Impact of PV and variable prices on optimal system sizing for heat pumps and thermal storage
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEnergy and Buildings. 2016, 128 723-733. 10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.07.008
Heat pump (HP) units coupled to thermal storage offer flexibility in operation and hence the possibility to shift electric load. This can be used to increase PV self-consumption or optimise operation under variable electricity prices. A key question is if new sizing procedures for heat pumps, electric boilers and thermal storages are needed when heat pumps operate in a more dynamic environment, or if sizing is still determined by the thermal demand and thus sizing procedures are already well known. This is answered using structural optimisation based on mixed integer linear programming. The optimal system size of a HP, an electric back-up heater and thermal storage are calculated for 37 scenarios to investigate the impact of on-site PV, variable electricity price, space heat demand and domestic hot water demand. The results are compared to today's established sizing procedures for Germany. Results show that the thermal load profile has the strongest influence on system sizing. In most of the scenarios investigated, the established sizing procedures are sufficient. Only large PV sizes, or highly fluctuating electricity prices, create a need for lager storage. However, allowing the storage to be overheated by 10 K, the need for a larger storage only occurs in the extreme scenarios.