Expanding photovoltaic penetration with residential distributed generation from hybrid solar photovoltaic and combined heat and power systems
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The recent development of small scale combined heat and power (CHP) systems has provided the opportunity for in-house power backup of residential-scale photovoltaic (PV) arrays. This paper investigates the potential of deploying a distributed network of PV + CHP hybrid systems in order to increase the PV penetration level in the U.S. The temporal distribution of solar flux, electrical and heating requirements for representative U.S. single family residences were analyzed and the results clearly show that hybridizing CHP with PV can enable additional PV deployment above what is possible with a conventional centralized electric generation system. The technical evolution of such PV + CHP hybrid systems was developed from the present (near market) technology through four generations, which enable high utilization rates of both PV-generated electricity and CHP-generated heat. A method to determine the maximum percent of PV-generated electricity on the grid without energy storage was derived and applied to an example area. The results show that a PV + CHP hybrid system not only has the potential to radically reduce energy waste in the status quo electrical and heating systems, but it also enables the share of solar PV to be expanded by about a factor of five. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.