Solar combisystems that are capable of providing space heating and cooling as well as domestic hot water heating present a promising alternative to conventional systems to achieve net zero energy status in residential buildings. To determine whether or not the performance of such systems would be suitable in the northerly Canadian context, a preliminary study was conducted to evaluate the thermal performance of a solar combisystem with space heating, cooling, domestic hot water heating and thermal storage capability for houses in the four climate regions of Canada (Atlantic, Central, Prairies and Pacific) based on simulations conducted using models developed within the TRNSYS 17.1 energy simulation software. For days without sufficient sunshine, auxiliary heating and cooling systems are included. The operation of the solar combisystem and the auxiliary systems is controlled using a realistic control algorithm. Sensitivity analysis is conducted to determine effects of solar collector area and storage capacity on solar combisystem performance. The results show that solar combisystems can provide a substantial fraction of the space heating, cooling and domestic hot water heating energy requirement of a simple house in all major climatic regions of Canada. As to be expected, climatic conditions have an important impact on solar combisystem performance. The results also show that increasing solar collector area enhances solar fraction, and the solar fraction curve peaks at a specific storage capacity. Based on the favorable results found in this study, it is clear that further and more detailed studies are warranted on solar combisystem applications in Canada. The next step in this work will be a much more detailed evaluation using the Canadian Hybrid Residential Energy End-use and Emissions Model.

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Keywords Energy simulation of buildings, Solar collector area, Solar combisystem, Solar fraction, Thermal storage
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Journal Applied Energy
Asaee, S.R. (S. Rasoul), Ugursal, V.I. (V. Ismet), Beausoleil-Morrison, I, & Ben-Abdallah, N. (Noureddine). (2014). Preliminary study for solar combisystem potential in Canadian houses. Applied Energy, 130, 510–518. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2013.12.048