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Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708

Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Renewable Energy journal homepage:

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Renewable Energy

Energy journal homepage: www.else vier.com/locate/renene Design and performance of the solar-powered floor heating

Design and performance of the solar-powered floor heating system in a green building

X.Q. Zhai a , * , J.R. Yang b , R.Z. Wang a

a Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China b Shanghai Research Institute of Building Science, Shanghai 200031, China

article info

Article history:

Received 5 January 2008 Accepted 10 November 2008 Available online 10 February 2009

Keywords:

Solar energy Floor heating system Experimental investigation Performance analysis

abstract

In the green building of Shanghai Research Institute of Building Science, the evacuated tubular solar collectors with a total area of 150 m 2 were installed to provide heating for the covered area of 460 m 2 . The floor heating coil pipes were made of high-quality pure copper with the dimension of F 12 0.7 mm. Under typical weather condition of Shanghai, the average heating capacity was 25.04 kW during the working hours from 9:00 to 17:00, which was sufficient to keep indoor thermal environment. The average electric COP of the floor heating system was 19.76 during the system operation. Compared with the widely used air-source heat pump heating systems with the electric COP of 3.5 in Shanghai, the solar-powered floor heating system shows great potential in energy conservation in winter. With respect to the whole heating period, the solar fraction was 56%. According to the performance analysis of the system with ambient parameters, it was observed that the system performance could be greatly enhanced with the increase of daily solar insolation. However, the system performance varied slightly with average ambient temperature. Compared with average ambient temperature, daily solar insolation had a more distinct influence on the performance of the solar-powered floor heating system. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Floor heating systems are becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that they may provide a more comfortable indoor thermal environment than convective heating systems. Furthermore, the floor heating systems provide a good compromise between energy consumption and thermal comfort [1] . Some papers concerning numerical analysis of floor heating systems have been reported. Alkhalaileh et al. presented a one- dimensional numerical model, which was used to simulate and analyze the performance of a solar pond floor heating system [2] . Ho et al. developed a two-dimensional numerical model for a hydronic heating panel, which was capable of predicting both steady state temperature profiles and transient responses [3] . Weitzmann et al. presented a two-dimensional dynamic simulation model for the heat loss and temperature distribution in a slab-on- grade floor with floor heating. The model could be used to design energy efficient houses with floor heating, focusing on the heat loss through the floor construction and foundation [4] . Athienitis and Chen employed a three-dimensional explicit finite differential model to determine the temperature distribution for a floor with

* Corresponding author. Tel./fax: þ 86 21 34206296. E-mail address: xqzhai@sjtu.edu.cn (X.Q. Zhai).

0960-1481/$ – see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.renene.2008.11.027

radiant heating and non-uniform solar radiation incident on it. It was shown that the solar energy absorption by the thermal mass of a floor heating system might contribute to a significant reduction in energy consumption [5] . Golebiowski and Kwieckowski investi- gated the dynamics of the three-dimensional temperature field in the system with a direct floor heater, and analyzed the transient temperature distribution [6] . With regard to the heat sources of floor heating systems, Hamada et al. described a floor heating system driven by a ground source heat pump. It was shown that the COP of the system was 4.0. The primary energy reduction rate relative to a conventional boiler heating system was 34% [7] . Sakellari and Lundqvist made use of the computational tools TRANSYS and EES to model and analyze the performance of a residential house. The ventilation system and the floor heating system of this house were based on an exhaust air heat pump [8] . Yeo et al. reported that two types of heating production and supply systems were generally used for the hot water floor heating systems in Korea. One was the central system that supplied hot water from a central boiler or a district heating plant, covering multiple block of apartment housing. The other was the individual system using a gas-fired boiler installed in each housing unit [9] . Generally, the supply water temperature of floor heating systems is relatively lower, which leads to the feasibility of

X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708

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Nomenclature

A

area (m 2 )

COP

system efficiency

C p

specific heat of water (J/kg C)

D

1

duration of the solar collecting system operation (s)

D

2

duration of the floor heating system operation (s)

D

3

duration of sunshine (s)

C

F i

collector control function

L

F i

load return control function

I

solar radiant intensity (W/m)

m

mass flow rate (kg/s)

N

number of nodes

Q

heat quantity (kW)

T

temperature ( C)

U

heat loss coefficient (W/m 2 C)

Greek symbols

r

density (kg/m 3 )

h

solar collecting efficiency

Dm

net flow between nodes (kg/s)

Dx distance between nodes (m)

Subscripts

a

ambient

air

indoor air

ave

average

c

solar collector

floor

h

heating

hp

heat pipe evacuated tubular solar collector

hw

hot water

i

node

nh

non-heating

o

outlet

se

section

si

side

solar

solar

ta

tank

U

U-type evacuated tubular solar collector

w

water

low-grade heat sources. Solar-powered floor heating systems have been regarded as appropriate choices in solar thermal utilization

of solar-powered floor heating systems. The experimental investi- gation indicated typical operating characteristics of the solar-

projects because solar energy is characteristic of low density of heat

powered

floor heating system. Besides, the potential of energy

flow rate. Besides, it is difficult for the ordinary solar collectors on the market to attain high working temperature.

conservation for such a system was evident through the analysis of system efficiency (COP).

Kuang and Wang reported the experimental results of a floor heating system driven by a direct-expansion solar assisted heat pump (DX-SAHP) system. The daily-averaged heat pump COP

2. Design of the solar-powered floor heating system

varied from 2.6 to 3.3, while the system COP ranged from 2.1 to 2.7

2.1.

Integration of solar collectors on the green building

[10] . Argiriou et al. used TRANSYS to simulate a floor heating system driven by a solar assisted absorption heat pump (AHP). The esti-

Two solar collector types with a total area of 150 m 2 were

mated energy savings against a conventional heating installation

installed

on the roof of the green building of Shanghai Research

using a compression type heat pump was in the range of 20–27%

Institute

of Building Science. The solar collectors acted as the

[11] . Alkhalaileh et al. presented a solar pond floor heating system. A developed computer simulation was utilized to study the potential of using such a system under the climate conditions of Jordan. It was found that the solar pond heating system could meet most of the winter season in Jordan with the solar fraction in the range of 80–100% for at least 2 months of the season [2] . Badran and Hamdan carried out theoretical and experimental investigations for two types of floor heating system powered by a solar collector array and a solar pond, respectively. It was concluded that the solar

thermal source for the solar-powered floor heating system. The 90 m 2 U-type evacuated tubular solar collectors with CPC were placed on the west side, and the other 60 m 2 heat pipe evacuated tubular solar collectors on the east side. The two solar collector arrays were connected in parallel. The roof structure of the building was made of steel, and had been designed to face south, tilted at 40 to the horizontal ground surface. The solar collectors were moun- ted and integrated with the building perfectly as shown in Fig. 1.

collector system was 7% more efficient than the solar pond system.

2.2.

Design of the solar-powered floor heating system

Economic analysis showed that the solar collector system would break even earlier than the solar pond system. Practical consider- ations showed that the solar collector system required less operation and maintenance work [12] . Martı´ nez et al. reported a solar-powered floor heating system with a heat pump as the auxiliary heat source. Under the weather condition of Murcia (Spain), the solar fractions registered during the months of January and February at the system were 0.428 and 0.342, respectively [13] . Among the aforementioned investigations, few reports have been concerned with detailed experimental study of solar-powered floor heating systems. In this paper, a solar-powered floor heating system was designed. The operation characteristics under typical weather condition of Shanghai were analyzed. Besides, the system performance was analyzed based on ambient parameters. The research work of this paper was done in Shanghai. However, it is contributive to the design and operation of solar-powered floor heating systems in other areas. The design method and the control strategy introduced in this paper were instructional for the design

The system design was based on the heating load calculation results of Shanghai Research Institute of Building Science. The heating load of the involved area (460 m 2 ) was 25 kW. Except for solar collectors, the system mainly consisted of floor heating coil pipes and circulating pumps. Besides, a heat storage water tank of 2.5 m 3 in volume was employed to collect solar heat, thereby providing hot water for the solar-powered floor heating system. The flow diagram of the solar-powered floor heating system is shown in Fig. 2 , where Pump 1 and Pump 2 are for the solar col- lecting loop and floor heating loop, respectively. In this project, the cuprotherm floor heating system produced by Wieland Ltd. of Shanghai was chosen. Fig. 3 shows the arrangement of floor heating coil pipes. The floor heating coil pipes were made of high-quality pure copper with the dimension of F 12 0.7 mm. They were fixed on the 30 mm thick polystyrene insulation layer with spacing interval of 200 mm. And then the crushed stone concrete was poured with the thickness of 70 mm.

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X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708

X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708 Fig. 1. Appearance of the green

Fig. 1. Appearance of the green building integrated with solar collectors.

2.3. Data acquisition and control system

The temperatures were recorded by platinum resistance ther- mometers (Pt1000, grade A), which were fixed at main points of the system either for inspection or for control. As shown in Fig. 2 , for each solar collector array, two thermometers (T1 and T2) were used to measure the outlet and inlet temperatures, respectively. For the floor heating loop, two other thermometers (T4 and T3) were used to measure the outlet and inlet temperatures, respectively. In addition, three thermometers were fixed at the top (T7), middle (T6) and bottom (T5) of the heat storage water tank, respectively. Two remote transmitting flowmeters ( 3% accuracy in the range of 0–15 m 3 /h) were used to measure the water flow rate for the solar collecting loop and the floor heating loop, respectively. The inso- lation was measured by a pyranometer with 2% of accuracy. The

data were recorded at every 15 s interval in a data logger, which was connected to a computer. The system could be operated automatically via a control panel. The solar collecting pump (Pump 1) was controlled by the temperature difference between the solar collector arrays (T1) and the heat storage water tank (T5). The solar collecting pump started to operate when sufficient insolation was available and the temperature difference reached 5 C. However, when the temperature difference was lower than 2 C, the solar collecting pump stopped. The floor heating pump (Pump 2) was controlled by the thermometer T7. When the heat storage water tank was heated to the set value (35 C), the floor heating pump was switched on to circulate hot water between the heat storage water tank and the floor heating coil pipes underneath the floor surface until the temperature of hot water in the tank decreased

Thermometer Overflowing pipe T1 Flow meter Pump 2 M T3 T7 M T2 Heat storage
Thermometer
Overflowing pipe
T1
Flow meter
Pump 2
M T3
T7
M
T2
Heat storage
water tank
Water distributor
T6
Pump 1
T4
T5
Water replenishing
Solar collector arrays
Water collector
Drainage pipe
Control panel
Floor heating coil pipes

Fig. 2. Flow diagram of the solar-powered floor heating system.

X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708

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a
a

b

Copper pipe Ground tile Sand-cement grout Concrete layer Protective layer Insulation layer Damp proof course
Copper pipe
Ground tile
Sand-cement grout
Concrete layer
Protective layer
Insulation layer
Damp proof course
Floor
7030

Fig. 3. Arrangement of floor heating coil pipes. (a) Photo of the floor heating coil pipes. (b) Arrangement of floor heating coil pipe integrated with floor.

from the heat storage water tank would recirculate in the solar collecting loop to protect the collectors and the piping loop from damage.

3. Mathematical modeling

3.1. Heat storage water tank

The heat storage water tank could be considered as a strati- fied water tank and could be modeled by dividing the tank into N nodes (sections), with energy balances written for each section of the tank. The energy equation took into account the energy gain from the solar collectors, energy lost to surround- ings and energy consumed by the floor heating system. The

result was a set of N differential equations that could be solved for the temperatures of the N nodes as a function of time [14] . The simulation model of the heat storage water tank is shown in Fig. 4 .

C is a collector control function, which can be defined to

F i

identify which node receives water from the collectors. F L i is a load

return control function, which can be denoted to identify which node receives water returning from the floor heating system.

C

i

F

L

i

F

¼

¼

8

< 1

:

;

if

if

i ¼ 1 and T c ; o T ta ; i

T ta ; i 1 T c ; o > T ta ; i

; 0 ; otherwise

1

8

<

:

1

; 0 ; otherwise

1

if

if

i ¼ N and T hw ; o T ta ; N

T ta ; i T hw ; o > T ta ; i þ 1

;

(1)

(2)

The net flow between nodes can be either towards the top or the bottom of the tank, depending on the magnitudes of the collectors’ flow m c and the hot water flow to the floor heating system m hw , and the values of the two control functions at any particular instant. It is given as:

8 > N j ¼ 2 F L if i ¼ 1 ; below 30
8
>
N
j ¼ 2 F
L if i ¼ 1
;
below 30 C. Nevertheless, after 19:00, the floor heating system
would be switched off even when the water temperature in the
tank was higher than 30 C. Besides, if the outlet temperature of
any one solar collector array was lower than 4 C, the solar col-
lecting pump would operate for 10 min, and then the hot water
> m hw P
<
j
i
1
L
Dm i ¼
m c P
j
¼ 1 F
C m hw P
j
N
j ¼ iþ 1 F
j
> >
:
N 1
C
m c P
F ;
if i ¼ N
j
¼ 1
j
To floor heating system
Losses
From collectors
m
hw
m c
T
ta, 1
at T ta,1
C
L
at T c,o
F
m c
F
1
1 m hw
C
(
L
L
)
F m c
F
+ + F
m
1
2
N
hw
(
C
)
(
L
L
)
F
+ + F C m c
F
+
+
F
m
1
i-1
i
N
hw
Losses
T
ta,i
C
L
F
m c
F
i
i m hw
(
C
C
)
(
L
L
)
F
+
+
F
m
c
F
+ + F
1
i
i+1
N
m hw
(
C
C
)
L
F
+
+
F
m
c
F
1
N-1
N
m hw
Losses
From floor heating system
To collectors
T
ta, N
m
hw
m c
C
L
F
m c
F
m
at T hw, o
N
N
hw
at T ta, N

; if i ¼ 2 ; . ; N 1

(3)

Fig. 4. Simulation model of heat storage water tank.

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X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708

X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708 Fig. 5. Variations of ambient temperature

Fig. 5. Variations of ambient temperature and solar radiant intensity.

Then, the energy balance on each node can be expressed as:

r w ; i A ta ; se Dx d T ta ; i

d

t

¼

3.2. Solar collectors

U ta A ta ; si

C

p ; w

i T a T ta ; i þ F

C

i

m c T c ; o T ta ; i

þ

þ

L

i

F

m hw T hw ; o T ta ; i

Dm i T ta ; i 1

T ta ; i

Dm i þ 1 T ta ; i T ta ; iþ 1

if Dm i > 0 if Dm i < 0

(4)

The useful energy received by the solar collectors can be calculated according to instantaneous efficiency of two solar collector arrays. Based on the experimental results, for the heat pipe evacuated tubular solar collector array, the instantaneous efficiency was obtained by:

h hp ¼ 0 : 65 2 : 94 T ta ; N T a = I

(5)

and for the U-type evacuated tubular solar collector array by:

h U ¼ 0 : 45 1 : 10 T ta ; N T a = I

(6)

1 : 10 T t a ; N T a = I (6) Fig. 6. Variations

Fig. 6. Variations of inlet and outlet water temperatures of the solar collector arrays. (a) U-type pipe evacuated tubular solar collector array. (b) Heat pipe evacuated tubular solar collector array.

3.3. Floor heating system

The floor heating model was based on one-dimensional heat transfer concepts for internal flow in pipes as well as heat transfer through a horizontal plate heated from its lower surface. See Alkhalaileh et al. [2] for a detailed account of the model. The heating capacity was calculated by:

Q h ¼ C p ; w m hw T ta ; 1 T hw ; o

(7)

Based on the above mathematical models and thermal process analysis of the green building, a simulation software for this project was developed [15] . It was testified to be valid for the theoretical analysis of the solar-powered floor heating system in the green building.

3.4. Daily average performance indexes

In the performance analysis, the daily average solar collecting efficiency during the system operation was calculated by:

efficiency during the system operation was calculated by: Fig. 7. Variation of solar collecting heat by

Fig. 7. Variation of solar collecting heat by two solar collector arrays.

X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708

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Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708 1705 Fig. 8. Variations of the temperatures

Fig. 8. Variations of the temperatures inside heat storage water tank during operation of the floor heating system.

R A hp h hp I d t þ R A U h U I d t

h ave ¼

D

1

D 1

R 3 A hp þ A U

D

I d t

(8)

The daily average supply water temperature of the floor heating system was expressed as:

R T ta ; 1 d t

T hw ; ave ¼

D

2

D 2

(9)

The daily average heating capacity was calculated by:

R

Q h d t

D 2

Q h ; ave ¼

D

2

(10)

The daily average solar COP was expressed as:

COP solar ¼

R Q h d t

D

2

A hp þ A U

R

D

3

I d t

(11)

¼ R Q h d t D 2 A hp þ A U R D 3

Fig. 10. Variation of heating capacity during the system operation.

4. Experimental investigation

4.1. Experimental investigation under typical weather condition

Experimental results under typical weather condition of Shanghai were chosen to analyze the performance of the solar- powered floor heating system. Fig. 5 shows the variations of ambient temperature and solar radiant intensity during the oper- ating hours. The daily solar insolation was 18 MJ/m 2 and average ambient temperature was 1.98 C. Fig. 6 shows the variations of inlet and outlet water temperature for the U-type evacuated tubular solar collector array and heat pipe solar collector array, respectively, where point 1 represents the solar collecting circulation for protection of frost at night, point 2 represents the automatic start of the solar collecting circulation in the daytime, and point 3 represents the automatic stop of the solar collecting circulation. Fig. 7 shows the variation of solar collecting heat by two solar collector arrays. It was observed that the solar collecting heat varied in accord with the variation of solar radiant intensity. From Fig. 5 , it was observed that the solar radiant intensity fluctuated in the morning. However, in the simulation, the

fluctuated in the morning. However, in the simulation, the Fig. 9. Variations of supply water and

Fig. 9. Variations of supply water and back water temperature during the system operation.

and back water temperature during the system operation. Fig. 11. Variations of floor temperature and indoor

Fig. 11. Variations of floor temperature and indoor air temperature in the floor heating room and the non-heating room.

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X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708

Table 1 Summarization of solar-powered floor heating experiments.

 

Month/year

Average ambient temperature ( C)

Daily solar insolation (MJ/m 2 )

Solar collecting

Heating capacity

Floor temperature

Indoor air temperature ( C)

Solar COP

efficiency

 
 

(mm/yy)

(%)

(kW)

( C)

12/2004

12.12

13.04

39.5

22.7

23.43

17.63

0.40

01/2005

3.39

14.41

40.6

24.6

20.91

13.19

0.41

02/2005

2.97

15.76

38.7

26.3

22.83

14.14

0.39

03/2005

8.26

16.68

41.0

27.8

24.02

16.69

0.41

data of solar radiant intensity and ambient temperature were input as continuous functions, which were obtained by the curve fitting method according to the experimental data. Consequently, the divergence between experimental data and simulation results could be observed in the morning. Based on the experimental results, the daily average solar collecting efficiency for the heat pipe solar collector array was 37.44%, and 35.56% for the U-type evacu- ated tubular solar collector array. The overall solar collecting heat for the two solar collector arrays was 971.39 MJ/day, and the cor- responding daily average solar collecting efficiency was 36.29%. The heat storage water tank was specially designed to be the link between the solar collecting loop and the floor heating loop. The hot water from the solar collector arrays flowed into the top of the water tank, and the water returning from the floor heating system flowed to the bottom. In addition, the hot water for the floor heating system came from the top of the water tank. Fig. 8 shows the variations of temperatures inside the heat storage water tank during the operation of the floor heating system, where point 4 and point 5 represent the start and the stop of the floor heating pump, respectively. It was observed that the water temperature inside the heat storage water tank decreased by about 8 C after the solar collecting circulation for protection of frost. It was also observed that the temperature of the middle approached that of the top. The daily average temperature of the top was higher than that of the bottom by 1.0 C. Such thermal stratification could be enhanced if the partitioned water tank were adopted, which has been studied by Li and Sumathy [14] . Fig. 9 shows the variations of supply and back water tempera- ture of the floor heating loop during the system operation. It was observed that the solar-powered floor heating system continuously operated for about 12 h with the average supply and back water temperature of 51.17 C and 44.68 C, respectively. It was also observed that, initially, both the supply water temperature and the back water temperature increased, and then decreased, which was in accord with the variation of solar insolation. Correspondingly, the heating capacity had a similar trend as shown in Fig. 10 . The average heating capacity was 21.74 kW during the system opera- tion. During the working hours from 9:00 to 17:00, the average heating capacity attained 25.04 kW, which was sufficient to keep indoor thermal environment. With regard to the daily solar inso- lation, the daily average solar COP of the system was 0.36. Fig. 11 shows the variations of the floor temperatures and indoor air temperatures in the floor heating room and the non-heating room. Here, T a represents the ambient temperature, T ,h and T air,h repre- sent the floor temperature and indoor air temperature of the heating room, respectively, besides, T ,nh and T air,nh denote the floor temperature and indoor air temperature of the non-heating room, respectively. It was observed that the average floor temperature of

Table 2 Some basic parameters for calculation.

 

A hp

A ta,se

A ta,si

A U

m c

m hw

U ta

60

1.77

6.12

90

1.6

1.3

0.15

the floor heating room reached 23.71 C, which was higher than that of the non-heating room by 16.10 C. It was also observed that the average indoor air temperature of the floor heating room was 17.10 C, which was higher than that of the non-heating room by

9.16 C.

As for the solar-powered floor heating system, electric COP is another important index to evaluate the performance of the system. In this system, taking the solar collecting pump (Pump 1) and the floor heating pump (Pump 2) into account, the whole power consumption was 1.1 kW, and then the electric COP averaged

at 19.76 during the system operation. Compared with the widely used air-source heat pump heating systems with the electric COP of

3.5 in Shanghai, the solar-powered floor heating system shows

great potential in energy conservation in winter.

shows great potential in energy conservation in winter. Fig. 12. Variations of system performance with daily

Fig. 12. Variations of system performance with daily solar insolation. (a) Daily average solar collecting efficiency, heating capacity and solar COP versus daily solar insolation. (b) Daily average supply temperature, floor temperature and indoor air temperature versus daily solar insolation.

X.Q. Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708

1707

Zhai et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1700–1708 1707 Fig. 13. Variations of system performance

Fig. 13. Variations of system performance with average ambient temperature. (a) Daily average solar collecting efficiency, heating capacity and solar COP versus average ambient temperature. (b) Daily average supply temperature, floor temperature and indoor air temperature versus average ambient temperature.

4.2. Summary of the system in winter

The solar-powered floor heating system had been in operation in sunny days and cloudy days from Dec. 1st 2004 to Mar. 13th 2005. In rainy days, the floor heating system was powered by a gas-fired boiler. With respect to the whole heating period, the floor heating system was capable of meeting the heating requirements in 58 days. Experimental results based on these 58 days are listed in Table 1. The solar fraction for the system in winter was 56%.

5. Performance analysis of the system with ambient parameters

Variations of the system performance with ambient parameters (daily solar insolation and average ambient temperature) were analyzed. Both the solar radiant intensity and the ambient temperature were assumed to keep the same trend as Fig. 5 , however, the values varied proportionally. Some basic parameters used in the calculations are listed in Table 2 . Fig. 12 shows the variations of the system performance with daily solar insolation when the average ambient temperature was 2 C. It was observed that the daily average solar collecting effi- ciency increased with the increase of daily solar insolation, which

led to an augmentation of solar collecting heat in the heat storage water tank. As a consequence, the daily average supply water temperature and the daily average heating capacity increased with the increase of daily solar insolation. Under the identical heating load, both the average floor temperature and average indoor air temperature during the working hours would accordingly go up because of the increment of heating capacity. It was also observed that the solar COP decreased with the increase of daily solar inso- lation. Such a phenomenon could be due to the fact that, except the heat supplied to the floor heating system, more solar collecting heat was stored in the water tank with the increase of daily solar insolation. Fig. 13 shows the variations of the system performance with average ambient temperature when the daily solar insolation was 18 MJ/m 2 . It was observed that the daily average solar collecting efficiency increased slightly with the increase in ambient temper- ature, correspondingly, both the daily average heating capacity and solar COP moved up slightly. Therefore, according to Figs. 12 and 13 , it was found that, compared with ambient temperature, solar radiant intensity had a more distinct influence on the performance of the solar-powered floor heating system. It was also found that only an inconspicuous increase could be seen for the daily average supply water temperature. Comparatively, both the average floor temperature and average indoor air temperature during the working hours went up apparently owing to (a) increment of heating capacity; (b) decrease of heating load with the increase of ambient temperature.

6. Conclusions

A solar-powered floor heating system was designed and con- structed in the green building of Shanghai Research Institute of Building Science. The system had continuously run in the whole winter. As a brief summary, it was wished to emphasize the significant points of this work in the following.

(1) From our experience, the ratio of evacuated tubular solar collector area to heating area was about 1:3 under the weather condition of Shanghai. (2) Under typical weather condition of Shanghai, the solar-pow- ered floor heating system was capable of satisfying indoor thermal environment. The average heating capacity was 25.04 kW during the working hours from 9:00 to 17:00. The average electric COP of the floor heating system was 19.76 during the system operation. (3) With respect to the whole heating period, the solar fraction of the floor heating system was 56%. (4) Higher the daily solar insolation, better the performance of the system, similar trend could be seen for ambient temperature. It was also observed that daily solar insolation had a more distinct influence on the performance of solar-powered floor heating system than the ambient temperature.

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by Natural Science Foundation of China under the contract No. 50876064.

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