Sustainable space heating system using phase change materials

H. Ercisli

Research output: ThesisPd Eng Thesis

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This study is a product of a collaboration between the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Royal Imtech N.V. within the structure of a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) program called Smart Energy Buildings and Cities (SEB&C). SEB&C program targets to bridge the gap between the academia and the industry by realizing the design projects in cooperation with the industrial partners. These projects focus on the field of energy and sustainability in the built environment. The primary aim of the design project presented in this report was to develop a sustainable residential space heating system using phase change materials (PCM) storage application. In addition, the business opportunities of the proposed system were evaluated for the potential market. The technical part of the project consisted of two stages: the modeling of the PCM unit and the system level analysis. In the former stage, the modeling of PCM unit presented in this report was done in Matlab by using numerical analysis methods in heat transfer. The developed model was verified and validated with the previously conducted experiment. The component level analysis shows that PCM storage applications can be modeled using numerical analysis methods with the desired accuracy. However, it was also observed that using non-dimensional analysis and empirical correlations helps to obtain acceptable results with less computational power and within a shorter calculation time. In the latter stage, Matlab was used to model a space heating system consisting of solar collectors, a heat pump, a PCM storage, a water tank, a control unit, and an auxiliary heater. The result of the system level analysis shows that the proposed system configuration has certain advantages over the other space heating systems in terms of energy consumption. This is mainly due to the fact that the PCM storage unit secures higher operational efficiencies for the heat pump throughout the year. In addition to the technical investigations, this report provides analysis of business opportunities for the proposed residential space heating system. This proposed system forms a product that is called SOLPCM and aims to fulfill the space heating and the domestic hot water demands of a typical residential household. The SOLPCM achieves 58% of energy savings in comparison with a gas-fired boiler system, while meeting with the heating demand of a sample Dutch household. This energy savings corresponds to 34% of cost savings (€400 savings) per year over gas-fired boiler system. The SOLPCM has an expected life time of 25 years and a sale price of € 5200 with 18% profit margin; therefore, it has a payback period of nine years for an average residential heating demand profile. From the business investigations, it is concluded that the motivation of individuals to install such a system is mainly driven by financial concerns. For that reason, customized cost optimization studies are recommended to be pursued for each household interested in purchasing the system. This way, the most optimum size and operation parameters of the system components can be determined based on the heating demand of each particular household. Consequently, the cost savings can be maximized to make the product more attractive for the end-users.
Original languageEnglish
  • Rindt, Camilo C.M., Supervisor
  • Beijl, van der, Dennis, External supervisor, External person
Award date23 Feb 2016
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-90-444-1437-0
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2016

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