Enhancing the efficiency of a Solar Domestic Hot Water (SDHW) system with modeFRONTIER

Roberta Padovan (University of Trieste)

CHALLENGE - Energy consumption for building cooling and heating can add up to 30% of total energy used. With energy standards on the rise, such as the EU’s requirement for renewable energy sources, new technologies have to rise to the challenge. Solar systems and an energy storage system within water tanks could be the answer.

SOLUTION - A solar plant for domestic hot water production featuring Phase Change Materials (PCM, known for impacting water temperature) was analyzed with the aim of enhancing the energy efficiency and reducing the volume occupancy of the water storage system. Thermal flux models for the PCMs were calculated with ESP-r, an integrated building/plant simulation code, and fed into the modeFRONTIER workflow that led to the optimal tank dimension.

BENEFITS - By streamlining the optimization problem of maximizing storage efficiency and minimizing the tank volume, modeFRONTIER helped researchers analyze the effectiveness of PCM modules for solar plant systems and measure such contribution to further improve the technology.