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On the thermal inertia and time constant of single-family houses
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2001 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the nineteen-seventies, electricity has become a common heating source in Swedish single-family houses. About one million smallhouses can use electricity for heating, about 600.000 have electricity as the only heating source.

A liberalised European electricity market would most likely raise the Swedish electricity prices during daytime on weekdays and lower it at other times. In the long run, electrical heating of houses would be replaced by fuels, but in the shorter perspective, other strategies may be considered. This report evaluates the use of electricity for heating a dwelling, or part of it, at night when both the demand and the price are low. The stored heat is utilised in the daytime some hours later, when the electricity price is high.

Essential for heat storage is the thermal time constant. The report gives a simple theoretical framework for the calculation of the time constant for a single-family house with furniture. Furthermore the “comfort” time constant, that is, the time for a house to cool down from a maximum to a minimum acceptable temperature, is derived. Two theoretical model houses are calculated, and the results are compared to data from empirical studies in three inhabited test houses.

The results show that it was possible to store about 8 kWh/K in a house from the seventies and about 5 kWh/K in a house from the eighties. The time constants were 34 h and 53 h, respectively. During winter conditions with 0°C outdoor, the “comfort” time constants with maximum and minimum indoor temperatures of 23 and 20°C were 6 h and 10 h.

The results indicate that the maximum load-shifting potential of an average single family house is about 1 kW during 16 daytime hours shifted into 2 kW during 8 night hours. Up-scaled to the one million Swedish single-family houses that can use electricity as a heating source, the maximum potential is 1000 MW daytime time-shifted into 2000 MW at night.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2001. , 118 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 887
Keyword [en]
Electric heating
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123878Local ID: LiU-TEK-LIC-2001:24ISBN: 91-7373-045-9OAI: diva2:893577
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2016-01-25Bibliographically approved

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