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.

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Deep Learning Optimal Control for a Complex Hybrid Energy Storage System

Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) proved to be successful for solving complex control problems and has become a hot topic in the field of energy systems control, but for the particular case of thermal energy storage (TES) systems, only a few studies have been reported, all of them with a complexity degree of the TES system far below the one of this study.

In this new scientific paper by our partner GREiA Research Group at University of Lleida, published in the MDPI Buildings Special Issue “Novel Technologies to Enhance Energy Performance and Indoor Environmental Quality of Buildings, we step forward through a DRL architecture able to deal with the complexity of an innovative hybrid energy storage system, devising appropriate high-level control operations (or policies) over its subsystems that result optimal from an energy or monetary point of view.

Diagram of smart control implementation in the HYBUILD system

The results show that a DRL policy in the system control can reduce the system operating costs by more than 50%, as compared to a rule-based control (RBC) policy, for cooling supply to a reference residential building in Mediterranean climate during a period of 18 days. Moreover, a robustness analysis was carried out, which showed that, even for large errors in the parameters of the system simulation models corresponding to an error multiplying factors up to 2, the average cost obtained with the original model deviates from the optimum value by less than 3%, demonstrating the robustness of the solution over a wide range of model errors.

Read the full paper

Hybrid Cascade Heat Pump and Thermal-Electric Energy Storage System for Residential Buildings: Experimental Testing and Performance Analysis

The need for innovative heating and cooling systems to decarbonize the building sector is widely recognized. It is especially important to increase the share of renewables at building level by maximizing self-consumption and reducing the primary energy demand.

This new MDPI Energies journal paper, led by our partner CNR ITAE, presents the results on a wide experimental campaign on the HYBUILD hybrid system.

Graphical abstract

The system included a sorption module working as the topping cycle in a cascade configuration with a DC-driven vapor compression heat pump. A three-fluids heat exchanger with a phase change material (PCM), i.e., RT4 with nominal melting temperature of 4 °C, was installed on the evaporator side of the heat pump, for simultaneous operation as thermal storage and heat pumping purposes. The heat pump was connected to a DC-bus that included PV connection and electricity storage (batteries). Results showed that the energy efficiency of the heat pump in cascade operation was double compared to compression-only configuration and that, when simultaneously charging and discharging the latent storage in cascade configuration, no penalization in terms of efficiency compared to the compression-only configuration was measured. The self-sufficiency of the system was evaluated for three reference weeks in summer conditions of Athens climate and it was found that up to 100% of the electricity needed to drive the system could be self-produced for a modest cooling demand and up to 67% for the warmer conditions with high cooling demand.

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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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