Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

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

Steve Myers


© 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.


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.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 17, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 22, 2019
Publication Date Jan 1, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 22, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 2, 2020
Journal Energy
Print ISSN 0360-5442
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 116392
Keywords General Energy; Pollution; Solar energy; Biomass energy; Micro-channel panel; Rural house; EnergyPlus; Exergy efficiency
Public URL


Article (2.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement

Elsevier Pre-ProofVersion

Technical Information
KR approved use of this as AAM

You might also like

Downloadable Citations