Matching demand profile and solar irradiance availability is necessary to meet space heating and domestic hot water needs by means of an air-source heat pump and photovoltaic system in a single-family house. Demand-side management, with smart control of the water storage set-point, is a simple but effective technique. Several studies in the literature pursue demand-side matching and self-consumption goals through system adjustments based on the model predictive control. This study proposes a rule-based control strategy, based on instantaneous photovoltaic (PV) power production, with the purpose of enhancing the self-consumption. This strategy exploits the building’s thermal capacitance as a virtual battery, and the thermal storage capacity of the system by running the heat pump to its limit when PV surplus power is available, and by eventually using an electric heater in order to reach higher temperatures. Results of annual dynamic simulations of a building and its heating system show that the proposed rule-based control strategy is able to reduce significantly the energy exchanges between the system and the grid. Despite the enlarged renewable energy share, economic analysis points out the pursuit of the self-consumption goal may lead to a diminution of the economic advantage in the Italian context (Italian weather data and the electric power pricing scheme).
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