Life Cycle Assessment of an Innovative Hybrid Energy Storage System for Residential Buildings in Continental Climates

A new scientific publication from GREiA Research Group (Universitat de Lleida), CNR ITAE and Eurac Research has just been published in the Applied Sciences MDPI journal.

With the aim of contributing to achieving the decarbonization of the energy sector, the environmental impact of an innovative system to produce heating and domestic hot water for heating demand-dominated climates is evaluated.

Schematic diagram for the innovative system

The evaluation is conducted using the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology and the ReCiPe and IPCC GWP indicators for the manufacturing and operation stages, and comparing the system to a reference one. Results show that the innovative system has a lower overall impact than the reference one. Moreover, a parametric study to evaluate the impact of the refrigerant is carried out, showing that the impact of the overall systems is not affected if the amount of refrigerant or the impact of refrigerant is increased.

Read and download the full publication here.

HYBUILD Business Model

HYBUILD dissemination and exploitation activities aim at demonstrating that hybrid energy storage solutions are a key component in providing flexibility and supporting renewable energy integration in the energy system and can efficiently contribute to the decarbonisation of buildings.

A new report led by our partner R2M Solution – Research to Market – has just been released on the Deliverables page of our website.

Executive Summary

The HYBUILD Business Model report presents an analysis of the market potential of each HYBUILD Exploitable Result (ER) together with the key criteria allowing to define a business model for their future exploitation.

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HYBUILD Optimised Building Management system

A new HYBUILD public report led by our partner Engineering has been released on the Deliverables page of our website.

Executive Summary

This report addresses the implementation of an optimised control of the HYBUILD system energy flows in the residential buildings by considering internal and external requests.

The main aim of this document is to provide a detailed description of the energy management approaches adopted for the Building Energy Management System (BEMS) proposed within the HYBUILD project.

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HYBUILD Control System: functional requirements specification

A new HYBUILD public report led by our partner Engineering has been released on the Deliverables page of our website.

Executive Summary

This report introduces the main steps and requirements for performing an optimised control of the HYBUILD system energy flows in residential buildings by considering internal and external requests. The process involves the definition of the systems operations and layouts, along with user scenarios and use cases in order to define high-level functionalities of the Building Energy Management System (BEMS).

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Join us online at WSED21 !

HYBUILD is organising an innovation workshop at World Sustainable Energy Days 2021, 25th June. The workshop entitled ‘Innovative Renewable Solutions for European Buildings‘ is organised in cooperation with SCORES & GEOFIT projects.

It will present key innovative exploitable results from the HYBUILD project such as :

  • the Advanced PCM (Phase Change Material) thermal storage modules for direct integration in the refrigerant cycle – presented by AKG
  • the DC bus controller solution for heat pump market – presented by CSEM
  • an Innovative adsorber: Adsorption Heat exchanger with high surface area – presented by FAHRENHEIT

Registration at the WSED Innovation workshop is free !

Join us here.

HYBUILD full hybrid storage integrated

A new report led by our partner AIT – the Austrian Institute of Technology – is now available on the Deliverables page of the website.

Executive Summary

The HYBUILD public report “Full hybrid storage integrated” describes the integration phase of the hybrid storages for the Mediterranean and the Continental concept in the laboratories. Special focus was put on the hydraulic and electric integration of the main components. With this report, the knowledge about the integration of the specific components of the HYBUILD concepts is passed to the demo sites inside the HYBUILD project, where the technologies will be installed. Furthermore, it may help researchers and developers working on future experiments with the same or similar components. Therefore, potential problems in the system integration can be identified in advance.

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Configuration of the hard- and software interfaces of the DCS finished

A new HYBUILD report led by our partner AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology – has just been released. It presents research outcomes from HYBUILD related to the Distributed Control System (DCS).

Executive Summary of the report

This report provides a comprehensive description of the hard- and software communication interfaces between all actors, sensors, built-in controllers of the components and modules of the hybrid thermal and electrical sub-systems, and the existing automation systems used in the laboratory infrastructure at ITAE, NTUA, CSEM and AIT. The report gives detailed information on their configuration, developed human machine interfaces and interfaces to software for advanced control and simulation.

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Report on performance tests on the operation of the electrical energy storage.

A new HYBUILD public Report led by our partner CNR is now available on the Deliverables page of the website.

Executive Summary of the report:

The present work describes the activities performed to develop the prototype of the electric energy storage system of the HYBUILD project. The final purpose of the work done was to choose, test, and assemble the electric energy storage system.

The first action performed was to identify the behaviour of the use cases in realistic conditions, considering a wide range of operation. To this aim, the two Mediterranean and Continental systems were considered. In particular, the optimized behaviour for summer conditions (Mediterranean HYBUILD solution) and winter conditions (Continental HYBUILD solution) were taken into account. In the Mediterranean system, the electric storage mainly serves the vapour compression heat pump for cooling production, whereas in the Continental system the electric storage serves the vapour compression heat pump for heating production. Furthermore, in the Mediterranean system, DHW is mainly produced directly from solar or through a back-up, whereas in the Continental system DHW production is obtained through the RPW-HEX accumulating condensation heat of the heat pump during its operation. In both cases, therefore, no extra operation of the heat pump for DHW was considered. A 4.5 kWp system was considered for the Mediterranean solution and a 6 kWp one for the Continental case. This is due to different size of case studies, since the Mediterranean HYBUILD system is intended for a single-family house, while the Continental solution is intended for multi-family houses with 2-3 apartments with shared renewable energy production. Cyprus solar irradiation profile was used for the Mediterranean case and Bordeaux for the Continental one.

The worst-case scenario was considered for testing: in the Mediterranean case, a day in July (high cooling demand), determines an electric consumption of the heat pump of 1.5 kW, corresponding to a heat pump with 5 kW cooling capacity and EER=3.3 (thanks to operation in combination with the sorption module). In the Continental case, a typical winter day was selected, corresponding to very low irradiation and therefore a lower production from the PV field but a higher demand from the user.

After definition of the applications, a selection process among most performing electric storage technologies was performed. In particular, attention was immediately focused on Lithium-ion batteries due to guaranteed performances. Lithium ion batteries offer countless advantages over other types of electrochemical storage such as:

  • very high specific energy (Wh/kg) achieving considerable weight and space savings;
  • low internal resistance, allowing them to achieve higher currents, therefore charges and discharges at high c-rates, and making them suitable for high power applications;
  • limited self-discharge rates, making them the best solution for long-term energy storage;
  • no memory effect;
  • high lifetime, especially for some specific chemistries;
  • high open-circuit voltage (typical values of 3 – 4 V except for lithium titanate where the cell voltage is in the 1.5 V – 2.7V range);
  • relatively flat discharge curves (Voltage – SoC) in a wide range of SoCs.
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Pression heat pump tests successful

The integration of the heat pumps in a DC microgrid requires suitable converters, which were selected according to technical and economic constraints given by CSEM. In particular, recommendations were made for the AC/DC grid converters, the DC/DC converters for the integration with the electrical storage and the DC/DC converter for PV systems that might be available. In addition, a user interface was realised, to simplify monitoring and supervision during the installation in HYBUILD demonstration sites.

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Machine Learning Driven Optimization of a Hybrid Electrical and Thermal System

Our partner EURAC Research presented HYBUILD results at the last EU PVSEC 2020 conference, the Innovation Platform for the Global PV Solar Sector.

Abstract of the presentation and conference paper : With the diffusion of electric heating and cooling devices, coupling the electric and thermal systems in the residential sector is becoming attractive and could help to increase photovoltaic penetration. The heating and cooling needs of buildings correspond to an important component of the total energy consumption of the residential sector. Thus, it is important to properly design the thermal and electric systems accounting of the interactions from the first phases of the design process. In the design phase, detailed models implemented in dynamic simulation tools can be used for the sizing process of system components, but they hardly can be adopted in optimization algorithms due to the computational time required for each simulation. This is particularly true for multi-objective optimization algorithms, where usually a wide number of simulations is required. In this work, TRNSYS was used to train a machine learning model that is used in a multi-objective optimization with the final goal of improving the design of the thermal system and optimizing the KPIs of a coupled photovoltaic plus battery system.

The full conference paper is now available in the event proceedings, accessible here (link for a direct download here).