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Investigation of Design Parameters for Increased Solar Potential of Dwellings and Neighborhoods


Investigation of Design Parameters for Increased Solar Potential of Dwellings and Neighborhoods

Hachem, Caroline (2012) Investigation of Design Parameters for Increased Solar Potential of Dwellings and Neighborhoods. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Neighborhoods can be designed to achieve net-zero energy consumption by addressing key design parameters for optimal solar collection, while allowing flexibility of building designs.
The current study comprises a comprehensive investigation of key parameters of dwelling shapes and neighborhood patterns for increased solar potential. Key findings and recommendations related to the solar potential and energy consumption of these dwellings and their assemblages are presented. Solar potential include the capture of solar radiation incident on, and transmitted by windows of near equatorial facing facades, and energy generation by building integrated photovoltaic systems covering complete near equatorial facing roof surfaces. The design parameters studied include geometric shapes of individual units, density of units and site layouts. Dwelling shapes include basic geometries and variations on these geometrical shapes. Density effect is analyzed through different assemblages of detached and attached housing units, as well as of parallel rows of units. Site layouts include straight road configurations and semi-circular road patterns, with the curve facing south or north. Roof designs are
investigated independently to explore concepts offering an increased electrical/ thermal energy generation potential of integrated photovoltaic/thermal systems.
The analysis employs the EnergyPlus simulation package to simulate configurations consisting of combinations of values of parameters in order to assess the effects of these parameters on the solar potential, as well as heating and cooling demand/consumption of dwellings and neighborhoods. Effects are evaluated as the change of the energy generation and energy demand/consumption, relative to reference configurations. The reference shape is a rectangle, the reference density is detached units and the reference layout is a straight road. The weather data for Montreal, Canada (45°N) are employed to represent a northern mid-latitude climate zone.
An evaluation procedure is proposed as decision-aiding tool to assess the performance of design alternatives. The evaluation is based on design parameter effects and weights assigned to different performance criteria. A holistic design methodology is developed to support the design and analysis of solar optimized residential neighborhoods. This methodology may be employed to assist the design of net-zero energy communities while allowing for different dwelling shapes, roads and density patterns.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Hachem, Caroline
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Building Engineering
Date:6 September 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Athienitis, Andreas and Fazio, Paul
ID Code:974649
Deposited On:25 Oct 2012 14:05
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:38
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