In this paper the realistic behaviour and efficiency of heating systems were analysed, based on long term monitoring projects. Based on the measurements a boiler model used to calculate the boiler efficiency on a monthly basis was evaluated. Comparisons of measured and calculated fuel consumptions showed a good degree of similarity. With the boiler model, various simulations of solar domestic hot water heating systems were done for different hot water demands and collector sizes. The result shows that the potential of fuel reduction can be much higher than the solar gain of the solar thermal system. For some conditions the fuel reduction can be up to the double of the solar gain due to a strong increase of the system efficiency. As the monitored boilers were not older than 3 years, it can be assumed that the saving potential with older boilers could be even higher than calculated in this paper.
Solar Energy, 2006, Vol 80, Issue 11, p. 1463-1474
solar heating system; energy saving; system efficiency; solar domestic hot water system