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Scientific and technological progress and future perspectives of the solar assisted heat pump (SAHP) system

Fan, Yi; Zhao, Xudong; Han, Zhonghe; Li, Jing; Badiei, Ali; Akhlaghi, Yousef Golizadeh; Liu, Zhijian


Yi Fan

Zhonghe Han

Ali Badiei

Yousef Golizadeh Akhlaghi

Zhijian Liu


Among all available solar technologies, solar-assisted heat pump (SAHP) is the most popular technology for low- and medium-temperature applications, i.e., drying, space heating, and water heating. This paper presents a critical review of the SAHP, leading to identification of the key technological challenges with the current SAHP technology, including (1) poor energy performance at low ambient temperatures; (2) difficulty in coupling solar thermal panels with heat pumps to achieve increased operational time and reduced electrical energy usage; (3) mismatch between heat demand of the building and heat supply of the SAHP system; and (4) lack of multi-functional modelling tool. A recently developed SAHP technology is introduced, which can effectively tackle the challenges with the current SAHPs, thus achieving enhanced solar efficiency, improved heat pump energy efficiency, and fast responsive time to the heat demand of buildings. The future research directions of the SAHP were identified: (1) multi-source heat pump; (2) heat pump defrosting capacity using waste heat and renewable energy; (3) advanced heat storage and exchange unit (HSEU) technology; and (4) advanced machine learning and multi-objective evolutionary optimisation models for performance prediction and optimisation of the SAHP using big datasets.


Fan, Y., Zhao, X., Han, Z., Li, J., Badiei, A., Akhlaghi, Y. G., & Liu, Z. (2021). Scientific and technological progress and future perspectives of the solar assisted heat pump (SAHP) system. Energy, 229, Article 120719.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 18, 2021
Online Publication Date May 1, 2021
Publication Date Aug 15, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 24, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 2, 2022
Journal Energy
Print ISSN 0360-5442
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 229
Article Number 120719
Keywords General Energy; Pollution
Public URL


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