Modeling of an integrated solar system

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The feasibility of using low-cost solar collection and storage technology to provide energy for residential units is investigated. Different construction strategies were compared including traditional housing practice against newly innovative ideas such as low radiant heating system, desiccant dehumidification, integrated low-cost solar collection, and phase-change material (PCM) storage. The selected building, located in Blacksburg, VA, integrated a solar thermal roof collection system consisting of a low-temperature flat-plate collector integrated within a concrete building envelope linked to a PCM storage tank. For the considered location and weather conditions (Blacksburg, VA), the proposed collection and storage solar system can supply 88% of the building's space heating and hot water needs averaged throughout the year saving the homeowner approximately 61.5% of the annual heating bills. However, the use of a storage system is not economical for the considered conditions. The paper also shows a month-by-month demand and supply distributions for the modeled building's heating and hot water needs. © 2007.

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Building and Environment

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