Wang, W., Thapa, B., & Williams, W. (2021). Life-cycle cost optimization of a solar combisystem for residential buildings in Nepal. Journal Of Asian Architecture And Building Engineering. https://doi.org/doi:10.1080/13467581.2021.1928502
Current solar thermal systems used in Nepal are mostly for domestic hot water heating. Meanwhile, there is a growing need for space heating. A solar heating system can be configured to provide heat for both space heating and domestic hot water, leading to a solar combisystem. Research on residential solar combisystems in the Nepalean context barely exists in literature. This paper intends to propose, model and optimize a solar combisystem for typical single-family houses in Nepal. The optimization problem is formulated to have life-cycle cost as the objective function and a total of 11 variables, which are related to the sizing of combisystem components and the insulation thickness of building envelope. The number of hours not satisfying the thermostat heating set point is treated as the constraint. TRNSYS is used for modeling the solar combisystem. Particle Swarm optimization and the Hooke-Jeeves algorithm implemented in GenOpt are sequentially applied to solve the optimization problem. The results show that the optimization is effective to reduce the life-cycle cost by 66% for the Terai region and 77% for the Hilli region. The findings have demonstrated the importance of building envelope insulation to spread the use of solar combisystems in Nepal.