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Experimental and analytic study of a hybrid solar/biomass rural heating system

Zhang, Xinghui; Yang, Jiaojiao; Fan, Yi; Zhao, Xudong; Yan, Ruimiao; Zhao, Juan; Myers, Steve


Xinghui Zhang

Jiaojiao Yang

Yi Fan

Ruimiao Yan

Juan Zhao


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd This paper presents a dedicated analytic and experimental study of a hybrid solar/biomass space heating system incorporating a micro-channel solar thermal panels-array, a biomass boiler and a dedicated control algorithm. This system enables the smart and joint use of solar and biomass energies to provide a comfortable indoor environment. The in-situ testing of the system was undertaken and the data obtained from the testing were analysed using Grubbs method to formulate the experimental thermal efficiency equation for the solar panels-array and the heat conversion factor equation for the combined heat storage/exchanging water tank. The annual energy performance of the hybrid system was investigated using a professional building energy simulation program (EnergyPlus), which can predict the heat load profile of house, the ratio of energy usage from solar/biomass sources and the primary energy/exergy efficiencies. The thermal efficiency of the solar thermal panels-array is in the range of 60%–70%. The heat storage water tank has a heat conversion factor in the range of 0.94–0.98. The heat load index per unit area is 46.86 W/m2 and cumulative heating energy consumption with 100 m2 house is 24.3 GJ during a heating season. The total annual energy demand of the solar/biomass heating system is around 35.91 GJ, of which the sun provides 63.31% and biomass provides 36.69%. The primary energy and exergy efficiencies of the solar/biomass rural heating system are 67.66% and 16.17% respectively. However, when the total input electrical exergy is traced back to its primary energy source, i.e. a coal-fired power plant, the exergy efficiency falls from 23.14% to 7.27%. Compared to the traditional primary energy supply system, the energy conversion effect and effective utilization degree of the solar/biomass heating system are relatively higher.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2019
Journal Energy
Print ISSN 0360-5442
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 116392
APA6 Citation Zhang, X., Yang, J., Fan, Y., Zhao, X., Yan, R., Zhao, J., & Myers, S. (2019). Experimental and analytic study of a hybrid solar/biomass rural heating system. Energy, 116392.
Keywords General Energy; Pollution; Solar energy; Biomass energy; Micro-channel panel; Rural house; EnergyPlus; Exergy efficiency


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