy efficiency and consequently the sustainability aspects of the buildings. The EEAF also supports other profiles, such as those in which the occupancy of residential buildings during the day is increased due to significant changes in people’s habits, when working and studying in home office mode, for example. These changes in habits should bring a growing interest in the adoption of solar energy for real-time use in residential buildings. The results can be used as premises for the initial design or planning retrofits of buildings, aiming at the annual net zero energy balance. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy efficiency; optimization; solar energy; thermal energy storage; residential air cooling; variable rate energy tariffs; life cycle costing energy efficiency; optimization; solar energy; thermal energy storage; residential air cooling; variable rate energy tariffs; life cycle costing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Naves, A.X.; Esteller, L.J.; Haddad, A.N.; Boer, D. Targeting Energy Efficiency through Air Conditioning Operational Modes for Residential Buildings in Tropical Climates, Assisted by Solar Energy and Thermal Energy Storage. Case Study Brazil. Sustainability 2021, 13, 12831. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212831

AMA Style

Naves AX, Esteller LJ, Haddad AN, Boer D. Targeting Energy Efficiency through Air Conditioning Operational Modes for Residential Buildings in Tropical Climates, Assisted by Solar Energy and Thermal Energy Storage. Case Study Brazil. Sustainability. 2021; 13(22):12831. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212831

Chicago/Turabian Style

Naves, Alex X., Laureano J. Esteller, Assed N. Haddad, and Dieter Boer. 2021. "Targeting Energy Efficiency through Air Conditioning Operational Modes for Residential Buildings in Tropical Climates, Assisted by Solar Energy and Thermal Energy Storage. Case Study Brazil" Sustainability 13, no. 22: 12831. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212831

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