Indexed on: 14 Mar '16Published on: 20 Feb '16Published in: Applied Energy
Due to sustainable development, solar energy has drawn much attention and been widely applied in buildings. However, the application of solar energy is limited because of its instability, intermittency and low energy density in winter. In order to use low density and instable solar energy source for heating and improve the utilization efficiency of solar energy, a solar phase change thermal storage (SPCTS) heating system using a radiant-capillary-terminal (RCT) to effectively match the low temperature hot water, a phase change thermal storage (PCTS) to store and continuously utilize the solar energy, and an air source heat pump (ASHP) as an alternate energy, was proposed and set up in this research. Series of experiments were conducted to obtain the relation between the solar radiation utilization rate and the heating supply temperatures, and to evaluate the performance of the RCT module and the indoor thermal environment of the system for its practical application in a residential building in the north-western City of Xi’an, China. The results show that energy saving of the solar heating system can be significantly improved by reducing the supplied water temperature, and the supplied water temperature of the RCT would be no more than 35 °C. The capillary radiation heating can adopt a lower water temperature and create a good thermal comfort environment as well. These results may lead to the development of designing and distributing the solar energy for building heating during winter.