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Building heating solutions in China: A spatial system analysis
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Modern, clean, accessible and affordable building space heating is key tofuture sustainable development in China. However, it is impossible to recommendidentical building space heating solutions for all spaces in such alarge country as China. The decision making for choosing the most feasiblebuilding space heating solution is associated with a number of local characteristic spatial parameters, and stakeholders are still suffering from insufficient understanding of at which locations and under what conditions to choose a certain technology. Therefore, the present thesis aims at llingthis research gap by four steps: first, review current space heating situationin China; second, develop a systematic evaluation method for proper choice on building heating solution in different geolocations of China; third,demonstrate the efficacy of proposed method by case studies; fourth, analysethe Chinese energy sector administration infrastructure and its influence on building heating solutions.

Step one is to understand the current status of building space heating in China, including what technologies currently prevail and where they are implemented, as well as their application scales. It is found that under existing energy structures, coal as the primary energy source is extensively consumed in space heating systems. Coal-based regional boilers and combined heat and power district heating is prevalent in North China. Distributed heating, such as reversible air-conditioners, is still dominating South China. During past decade, sustainable energy space heating is increasing rapidly under a series of national policy initiatives, and will continue to grow in the future.

Following the current status review, a systematic method featured by spatial analysis is developed to compare the various heating options and find the best alternative. The method contains three system boundary levels, which reflect the characters of space heating technology, heat source, heat sink as well as the primary energy system. In each system level, local spatial parameters are analyzed. A set of key performance indicators is selected to quantitatively compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of implementing one building space heating solution over another from techno-economic-environmental as well geographical perspectives.

Case studies are then carried out to demonstrate the application of the method. In case study one, two Chinese cities with different local spatial conditions are chosen. Ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps are compared with status-quo space heating solutions, which are coal boilers and electric boilers. The results lie in three aspects. Technically, heat pumps are more efficient than boilers from a primary energy point of view. Economically, ground source heat pumps have to reach a satisfying seasonal coefficient of performance value of 3.7 for a competitive payback period against existing heating solutions. Environmentally, heat pumps have to reach a critical seasonal coefficient of performance value around 2.5 to guarantee their environmental advantages compared with directly burning coal for space heating as long as coal is the dominant source of energy to produce electricity. Such a threshold is fairly easy to reach considering the coefficient of performance of the heat pumps in the market.

Case study two investigates seawater heat pumps potential in four coastal cities from north to south China. From techno-economic perspective, in North China seawater heat pumps can save primary energy use upto 18% in space heating, and can have a discounted payback period as short as 4 years compared with coal boilers. In southern Chinese cities on the other hand, seawater heat pumps can save primary energy use upto 14% in space heating but the discounted payback period is often more than 10 years compared with status-quo system. Environmentally, in North China seawater heat pumps have to reach a critical seasonal coefficient of performance value around 2.4 to guarantee their potential in carbon emissions saving when compared with fossil fuel boilers. In South China, seawater heat pumps generally emit less greenhouse gases than competing technologies. Geographically speaking, northern coastal cities are more feasible for seawater heat pumps applications compared with southern cities, as many buildings in northern coastal cities are within a proper distance to the seawater for efficient utilization of seawater for space heating and cooling.

Energy administration structure and energy policies in China are anavilyzed in parallel with case studies, in order to understand how energy management in China is regulated and how effective such energy policies can be. It is shown that energy administrations in China have great influence on the implementation of energy technologies and many energy policies are quite effective in promoting renewable space heating technologies.

In conclusion, stakeholders are suggested to adopt the system method proposed in this thesis, to promote the best building heating solution based on local spatial characteristics. By using the method in case studies, it is concluded that for heat pumps, a number of prerequisites have to be fullled for a more successful application in China. Future emphasis should be placed on heat pumps efficiency improvements, operation management and cost reduction. Meanwhile, increasing the share of zero-carbon electricity in the energy system should be a long-term goal so that the environmental benefits of heat pumps can be more prominent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. , p. 140
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 2019:39
Keywords [en]
Building; heating; spatial; system; China
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-263854ISBN: 978-91-7873-382-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-263854DiVA, id: diva2:1370690
Public defence
2019-12-17, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-22 Created: 2019-11-16 Last updated: 2019-11-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Heating solutions for residential buildings in China: Current status and future outlook
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Heating solutions for residential buildings in China: Current status and future outlook
2018 (English)In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 177, p. 493-510Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With continuing of urbanization, improving of life quality as well as combating against air pollution, China is facing comprehensive challenges to supply modem clean heating to a majority of its citizens. For space heating solutions, currently in urban areas of north China, coal based district heating is prevalent. In urban areas of south China, distributed heating solutions are used. In rural areas, de-centralized coal stoves and biomass stoves are still commonly used. As renewable building heating solution, ground source heat pumps are installed for large scale applications. Building floor areas heated by ground source heat pumps increased tremendously during past ten years. Air source heat pump is being promoted in north Chinese rural areas as part of coal to clean heating project. Solar water heater and electric water heater for domestic hot water supply is widely used in north China and gas water boiler is widely used in south China. A series of policies have encouraged clean fossil fuel district heating in north China. National development plans are also supporting and subsidizing renewable heating technology such as heat pumps. Different building heating technologies have their own advantages and disadvantages from techno-economic and environmental perspectives. The choice of building heating solutions for different geolocations of China is strongly affected by spatial parameters such as local climate condition, population distribution, natural resource availability etc. Therefore, a spatial data analysis method is essential to help stakeholders decide proper building heating solutions in different parts of China by key performance indicators reflecting lower primary energy use, economic affordability and lower environmental impact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2018
Keywords
Building heating solution, District heating, Distributed heating, Heat pump, China
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239973 (URN)10.1016/j.enconman.2018.10.005 (DOI)000451356300040 ()2-s2.0-85054232647 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20181211

Available from: 2018-12-11 Created: 2018-12-11 Last updated: 2019-11-16Bibliographically approved
2. Building heating solutions in China: A spatial techno-economic and environmental analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building heating solutions in China: A spatial techno-economic and environmental analysis
2019 (English)In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 179, p. 201-218Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fast urbanization process and promotion of life standard in China requires a great amount of energy input in building heating sector. North China now faces challenges of upgrading existing fossil fuel based high emission district heating systems into more environmental friendly heating systems. South China is discussing to choose proper building heating solutions for new and existing buildings which lack proper heating facilities. Renewable heating technologies such as ground source heat pump and air source heat pump are candidates to upgrade traditional heating solutions such as fossil fuel boilers and electric heaters. In order to find the most feasible building heating solution for different geolocations of China, this paper proposes a spatial data based techno-economic and environmental analysis methodology to fulfill such research gap. Case studies are carried out in two selected cities by using proposed methodology. Evaluation model shows that, heat pumps is quite competitive in south China compared with electric heaters, whereas in north China heat pumps have to reach several preconditions to be competitive with coal boiler district heating system under current techno-economic and environmental situations. In north China, a heat pump should reach a minimum seasonal coefficient of performance of 2.5-3.7 (for ground source heat pump) or 2.7-3.0 (for air source heat pump) to become CO2 and PM2.5 emission neutral as well as economically competitive compared with coal boiler district heating system. The advantage of proposed methodology is its simplicity in execution and could be repeated to other areas as the data required are available.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2019
Keywords
Spatial data analysis, District heating, Electric heating, Heat pump, Building heating solution, China
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-240345 (URN)10.1016/j.enconman.2018.10.062 (DOI)000451490200017 ()2-s2.0-85055623234 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20181217

Available from: 2018-12-17 Created: 2018-12-17 Last updated: 2019-11-16Bibliographically approved

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