A New Methodology to Assess Building Integrated Roof Top Photovoltaic Installations at City Scales: The Tropical Coastal City Case
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A New Methodology to Assess Building Integrated Roof Top Photovoltaic Installations at City Scales: The Tropical Coastal City Case

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  • Journal Title:
    ASME Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities
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    As a consequence of the warm and humid climate of tropical coastal regions, there is high energy demand year-round due to air conditioning to maintain indoor comfort levels. Past and current practices are focused on mitigating peak cooling demands by improving heat balances by using efficient building envelope technologies, passive systems, and demand side management strategies. In this study, we explore city-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) planning integrating information on climate, building parameters and energy models, and electrical system performance, with added benefits for the tropical coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Energy balance on normal roof, flush-mounted PV roof, and tilted PV roof are used to determine PV power generation, air, and roof surface temperatures. To scale up the application to the whole city, we use the urbanized version of the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model with the building effect parameterization (BEP) and the building energy model (BEM). The city topology is represented by the World Urban Database Access Portal Tool (WUDAPT), local climate zones (LCZs) for urban landscapes. The modeled peak roof temperature is maximum for normal roof conditions and minimum when inclined PV is installed on a roof. These trends are followed by the building air conditioning (AC) demand from urbanized WRF, maximum for normal roof and minimum for inclined roof-mounted PV. The net result is a reduced daytime Urban Heat Island (UHI) for horizontal and inclined PV roof and increased nighttime UHI for the horizontal PV roof as compared with the normal roof. The ratio between coincident AC demand and PV production for the entire metropolitan region is further analyzed reaching 20% for compact low rise and open low rise buildings due to adequate roof area but reaches almost 100% for compact high rise and compact midrise buildings class, respectively.
  • Source:
    ASME Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities, 1(1)
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  • ISSN:
    2642-6641;2642-6625;
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