Victor Tulus

ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL VIABILITY OF CENTRAL SOLAR HEATING PLANTS WITH SEASONAL STORAGE IN THE EUROPEAN RESIDENTIAL SECTOR: A SYSTEMATIC MULTI-OBJECTIVE OPTIMIZATION APPROACH

Aligning with the ambitious EU 2030 climate and energy package for cutting the greenhouse emissions and replacing conventional heat sources through the presence of renewable energy share inside efficient district heating fields, central solar heating plants coupled with seasonal storage (CSHPSS) are among the most promising technologies to save energy in the industrial and residential-commercial building sectors.
This work presents a comprehensive evaluation for the possibility of integrating CSHPSS in the residential sector in various EU member states through the introduction of a systematic approach to optimize these systems according to economic and environmental criteria. This approach comprises simultaneously the life cycle cost analysis for the economic evaluation and the life cycle assessment for the environmental impact estimation while technically satisfying both the space heating demand and the domestic hot water services. The methodology framework is applied to a residential neighborhood community of 1120 dwellings in various EU zones with Barcelona, Madrid, Athens, Berlin, and Helsinki acting as proxy for different European climate types.
The environmental assessment shows a significant improvement when using the CSHPSS in comparison to a natural gas heating system, arriving in some cases up to 87% reductions. On the other hand, an extensive economic improvement is especially limited in the Mediterranean climate zone (Athens) due to low heating demands and the prices of the non-renewable resources, there the total economic cost of the CSHPSS can increase up to 50.8% compared to a natural gas heating system. However, considering the incremental tendency in natural gas prices all over EU nowadays, the study of future plant costs confirms its favorable long term economic feasibility.
Overall, our tool can guide engineers and architects in the transition towards a more sustainable residential sector.

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