Renewable Energy in Buildings

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2024 | Viewed by 41647

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Algarve, 8005 139 Faro, Portugal
Interests: energy; renewable energy; efficiency in buildings; thermal comfort; indoor air quality; building ventilation; CFD; human and building thermal simulation

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Guest Editor
School of Built Environment, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6UR, UK
Interests: room air flow analysis and modeling; air distribution systems; computational fluid dynamics; low-energy building environmental control systems; heat transfer and energy storage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The application of renewable energy in buildings is an important topic for the future development of more sustainable buildings.

The objective of this Special Issue is to collect innovative research studies on renewable energy applications in buildings. Innovative experimental studies, numerical simulations, and state-of-the-art and other original research findings are invited. For this Special Issue, we are particularly interested in inviting papers focusing on the (i) application of energy in buildings, (ii) low-energy design and construction strategies in buildings, (iii) sustainable and renewable energy applications, namely, solar radiation, wind, geothermic, and other energy sources for use in buildings, (iv) solar passive and active use in buildings, (v) green and NZEB buildings as well as other sustainable buildings, and (vi) energy efficiency in buildings. Studies of advances in numerical simulation and experimental techniques are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Eusébio Z.E. Conceição
Prof. Dr. Hazim B. Awbi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy in buildings
  • design and construction strategies in buildings
  • sustainability in buildings
  • renewable energy in buildings
  • solar, wind, geothermic, and other energy sources
  • solar passive and active buildings
  • green and NZEB buildings
  • energy efficiency in buildings
  • advances in numerical and experimental techniques

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 25530 KiB  
Article
Multivariate Evaluation of Photovoltaic Utilization Potential of Primary and Secondary School Buildings: A Case Study in Hainan Province, China
by Chaohong Wang, Xudong Zhang, Wang Chen, Feihu Jiang and Xiaogang Zhao
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030810 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Modernization and industrialization have significantly increased energy consumption, causing environmental problems. Given that China is the largest energy user, the rise in building energy consumption necessitates clean energy alternatives. The purpose of this study is to summarize typical building models for primary and [...] Read more.
Modernization and industrialization have significantly increased energy consumption, causing environmental problems. Given that China is the largest energy user, the rise in building energy consumption necessitates clean energy alternatives. The purpose of this study is to summarize typical building models for primary and secondary schools in Hainan Province, and to use software to simulate and calculate the photovoltaic utilization potential of primary and secondary school buildings. In China, the government is usually the manager of primary and secondary schools, and due to their architectural characteristics, these buildings can be used to assess photovoltaic applications. The aim is to drive the application of photovoltaic systems in all types of buildings and promote urban energy reform. This study summarizes the types of primary and secondary school buildings in Hainan Province and analyzes them. It evaluates rooftop photovoltaic projects at the Second Middle School and the Siyuan School in Wanning City, Hainan Province, and uses PVsyst 7.2 software to assess the photovoltaic utilization potential. The results show that the optimal orientation in Hainan Province is south-facing, and the optimal inclination angle is 10° to 20°. The most favorable orientations of facade photovoltaic systems are 20° southeast or southwest. The longest dynamic investment payback period is approximately 15 years, and the environmental benefits are $0.012/kWh. The findings indicate significant potential for photovoltaic applications in primary and secondary school buildings. A combination of facade and rooftop photovoltaics can result in the zero-energy consumption of these buildings, reducing the pressure on urban power grids and achieving sustainable utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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14 pages, 2899 KiB  
Article
Green Energy Harvesting and Management Systems in Intelligent Buildings for Cost-Effective Operation
by Qingbin Dai, Jingui Qian, Shun Li and Li Tao
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030769 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Nowadays, the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is driving technological upgrades and transformations in the construction industry, the integration of IoT devices in buildings is crucial for both the buildings themselves and the intelligent cities. However, large-scale IoT devices increase energy [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is driving technological upgrades and transformations in the construction industry, the integration of IoT devices in buildings is crucial for both the buildings themselves and the intelligent cities. However, large-scale IoT devices increase energy consumption and bring higher operating costs to buildings. Therefore, harvesting the ambient cost-effective and clean energy sources is essential for the future development of intelligent buildings. In this work, we investigate the feasibility of integrating a typical triboelectric droplet energy harvester (DEH) into buildings. We demonstrate the energy harvesting capabilities of DEH on different sloped roof surfaces and complex curved building surfaces by simulating rainy weather with various rainfall intensities. The results indicate energy harvesting efficiency increases with larger tilt angles, which guides future smart architectural designs. This work is significant for the future integration of diversified, all-weather green energy collection and management systems, including raindrop energy, wind power generation, and solar energy, which will contribute to energy conservation and cost control in the next generation of smart buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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28 pages, 5149 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy Use for Buildings Decarbonization Causes Inequity in Consumers? Comparative Analysis of Spain, Mexico, and Colombia
by Iván Valencia-Salazar, Elisa Peñalvo-López, Vicente León-Martínez and Joaquín Montañana-Romeu
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030665 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 808
Abstract
Building decarbonization strategy with Distributed renewable energy sources (DRES) is applied and extended worldwide for its climate change mitigation benefits, however, it generates debate regarding equity in sharing electric system operation costs. To analyze DRES effects on equity, it is conducted a case [...] Read more.
Building decarbonization strategy with Distributed renewable energy sources (DRES) is applied and extended worldwide for its climate change mitigation benefits, however, it generates debate regarding equity in sharing electric system operation costs. To analyze DRES effects on equity, it is conducted a case study, in which same residential consumer is evaluated in three different markets (Spain, Mexico, Colombia). We analyze not only electrical system technical variables, but we also include society’s economic, social, technological, and environmental characteristics. Next, energy, economic, and environmental benefits are obtained in each the three case studies, analyzing the impact of using DERS on equity to recover electric system operating costs. We also evaluate whether tariff mechanisms are equitable to motivate all consumers participation, as well as whether all consumers have equal opportunity for using DERS. We conclude that tariff mechanisms in Mexico and Colombia lead to inequity to recover market operating costs, favoring large consumers with high incomes. Furthermore, tariff mechanisms discourage the use of DERS by small and medium consumers due to economic, social, and technological aspects. In Spain, inequity arises due to increased difficulty for some consumers to use DERS, i.e., consumers in apartment buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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27 pages, 7429 KiB  
Article
International Comparison of Weather and Emission Predictive Building Control
by Christian Hepf, Ben Gottkehaskamp, Clayton Miller and Thomas Auer
Buildings 2024, 14(1), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14010288 - 20 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Building operational energy alone accounts for 28% of global carbon emissions. A sustainable building operation promises enormous savings, especially under the increasing concern of climate change and the rising trends of the digitalization and electrification of buildings. Intelligent control strategies play a crucial [...] Read more.
Building operational energy alone accounts for 28% of global carbon emissions. A sustainable building operation promises enormous savings, especially under the increasing concern of climate change and the rising trends of the digitalization and electrification of buildings. Intelligent control strategies play a crucial role in building systems and electrical energy grids to reach the EU goal of carbon neutrality in 2050 and to manage the rising availability of regenerative energy. This study aims to prove that one can create energy and emission savings with simple weather and emission predictive control (WEPC). Furthermore, this should prove that the simplicity of this approach is key for the applicability of this concept in the built world. A thermodynamic simulation (TRNSYS) evaluates the performance of different variants. The parametrical study varies building construction, location, weather, and emission data and gives an outlook for 2050. The study showcases five different climate locations and reveals heating and cooling energy savings of up to 50 kWh/(m2a) and emission savings between 5 and 25% for various building types without harming thermal comfort. This endorses the initial statement to simplify building energy concepts. Furthermore, it proposes preventing energy designers from overoptimizing buildings with technology as the solution to a climate-responsible energy concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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23 pages, 6081 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Rooftop Photovoltaics on the Urban Thermal Microclimate: Metrological Investigations
by Elisabeth Fassbender, Simon Pytlik, Josef Rott and Claudia Hemmerle
Buildings 2023, 13(9), 2339; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13092339 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
Ambitious climate protection requires decentralized renewable energy production via building-related photovoltaics in cities. However, cities are also subject to the Urban Heat Island effect, which negatively impacts human health. In this context, the installation of PV modules in urban areas raises the question [...] Read more.
Ambitious climate protection requires decentralized renewable energy production via building-related photovoltaics in cities. However, cities are also subject to the Urban Heat Island effect, which negatively impacts human health. In this context, the installation of PV modules in urban areas raises the question of how the energy-active building component affects its surrounding thermal microclimate. The topic is approached with a novel, twofold methodology: First, a horizontal ambient air temperature profile above a rooftop PV installation and the analysis of surface temperatures provide primal indications of the impacts of PV on the thermal microclimate. Secondly, establishing energy balances allows us to retrace the energy fluxes. The data required for the comparative analyses are gathered through metrological investigations of two rooftops with and without PVs in Munich, Germany. The results of the investigation show a daytime heating effect of photovoltaics on the ambient air temperature of up to +1.35 K and a nighttime cooling effect of up to −1.19 K. Cumulated daily, the daytime heating effect exceeds the impact of the nighttime cooling. The main driver of the heating and cooling is the additional convective heat transfer from the PV modules. However, the impacts of the PV modules are marginal and restricted to their direct surroundings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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21 pages, 3317 KiB  
Article
Impact of a Weather Predictive Control Strategy for Inert Building Technology on Thermal Comfort and Energy Demand
by Christian Hepf, Lennard Overhoff, Sebastian Clark Koth, Martin Gabriel, David Briels and Thomas Auer
Buildings 2023, 13(4), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13040996 - 10 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
The sun’s total radiation alone exceeds the world population’s entire energy consumption by 7.500 times and ignites secondary renewable energy sources. The end energy consumption buildings use for heating amounts to 28% of Germany’s total energy consumption. With the ongoing trend of digitalization [...] Read more.
The sun’s total radiation alone exceeds the world population’s entire energy consumption by 7.500 times and ignites secondary renewable energy sources. The end energy consumption buildings use for heating amounts to 28% of Germany’s total energy consumption. With the ongoing trend of digitalization and the transition of the German energy supply away from fossil fuels and the consequent political dependency, electric heat pumps and photovoltaic (PV) systems have become increasingly important to the discussion. This has led to an increasing demand for smart control strategies, especially for inert systems such as thermally activated building systems (TABS). This paper presents and analyses a weather predictive control (WPC) strategy using a validated thermodynamic simulation model. The literature review of this paper outlines that the current common control strategies are data intense and complex in their implementation into the built environment. The simple approach of the WPC uses future ambient temperature and solar radiation to optimize the control of the heating, cooling, ventilation, and sun protection system. The thermal comfort and energy demand evaluate the concept. We show that with a WPC for TABS, thermal comfort can improve without increasing the energy demand for the office building in the moderate climate of Munich. Furthermore, this paper concludes that the WPC works more effectively with more thermal mass. This simplified building control strategy promotes the European roadmap goal of climate neutrality in 2050, as it bridges the phenomenon of the performance gap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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14 pages, 1934 KiB  
Article
Application of Scheduling Techniques for Load-Shifting in Smart Homes with Renewable-Energy-Sources Integration
by Otilia Elena Dragomir and Florin Dragomir
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010134 - 4 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1721
Abstract
The general context of this proposal is represented by the energy-efficient smart home that integrates renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic panels. The objective of this article is to minimize the amount of energy consumed from the national energy grid by producer-consumers of [...] Read more.
The general context of this proposal is represented by the energy-efficient smart home that integrates renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic panels. The objective of this article is to minimize the amount of energy consumed from the national energy grid by producer-consumers of energy from renewable sources, in their own smart homes. In order to fulfill this goal, it was necessary to estimate the amount of renewable energy produced on the day-ahead horizon and to schedule the operation of controllable consumers in a smart home. To predict the amount of energy produced, two approaches were used: the first was based on data, and used techniques specific to artificial intelligence, more specifically, multilayer perceptron and radial-basis-function neural networks, and the second was based on models. The accuracy of the short-term prediction horizon of the techniques used was evaluated with quantitative performance indicators so that the most appropriate one in relation to the goal of the article could be selected to be used in the test scenarios. The scheduling of consumer functioning was based on their classification in relation to their ability to be controlled, and on the selection from the peer-reviewed literature of an optimization algorithm which, by load shifting from a smart home, ensured the optimal fulfillment of the objective function. The selected load-shifting algorithm was then integrated into and tested on a real database. The data used were monitored for two representative days, in terms of the amount of energy from renewable energy sources produced and consumed. The load-shifting algorithm proved its effectiveness through the results obtained and which are reported in the article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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18 pages, 4424 KiB  
Article
Impact of Dynamic Emission Factors of the German Electricity Mix on the Greenhouse Gas Balance in Building Operation
by Christian Hepf, Konstantin Bausch, Lukas Lauss, Sebastian Clark Koth and Thomas Auer
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2215; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122215 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
Due to climate change, emission balancing is a relevant tool to quantify the environmental impact of a building system. The electrification of energy production at a national level, as well as energy supply at a building level, shifts the focus to the emission [...] Read more.
Due to climate change, emission balancing is a relevant tool to quantify the environmental impact of a building system. The electrification of energy production at a national level, as well as energy supply at a building level, shifts the focus to the emission factor (EF) of the electricity grid. Currently, static EFs are used for calculating the emission balance. However, the electricity grid already shows fluctuations in power generation and EF due to renewable energies. The paper reviews recent literature outlining the research gap and presents the development of a simulation setup and concept, in which the emission balance of the building operation changes, using dynamic EFs that map fluctuations at an hourly resolution. In the first step, we simulate the thermal building and radiance performance. The data are than used in a second step to conduct a system simulation, which analyzes the effects of the dynamic EFs. The results show that the dynamic balance approach for different building system variants deviates considerably from the static approach. By comparing different concepts for the loading strategy, the predictive strategy outperforms a common control strategy, when considering the energy prices and/or the emissions. This is especially true for systems with inert storage units, where charging times significantly influence the balance, as well as for systems with PV integration. This paper outlines the potential of the EFs-optimized control increases when evaluating a potential scenario for the year 2040, factoring in increased seasonal and daily fluctuations in electricity generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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16 pages, 2654 KiB  
Article
A Case Study of Mapping the Heating Storage Capacity in a Multifamily Building within a District Heating Network in Mid-Sweden
by Abolfazl Hayati, Jan Akander and Martin Eriksson
Buildings 2022, 12(7), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12071007 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1621
Abstract
The building sector accounts for a third of the total energy use in Sweden, and district heating provides half of the heating needs. The peak demand loads within a district heating network occur both regularly and irregularly and impose a burden on the [...] Read more.
The building sector accounts for a third of the total energy use in Sweden, and district heating provides half of the heating needs. The peak demand loads within a district heating network occur both regularly and irregularly and impose a burden on the energy company to fulfill the demand, often by using more expensive and less environmentally friendly resources (e.g., fossil fuels) instead of the waste heat from industry or biofuels. Heat storage during hours of less demand and prior to colder periods can be used for load management and sustainable planning of energy supply, as well as reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, heat supply to the building can be lowered temporarily during the peak power period to utilize the stored thermal energy within the building thermal inertia. The use of indoor temperature decay and the delivery of heating power to a multifamily building are studied here, and heating storage capacity and thermal inertia are calculated. During the performed decay test, the energy supply was estimated to be reduced by 61% for 5 h, which resulted in only a 0.3 °C temperature decay. Therefore, the suggested method can shave eventual peaks in supplied heat with minimal influence on the thermal comfort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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20 pages, 1871 KiB  
Article
Energy Production of Solar DSF for Ceiling-Mounted Localized Air Distribution Systems in a Virtual Classroom
by Eusébio Conceição, João Gomes, Maria Manuela Lúcio and Hazim Awbi
Buildings 2022, 12(4), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12040495 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
This paper presents an application of energy production in a solar Double Skin Facade (DSF) used in a Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system for a ceiling-mounted localized air distribution systems in a virtual classroom. In this numerical work, a virtual classroom, an [...] Read more.
This paper presents an application of energy production in a solar Double Skin Facade (DSF) used in a Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system for a ceiling-mounted localized air distribution systems in a virtual classroom. In this numerical work, a virtual classroom, an inlet ceiling-mounted localized air distribution system, an exhaust ventilation system, and a DSF system are considered. The numerical simulations consider an integral building thermal response (BTR) and a coupling of an integral human thermal-physiology response (HTR) and differential computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The BTR numerical model calculates, among other parameters, the DSF indoor air temperature and energy production. The HTR numerical model calculates, among other parameters, the human thermal comfort. The CFD numerical model, among other parameters, calculates the indoor air quality. In this study which is performed for winter conditions, the energy produced in the DSF is used for driving the HVAC system. Six different airflow rates are used. The air temperature and energy production in the DSF are also evaluated. The influence of the airflow rate on the HVAC system performance is evaluated by the Air Distribution Index for mid-morning and mid-afternoon conditions. The results show that energy production reduces when the airflow increases and the operating point can be selected using the acceptable levels of thermal comfort and air quality levels or using the maximum Air Distribution Index value. In this study, the application of the thermal comfort and air quality levels criteria demonstrates that the HVAC system uses an optimum airflow rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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25 pages, 11104 KiB  
Article
Implementation of BIM Energy Analysis and Monte Carlo Simulation for Estimating Building Energy Performance Based on Regression Approach: A Case Study
by Faham Tahmasebinia, Ruifeng Jiang, Samad Sepasgozar, Jinlin Wei, Yilin Ding and Hongyi Ma
Buildings 2022, 12(4), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12040449 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4823
Abstract
The energy performance prediction of buildings plays a significant role in the design phases. Theoretical analysis and statistical analysis are typically carried out to predict energy consumption. However, due to the complexity of the building characteristics, precise energy performance can hardly be predicted [...] Read more.
The energy performance prediction of buildings plays a significant role in the design phases. Theoretical analysis and statistical analysis are typically carried out to predict energy consumption. However, due to the complexity of the building characteristics, precise energy performance can hardly be predicted in the early design stage. This study considers both building information modeling (BIM) and statistical approaches, including several regression models for the prediction purpose. This paper also highlights a number of findings of energy modeling related to building energy performance simulation software, particularly Autodesk Green Building Studio. In this research, the geometric models were created using Autodesk Revit. Based on the energy simulation conducted by Autodesk Green Building Studio (GBS), the energy properties of five prototype and case study models were determined. The GBS simulation was carried out using DOE 2.2 engine. Eight parameters were used in BIM, including building type, location, building area, analysis year, floor-to-ceiling height, floor construction, wall construction, and ceiling construction. The Monte Carlo simulation method was performed to predict precise energy consumption. Among the regression models developed, the single variable linear regression models appear to have high accuracy. Although there exist some limitations in applying the equation in EUI prediction, the rough estimation of energy use was realized. Regression model validation was carried out using the model from the case study and Monte Carlo simulation results. A total of 35 runs of validation were performed, and most differences were maintained within 5%. The results show some limitations in the application of the linear regression model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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29 pages, 8597 KiB  
Article
Effect of Architectural Building Design Parameters on Thermal Comfort and Energy Consumption in Higher Education Buildings
by Salah Alghamdi, Waiching Tang, Sittimont Kanjanabootra and Dariusz Alterman
Buildings 2022, 12(3), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12030329 - 9 Mar 2022
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 7237
Abstract
It has been challenging for designers to identify the appropriate design parameters that would reduce building energy consumption while achieving thermal comfort for building occupants. This study aims to determine the most important architectural building design parameters (ABDPs) that can increase thermal comfort [...] Read more.
It has been challenging for designers to identify the appropriate design parameters that would reduce building energy consumption while achieving thermal comfort for building occupants. This study aims to determine the most important architectural building design parameters (ABDPs) that can increase thermal comfort and reduce energy use in educational buildings. The effect of 15 ABDPs in an Australian educational lecture theatre and their variabilities on energy consumption and students’ thermal comfort for each parameter were analysed using Monte Carlo (MC) techniques. Two thousand simulations for every input parameter were performed based on the selected distribution using the Latin hypercube sampling (LHS) technique. Sensitivity analyses (SA) and uncertainty analyses (UA) were used to assess the most important ABDPs in terms of thermal discomfort hours and energy consumption. The study found that the ABDPs, such as cooling set-point temperatures and roof construction, significantly reduce the operative temperature by up to 14.2% and 20.0%, respectively. Consequently, these reductions could significantly shorten the thermal discomfort hours, thereby reducing energy consumption by 43.7% and 41.0%, respectively. The findings of this study enable building designers to identify which ABDPs have a substantial impact on thermal comfort and energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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23 pages, 1654 KiB  
Article
A Framework for Developing Green Building Rating Tools Based on Pakistan’s Local Context
by Muhammad Afrasiab Khan, Cynthia Changxin Wang and Chyi Lin Lee
Buildings 2021, 11(5), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11050202 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5627
Abstract
Most countries have developed green building rating tools that are based on social, environmental, and economic dimensions. Pakistan followed a similar approach and has developed a rating tool known as Sustainability in Energy and Environmental Development (SEED). However, SEED is built on developed [...] Read more.
Most countries have developed green building rating tools that are based on social, environmental, and economic dimensions. Pakistan followed a similar approach and has developed a rating tool known as Sustainability in Energy and Environmental Development (SEED). However, SEED is built on developed western countries’ rating tool standards which do not address Pakistan’s unique local context, especially from the cultural and governmental perspectives. This research aims to fill this research gap by developing a holistic framework of building rating tools that incorporates cultural and governmental dimensions. Based on an extensive literature review, a hypothetical framework, incorporating Pakistan’s unique local contexts and adding cultural and governmental dimensions to the widely adopted social, environmental, and economic dimensions of sustainability, was proposed in this paper. This framework was further validated by in-depth interviews with multiple stakeholders in Pakistan. A qualitative analysis of the interview results was carried out, and the final framework was proposed with key indicators, reflecting all five dimensions of sustainability. The verified sustainability framework can be used to improve or develop green building rating tools for Pakistan, and it can also inform other developing countries’ rating tool development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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18 pages, 2788 KiB  
Article
Optimal Sizing of Solar-Assisted Heat Pump Systems for Residential Buildings
by Alessandro Franco and Fabio Fantozzi
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100175 - 4 Oct 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3188
Abstract
This paper analyzes the optimal sizing of a particular solution for renewable energy residential building integration. The solution combines a photovoltaic (PV) plant with a heat pump (HP). The idea is to develop a system that permits the maximum level of self-consumption of [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the optimal sizing of a particular solution for renewable energy residential building integration. The solution combines a photovoltaic (PV) plant with a heat pump (HP). The idea is to develop a system that permits the maximum level of self-consumption of renewable energy generated by using a small-scale solar array installed on the same building. The problem is analyzed using data obtained from an experimental system installed in a building in Pisa, Italy. The residential house was equipped with a PV plant (about 3.7 kW of peak power), assisting a HP of similar electrical power (3.8 kW). The system was monitored for eight years of continuous operation. With reference to the data acquired from the long-term experimental analysis and considering a more general perspective, we discuss criteria and guidelines for the design of such a system. We focus on the possibility of exporting energy to the electrical grid, from the perspective of obtaining self-consumption schemes. Considering that one of the problems with small-scale PV plants is represented by the bidirectional energy flows from and to the grid, possible alternative solutions for the design are outlined, with both a size reduction in the plant and utilization of a storage system considered. Different design objectives are considered in the analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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Review

Jump to: Research

24 pages, 7789 KiB  
Review
State-of-the-Art Technologies for Building-Integrated Photovoltaic Systems
by Hussein M. Maghrabie, Mohammad Ali Abdelkareem, Abdul Hai Al-Alami, Mohamad Ramadan, Emad Mushtaha, Tabbi Wilberforce and Abdul Ghani Olabi
Buildings 2021, 11(9), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11090383 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 5618
Abstract
Advances in building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems for residential and commercial purposes are set to minimize overall energy requirements and associated greenhouse gas emissions. The BIPV design considerations entail energy infrastructure, pertinent renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency provisions. In this work, the performance [...] Read more.
Advances in building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems for residential and commercial purposes are set to minimize overall energy requirements and associated greenhouse gas emissions. The BIPV design considerations entail energy infrastructure, pertinent renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency provisions. In this work, the performance of roof/façade-based BIPV systems and the affecting parameters on cooling/heating loads of buildings are reviewed. Moreover, this work provides an overview of different categories of BIPV, presenting the recent developments and sufficient references, and supporting more successful implementations of BIPV for various globe zones. A number of available technologies decide the best selections, and make easy configuration of the BIPV, avoiding any difficulties, and allowing flexibility of design in order to adapt to local environmental conditions, and are adequate to important considerations, such as building codes, building structures and loads, architectural components, replacement and maintenance, energy resources, and all associated expenditure. The passive and active effects of both air-based and water-based BIPV systems have great effects on the cooling and heating loads and thermal comfort and, hence, on the electricity consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: International study: Weather and Emission Predictive Building Control
Author: Hepf
Highlights: Building operational energy alone accounts for 28% of the global carbon emissions. A sustainable building operation promises enormous savings, especially under the increasing concern of climate change and the rising trends of digitalization and electrification of buildings. To reach the EU goal of carbon neutrality until 2050 and to manage the rising availability of regenerative energy, intelligent control strategies play a crucial role in building systems and electrical energy grids. This study aims to prove that one can create energy and emission savings with a simple weather and emission predictive control (WEPC). Furthermore, this should prove that the simplicity of this approach is key for the applicability of this concept in the built world. A thermodynamic simulation (TRNSYS) evaluates the performance of various simulation variants. The parametrical study varies the building construction, location, weather, and emission data and gives an outlook for 2050. The study showcases the successful implementation of the WEPC in five different climate locations and reveals substantial energy and emission savings for various building types without harming thermal comfort. This endorses the initial statement to simplify building energy concept. Furthermore, it proposes preventing energy designers from over-optimizing buildings with technology for a climate-responsible energy concept.

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