2006 Volume 49 Issue 4 Pages 1241-1252
Five different kinds of domestic-size renewable energy system configurations for very cold climate regions were investigated. From detailed numerical modeling and system simulations, it was found that the consumption of fuel oil for the auxiliary boiler in residential-type households can almost be eliminated with a renewable energy system that incorporates photovoltaic panel arrays for electricity generation and two storage tanks: a well-insulated electric water storage tank that services the hot water loads, and a compact boiler/geothermal heat pump tank for room heating during very cold seasons. A reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) of about 28% was achieved for this system compared to an equivalent conventional system. The near elimination of the use of fuel oil in this system makes it very promising for very cold climate regions in terms of energy savings because the running cost is not so dependent on the unstable nature of global oil prices.