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TitleSizing and control optimization of thermal energy storage in a solar district heating system
AuthorSaloux, EORCID logo; Candanedo, J A
Sourcevol. 7, 2021 p. 389-400, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210635
Meeting17th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling, DHC2021; Nottingham; UK; September 6-9, 2021
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
SubjectsScience and Technology; thermal analyses; thermodynamics; thermal power; energy resources; energy; solar energy
Illustrationsflow diagrams; schematic models; tables; distribution diagrams
Released2021 08 07
AbstractSolar district heating systems have shown significant promise to facilitate the large scale adoption of solar energy technologies and thus substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Given the mismatch between solar energy and district heating demand, energy storage devices play a critical role given their capacity to stockpile solar energy in both the short-term (hours to days) and long-term (months). However, the integration, sizing and control of energy storage technologies is far from simple. This paper investigates sizing and controlling thermal energy storage from the perspective of its performance within a district heating system, highlighting the close link between design and control. A 52-house Canadian solar district heating system, the Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC), was used as a case study. This system uses solar collectors as main energy supply, borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) for seasonal storage and two 120-m3 water tanks for short-term thermal storage (STTS). The effect of (a) storage sizing (STTS volume) and (b) storage control (rate at which energy is either injected or extracted from the BTES) was evaluated. A control-oriented model, calibrated and validated with operational data at 10-min intervals, was used along with an optimal rule-based control to gauge system primary energy use. Different scenarios were tested, with STTS volumes ranging from 120 m3 to 480 m3, and BTES loop nominal flow rates between 2.5 and 4.5 L/s. An optimization routine was developed to calculate the optimum parameters of the rule-based control strategy. Results show that, in comparison with the design and control in place, primary energy savings of 13%-30% (with BTES flow rates of 2.5-4.5 L/s) could have been obtained with the proposed rule-based control strategy. By decreasing the STTS volume to 120-m3, energy savings up to 6% could still be achieved; savings could reach 27%-36% by increasing the STTS size to 360-m3.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This study deals with the role of sizing and controlling thermal energy storage on the performance of district heating systems, highlighting the close link between design and control. The Canadian Drake Landing Solar Community is used as a case study and different sizing and control strategies are investigated to manage thermal energy storage devices in order to eventually reduce greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

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