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Report RSE 18001222

Innovative technologies for heating and cooling applications: description of the research activity and outcomes



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G. Besagni (RSE SpA), R. Nesa (Politecnico di Milano), S. Viani (RSE SpA), L. Croci (RSE SpA)

CONVENERGIA 2017 - Small scale energy conversion plants

The first part of the report presents the results of a field study concerning a novel solar-assisted dual-source multifunctional heat pump, installed in a detached house in Milan.The second part of the report describes a detailed mathematical model, subsequently implemented in Trnsys, to evaluate thermal and electrical performances of PVT roll-bond panels, The third part of the report describes the design and set-up of novel Phase Change Material-based storage system

The integration between heat pumps and renewable energy sources is a recognized strategy to bepursued to reduce primary energy consumption. This report contributes to the existingdiscussion on solar assisted heat pumps, for heating and cooling applications, and for theproduction of domestic how water. In particular, this report, which is structured in three parts,present the experimental and numerical results obtained in this activity. The first part of thereport presents the results of a field study concerning a novel solar-assisted dual-sourcemultifunctional heat pump, installed in a detached house in Milan.

The proposed system coupleshybrid photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) panels with a multifunctional and reversible heat pump. Theheat pump is equipped with an “air-source” evaporator and a “water-source” evaporator,connected in series and operated alternatively, based on the ambient conditions, systemparameters and operating modes. The PVT panels are connected with the heat pump by twostorage tanks to be used to produce domestic hot water and to be used in “water-source”evaporator. The proposed system has been tested experimentally; the results show that thesystem was able to maintain high efficiency in the different seasons and was able to producedomestic hot water.

In particular, the averaged performance (COP and EER) of themultifunctional heat pump is approximately 3, in the three different operation modes. It wasfound that the use of the “water-source” evaporator allowed to significantly increase theperformance of the plant (COP increases of approximately 34 %, compared with the “airsource”)and to avoid defrost cycles. The second part of the report describes a detailedmathematical model to evaluate thermal and electrical performances of the PVT panelsconsidered. The modeling approach has been described, validated against the experimental dataobtained in the first part of the activity (the difference between experimental and numerical datais generally in the range of +- 5%) and implemented in the TRNSYS® framework under thenovel Type2909.

The third part of the report has been devoted to design a novel storage system (i.e., the THESTOPCM, THermal Energy STorage with Phase Change Material, project)based on PCM material. In this phase a numerical model to estimate the performances of PCMstorage tanks has been developed and has been applied to obtain the preliminary sizing of thenovel storage system. Subsequently, a novel PCM-based storage tank has been designed, builtand, subsequently, a novel experimental system to test the performance of the storage tank hasbeen built has been developed. The proposed system will be applied to test the storage tank andobtain experimental data to calibrate and validate numerical models.

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