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Techno-economic and reliability assessment of solar water heaters in Australia based on Monte Carlo analysis

Rezvani, S., Bahri, P.A.ORCID: 0000-0003-4661-5644, Urmee, T., Baverstock, G.F. and Moore, A.D. (2017) Techno-economic and reliability assessment of solar water heaters in Australia based on Monte Carlo analysis. Renewable Energy, 105 . pp. 774-785.

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Monte Carlo analysis is used in this study to estimate the techno-economic benefits and reliabilities of solar water heaters. The study focuses on a product range manufactured by a local company in Australia. The historical data provided by the company forms the basis of this investigation. The inverse Weibull distribution function is a good match for representing the historical data in the model in terms of the number of failures per operating time for each component. The overall system reliability is determined as the sum of individual component failures during the product lifetime. The analysis is carried out for different system configurations using copper, stainless steel and glass-lined storage tanks. All the systems utilise flat plate collectors. The product with glass-lined storage tanks and electric boosters show a good overall reliability if systems are maintained. Based on the probability model, the variable maintenance costs of solar water heaters were estimated over the product lifetime. This together with capital expenditures and fuel charges are used to compute the specific price of hot water supply for different system configurations. Moreover, a sensitivity analysis is implemented to show the impact of auxiliary heating on the economic viability of the products. The results show that solar water heaters can offer significantly better long-term economic viability compared to conventional systems at moderate auxiliary energy consumptions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
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