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Economics of Grid-Tied Solar Photovoltaic Systems Coupled to Heat Pumps: The Case of Northern Climates of the US and Canada
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2603-7595
2021 (English)In: Energies, E-ISSN 1996-1073, Vol. 14, no 4, article id 834Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is now a profitable method to decarbonize the grid, but if catastrophic climate change is to be avoided, emissions from transportation and heating must also decarbonize. One approach to renewable heating is leveraging improvements in PV with heat pumps (HPs). To determine the potential for PV+HP systems in northern areas of North America, this study performs numerical simulations and economic analysis using the same loads and climate, but with local electricity and natural gas rates for Sault Ste. Marie, in both Canada and U.S. Ground-mounted, fixed-tilt, grid-tied PV systems are sized to match 100% of electric loads considering cases both with and without air source HPs for residences with natural gas-based heating. For the first time the results show North American residents can profitably install residential PV+HP systems, earning up to 1.9% return in the U.S. and 2.7% in Canada, to provide for all of their electric and heating needs. Returns on PV-only systems are higher, up to 4.3%; however, the PV capacities are less than half. These results suggest northern homeowners have a clear and simple method to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by making an investment that offers a higher internal rate of return than savings accounts, CDs and GICs in both countries. Residential PV and solar-powered heat pumps can be considered 25-year investments in financial security and environmental sustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI , 2021. Vol. 14, no 4, article id 834
Keywords [en]
photovoltaic, heat pumps, electrification, solar energy, renewable energy, northern climate, solar-assisted heat pumps, sustainable energy, net zero, greenhouse gas emissions
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-292282DOI: 10.3390/en14040834ISI: 000623461000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85106448085OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-292282DiVA, id: diva2:1541125
Note

QC 20210331

Available from: 2021-03-31 Created: 2021-03-31 Last updated: 2023-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Sommerfeldt, Nelson

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CiteExportLink to record
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