The performance of nearly-zero energy buildings with onsite generation systems as heat and electricity prosumers in the energy system

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School of Engineering | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2018-05-04
Degree programme
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 63/2018
Energy planning and management in the built environment should progress towards the net zero or nearly-zero energy balance in a cost-effective manner. To do so, the performance of highly energy-efficient buildings with modern technologies needs to be thoroughly studied. To that endeavor, this study investigates the use of onsite surplus electricity to drive heat pumps and export the heat, instead of directly exporting onsite surplus electricity to the grid. Thus, the objective of the dissertation is to investigate the potential of heat and electricity prosumers to improve the energy balance and reduce the operational CO2 emissions in the built environment while maintaining energy quality. This study employs simulations based on an existing building and on a reference building, as well as multiobjective optimizations for lifecycle costs, CO2 emissions and exergy of residential-scale energy systems with onsite electricity and heat generation components. It investigates which system configurations offer the best performance, and evaluates whether the export of heat can make a significant contribution to this end. Moreover, two different energetic, economic and climatic contexts are explored: the Netherlands and Finland. The results show that heat and electricity prosumers, where surplus electricity is used to drive a HP and export heat, can provide optimal solutions for lifecycle costs and CO2 emissions in the Netherlands and Finland. This, however, comes with a significant drop in exergy content when converting electricity into heat.
Supervising professor
Lahdelma, Risto, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Finland
Thesis advisor
Sirén, Kai, Prof., Aalto University, Finland
Cao, Sunliang, Asst. Prof., The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Hasan, Ala, Dr., VTT Technical Research Centre, Finland
sustainable buildings, prosumers, smart grids, CO2 emissions, exergy, lifecycle costs
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: Benjamin Manrique Delgado, Sunliang Cao, Ala Hasan, Kai Sirén. Energy and exergy analysis of prosumers in hybrid energy grids, Building Research & Information, Published online: May 2017.
    DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2017.1327279 View at publisher
  • [Publication 2]: Benjamin Manrique Delgado, Sunliang Cao, Ala Hasan, Kai Sirén. Thermoeconomic analysis of heat and Electricity prosumers in residential zeroenergy buildings in Finland, Energy, Volume 130, Pages 544-559, July 2017.
    DOI: 10.1016/ View at publisher
  • [Publication 3]: Benjamin Manrique Delgado, Sunliang Cao, Ala Hasan, Kai Sirén. Multiobjective optimization for lifecycle cost, carbon dioxide emissions and exergy of residential heat and electricity prosumers, Energy Conversion and Management, Volume 154, Pages 455-469, December 2017.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2017.11.037 View at publisher
  • [Publication 4]: Benjamin Manrique Delgado, Rajesh Kotireddy, Sunliang Cao, Ala Hasan, Pieter-Jan Hoes, Jan L.M. Hensen, Kai Sirén. Lifecycle cost and emissions of residential heat and electricity prosumers in Finland and the Netherlands, Energy Conversion and Management, Volume 160, Pages 495-508, March 2018.DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2018.01.069