Assessment of Emerging Renewable Energy-based Cogeneration Systemsfor nZEB Residential Buildings

Carolina Carmo, Olivier Dumont, Mads P. Nielsen, Brian Elmegaard

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Net Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) imply reduced consumption by means of good insulation, passive strategies and highly efficient energy supply systems. Among others, micro cogeneration systems are considered as one of the system solutions with the highest potential to enable nZEB.These systems entail production of electricity and usable thermal energy (heat and/or cooling) to cover the energy demands of residential buildings, high energy efficiency levels and proximity of the energy source to the building. The concept of cogeneration is not new but the interest in smallscale cogeneration technologies based on renewable energy sources has increased tremendously in the last decade. A significant amount of experimental and modelling research has recently been presented on emerging technologies. In this paper, four main technologies are assessed: Fuel Cells (FC), Photovoltaic thermal (PV/T), solar thermal reversible heat pump /organic Rankine cycle (HP/ORC) and cogeneration solar Thermoelectric generators (TEG).This paper aims to give an overview of the state-of-the-art developments, discuss the fundamental and technical challenges facing commercial adoption and prospects of these technologies for use in single-family houses. A schematic of each technology, a graph comparing the technical characteristics and a radar chart contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of each technology in market diffusion are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCLIMA 2016 - Proceedings of the 12th REHVA World Congress
EditorsPer Kvols Heiselberg
Number of pages10
Publication date2016
Article number469
ISBN (Print)87-91606-28-4, 87-91606-30-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event12th REHVA World Congress - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 22 May 201625 May 2016


Conference12th REHVA World Congress
Internet address


  • Residential μ-CHP
  • Fuel cells
  • Photovoltaic thermal
  • Solar thermal HP/ORC
  • Thermoelectric generators

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