Paper Conference

Proceedings of BSA Conference 2022: Fifth Conference of IBPSA-Italy


Hybrid Heat Pump Systems: Is Predictive Control Worth Using?

Patricia Ercoli, Alice Mugnini, Fabio Polonara, Alessia Arteconi

Abstract: One of the possible solutions for renovating building heating systems is the use of hybrid systems, which consists of coupling heat pumps with traditional natural gas boilers. Hybrid Heat Pump systems are typically controlled to run the heat pump when the outside temperature is not too low, maintaining acceptable costs and good energy efficiency levels. However, when buildings also have a certain level of thermal inertia, proper management of the hybrid system can allow some flexibility. Especially in presence of non-programmable renewable sources, the control strategy can play an important role to maximize self-consumption. The aim of this work is to assess the role of the control strategy in achieving this objective in relation to the cost reduction potential for energy bills. In particular, we investigate how much it is worth using an advanced control technique (e.g., a Model Predictive Control) compared to a Ruled Based Control to regulate the hybrid heating system of a residential building. The paper analyses a case study in which a building, equipped with Hybrid Heat Pump system assisted by photovoltaic panels serving a radiant floor, is controlled both through a Model Predictive and a designed Ruled Based Control. The objective of the controls is to minimize the energy bill for heating. The results are intended to assess whether the added complexity of the best performing model predictive control is justified by the magnitude of the performance increase that is obtained.
Pages: 25 - 32