Modelling and evaluating different multi-carrier energy system configurations for a Dutch house

Joel Alpízar-Castillo*, Laura M. Ramírez-Elizondo, Pavol Bauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The urge to reduce the dependence on natural gas for heating at the residential level has led to the deployment of different fossil fuel-free alternatives. In the Netherlands, two technologies are leading the transition: heat pumps, due to their high COP, and photovoltaic–thermal systems, due to their dual electric-thermal output. However, both represent a challenge for users and grid operators, aside from their stochastic behavior. Heat pumps alone can surpass a typical Dutch house's total energy and power consumption. Photovoltaic–thermal systems, as their only electric homologs, usually have a mismatch between generation and demand, causing energy injections to the grid. From the electric perspective, storage systems are a proven solution to reduce the energy exchange with the distribution network. This paper proposes four multi-carrier energy system configurations for a Dutch household, comprising different combinations of a photovoltaic–thermal system, a battery energy storage, a heat pump, and an underground water tank thermal energy system, providing analytical models for every component (including the thermal losses from the thermal storage to the ground), and the space heating and electrical demands. We determined the components’ compatibility and evaluated the combinations considering their thermal performance, electrical performance, and equivalent CO2 emissions. The results suggest that using a heat pump combined with a photovoltaic system and a battery provides the best trade-off. The photovoltaic–thermal system alone could not supply the thermal demand required for comfortable space heating nor reach temperatures high enough to charge the thermal storage. Combining the thermal storage with the heat pump allows a certain degree of flexibility for the heat pump activation at the cost of COPs between 0.8 and 1.38 when used to charge the thermal storage, thus increasing energy consumption and equivalent emissions considerably.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123197
Number of pages24
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Heat pump
  • Heating electrification
  • Photovoltaic thermal system
  • Thermal energy storage systems


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