Mitigating energy poverty: Potential contributions of combining PV and building thermal mass storage in low-income households
|Author||Romero Rodríguez, Laura
Sánchez Ramos, José
Guerrero Delgado, María del Carmen
Molina Félix, José Luis
Álvarez Domínguez, Servando
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Ingeniería Energética|
|Abstract||The issue of energy poverty has devastating implications for the society, and it has been aggravated in the past years due to the economic crisis and the increase of energy prices. Among the most affected are those with ...
The issue of energy poverty has devastating implications for the society, and it has been aggravated in the past years due to the economic crisis and the increase of energy prices. Among the most affected are those with low incomes and living in inefficient buildings. Unfortunately, the bitter reality is that sometimes this part of the population are facing the next question: Heating, or eating? The declining prices of distributed energy technologies such as photovoltaics provides an opportunity for positive social change. Although their use does not address energy poverty directly, substantial contributions may be made. Measurements of indoor temperatures in a social housing district of southern Spain in 2017 have revealed the unbearable temperatures that the occupants have to endure, both in summer and winter. Using this district as a case study, the present work aims to evaluate the benefits of exploiting its rooftop PV potential to cover part of the electricity consumption of the district (reducing the energy bills), and use the surplus electricity to supply power for the heat pumps in the district. Optimal alternatives regarding maximum PV production, maximum self-sufficiency ratio and minimum investment costs have been found, considering as well different options when sharing the available electricity surplus to improve the thermal comfort of the occupants. As far as the authors know, no previous study has followed an approach aimed at energy poverty alleviation such as the one presented in this work. The results show that using the surplus electricity to heat or cool the whole dwellings would improve the thermal comfort of the occupants in average up to 11% in winter and 26% in summer. If all the PV generation was used or more buildings in the area were employed to install PV modules, improvements up to 33% in winter and 67% in summer could be obtained, reducing at the same time the thermal comfort differences among the dwellings of the district.
|Citation||Romero Rodríguez, L., Sánchez Ramos, J., Guerrero Delgado, M.d.C., Molina Félix, J.L. y Álvarez Domínguez, S. (2018). Mitigating energy poverty: Potential contributions of combining PV and building thermal mass storage in low-income households. Energy Conversion and Management, 173, 65-80.|