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Research finds solar-biomass hybrid system satisfies home heating needs in winter

ANI | Updated: May 31, 2022 21:43 IST

Maryland [US], May 31 (ANI): According to new research by the American Institute of Physics, adding an organic matter power source to a solar energy unit could provide 100 per cent heating for a single-story home during the coldest months of the year and help the environment.
The findings of the research were published in the 'Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy'.
Adding an organic matter power source to a solar energy unit might supply 100 per cent warmth for a single-story home during the coldest months of the year while also benefiting the environment. During the warmer months, the system may create extra power that may be sold back to the grid.
Researchers in China and the United States outline a computer simulation model addressing the challenge of solar power's inherent intermittency by adding biomass as another renewable energy source to advance a reliable, affordable heating solution while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
"We demonstrate how this hybrid system provides a cleaner, more energy-efficient heating solution than fossil fuel in single-family homes," co-author Gaoyang Hou said. "The system would be convenient in rural communities, where farms have large amounts of biomass in the form of agricultural waste that can be combined with solar power to close the urban-rural electricity gap and help the environment in the process."
The proposed solar-biomass hybrid system is based on distributed multi-generation technology that integrates photovoltaic-thermal (PV/T) and biomass power sources.

Biomass is produced from renewable organic matter, like corn husks, nutshells, wood pulp, and food and animal waste. A PV/T system, composed of PV panels and thermal collectors, is an emerging technology that converts solar energy into both heat and electricity with higherrenewable energy source.
Studies on emerging decentralized hybrid systems have focused on neighbourhoods and commercial greenhouse farms. The researchers evaluated their system based on the heating needs of a single-story cottage from November to March in northwest China, where temperatures in winter can dip below minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit).
Of the total energy input, the PV/T collector generated 52 per cent of the electrical energy and captured 8 per cent of the available thermal energy. The biomass generated the remaining 40 per cent of the electricity needed to heat the house.
"For the entire heating season, solar power predominates the energy supply side, with the biomass energy generation kicking in when needed to make up the energy deficit," co-author Lei Xu said.
They created their simulation model in TRNSYS (short for transient system simulation tool), a modular thermal system software used to assess the performance of thermal and electrical renewable energy systems.
Their hybrid system simulation consisted of a PV/T collector, heat pump, storage tank with an immersed coiled-tube heat exchanger, flow diverters, and backup electric boiler, among other components.
The researchers are developing a solar-biomass system model to meet the heating and cooling demands of a small commercial building and, if successful, plan to develop a prototype for experimental testing. (ANI)