Optimal operation of residential heating systems with logwood boiler, buffer storage and solar thermal collector

Christopher Zemann, Markus Deutsch, Sandra Zlabinger, Georg Hofmeister, Markus Gölles, Martin Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern central heating systems with logwood boilers are comprised of the boiler, a buffer storage and solar thermal collectors. Conventional control strategies for these heating systems do not coordinate the utilization of all components. This can lead to a sub-optimal operation of the entire heating system resulting in a loss of ef-ficiency and increased pollutant emissions. This contribution presents a control strategy which considers all components of the heating system including the user and forecasts for the solar yield and heat demand. It de-termines and carries out an optimal operating strategy that improves the user utility and maximizes the heating system efficiency while also ensuring a clean and efficient combustion. The control strategy continuously learns the user behavior and instructs the user when to refill the logwood boiler and how much fuel to use. The new control strategy was verified through test runs performed at an experimental setup consisting of a commercially available logwood boiler with a nominal capacity of 28 kW, two buffer storages with a capacity of 1.5 m3 each and a heating device with a thermal output of up to 12 kW simulating a solar thermal collector. During these test runs, the CO emissions were reduced by 93.6 % in the main combustion phase, 7.1 % more solar yield was utilized, the buffer losses were reduced by - 16.9 % and the overall efficiency was increased by 3.1 %. Thus, the application of this control strategy resulted in a significantly improved user utility and heating system efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105622
Number of pages16
JournalBiomass & Bioenergy
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

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