Systems based on the coupling of heat pumps (HP) with solar hybrid photovoltaic and thermal technology (PVT) for domestic hot water (DHW) production are a valid alternative to conventional electric production systems. In previous research, simulation models were developed in order to study the dynamic behaviour of a plant set-up based on the integration of an air-to-water heat pump aimed at DHW production with a rated power of 700 W and a storage tank of 500 lt. It was coupled with a plant of 6 PVT flat uncovered hybrid solar collectors with a peak power of 300 W for each module. Starting from the results obtained in the pre-sizing stage, in this study, a plant configuration was analysed to maximize the exploitation of the low-temperature contribution provided by the adopted PVT collectors. With this aim, the efficacy of the introduction of a solar water preheating storage in addition to the one normally integrated into the HP was investigated. Different operational scenarios have been studied to evaluate the best energy management strategies to be implemented. They consider the influence that the thermal capacity of the solar storage could have on the system performance according to its volume and the setpoint temperatures. The obtained results show that the proposed plant solution generally allows an increase in solar energy exploitation for DHW production and a reduction in HP electricity consumption.


  • During the last decades photovoltaic and thermal technology (PVT) technology is more and more widespread

  • In many studies present in literature, PVT collectors are an integral part of systems aimed at producing domestic hot water (DHW), often coupled to heat pumps (HP) and thermal storage tanks

  • This study presents a development of previous research carried out as part of the collaboration between the University of Palermo and ENEA

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During the last decades PVT technology is more and more widespread. One of the reasons is that they are safer and reliable and that the prices are more affordable following the collapse of photovoltaic costs. For all these reasons, such integrations can be a valid alternative to traditional energy production systems This option is available with water-to-water HPs. When air-to-water HPs are adopted, and PVT uses a liquid as heat carrier the thermal upgrade of HP source is not an easy task and not always effective according to the temperatures required for end uses. In a previous study [6], the energy performance of a DHW system based on the integration of an air to water heat pump (HPWH) coupled to uncovered PVT panels with a sheet-andtube thermal absorber using water as heat transfer fluid has been investigated. It was found that uncovered PVT collectors do not allow for significant benefits in direct hot water production due to the rather high average temperatures in the storage tank This implies a low contribution of solar useful heat to DHW production. Results show better exploitation of the thermal energy supplied by the PVT collectors and a sensible reduction of the HPWH electricity consumption


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