Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is an important source of residential gas in China due to its advantages. Traditional LPG vaporizer mainly depends on electric heating as its heat source, which leads to high energy cost and can not meet the demand of energy conservation policy. For a community with 1000 families in Beijing, a new LPG gasification system utilizing solar thermal energy has been designed in this paper. This system uses hot water produced by a solar water heating system as vaporization heat source and uses an electric heater as assisted heat source. In order to understand the economic efficiency of the whole system better, we compare the economic feasibility of the new system with that of traditional LPG vaporization system using annual cost method (AC). In addition, a spreadsheet computer program is used in this paper for purpose of the sensitivity analysis of the parameters. The optimal operation life for each system is calculated. The result shows that the new system is more economical than the traditional system and is an environmentally friendly alternative.

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