Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of an Innovative Compact Hybrid Electrical-Thermal Storage System for Residential Buildings in Mediterranean Climate

MDPI Sustainability just released a special issue “Life-Cycle Assessment of Energy Storage in Building Applications guest-edited by Prof. Dr. Luisa F. Cabeza, Dr. Emiliano Borri and Dr. Gabriel Zsembinszki from GREiA research group, University of Lleida, Spain. This Special Issue aims to contribute to studying the sustainability, through LCA analysis, of the integration of different energy storage solutions applied to buildings.

This Special Issue contains a new scientific paper presenting the LCA analysis of the HYBUILD Mediterranean system.

Executive Summary

The buildings sector is one of the least sustainable activities in the world, accounting for around 40% of the total global energy demand. With the aim to reduce the environmental impact of this sector, the use of renewable energy sources coupled with energy storage systems in buildings has been investigated in recent years. Innovative solutions for cooling, heating, and domestic hot water in buildings can contribute to the buildings’ decarbonization by achieving a reduction of building electrical consumption needed to keep comfortable conditions.

However, the environmental impact of a new system is not only related to its electrical consumption from the grid, but also to the environmental load produced in the manufacturing and disposal stages of system components.

This study investigates the environmental impact of an innovative system proposed for residential buildings in Mediterranean climate through a life cycle assessment.

Schematic diagram for the innovative system

The results show that, due to the complexity of the system, the manufacturing and disposal stages have a high environmental impact, which is not compensated by the reduction of the impact during the operational stage. A parametric study was also performed to investigate the effect of the design of the storage system on the overall system impact.

Read the full paper