Measuring the solar potential of a city and its implications on energy policy

Byrd, Hugh and Ho, Anna and Sharp, Basil and Nair, Nirmal (2012) Measuring the solar potential of a city and its implications on energy policy. In: Next City: planning for a new energy and climate future, 24-27 July 2012, The University of Sydney, Australia.

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Abstract

This research investigates the maximum potential energy that can be made available by efficiently installing PV systems on buildings throughout a city, from the central business district (CBD) out to low density suburbs. The purpose of this is to evaluate the contribution that electricity from PVs can make to reduce the electricity load of a city, supply the needs of a mixture of building types, reduce peak electricity demand and contribute towards the charging of electric vehicles (EVs).
A sample of the main urban building types have been taken and reassembled into a representative typical cross-section of a city. The application of PVs for all the building types is investigated and then the potential electricity distribution is evaluated for different urban densities and dispersion patterns. This research is concerned not only with how individual buildings may gain from distributed generation (DG) but, more importantly, how a city as a whole may benefit.
The results indicate that low dense suburbia is not only the most efficient collector of solar energy but that enough excess electricity can be generated to power daily transport needs of suburbia and also contribute to peak daytime electrical loads in the city centre. This challenges conventional thinking that suburbia is energy inefficient. While a compact city may be more efficient for the internal combustion engine vehicles, a dispersed city is more efficient when DG solar power is the main energy source and EVs are the means of transport.

Additional Information:This research investigates the maximum potential energy that can be made available by efficiently installing PV systems on buildings throughout a city, from the central business district (CBD) out to low density suburbs. The purpose of this is to evaluate the contribution that electricity from PVs can make to reduce the electricity load of a city, supply the needs of a mixture of building types, reduce peak electricity demand and contribute towards the charging of electric vehicles (EVs). A sample of the main urban building types have been taken and reassembled into a representative typical cross-section of a city. The application of PVs for all the building types is investigated and then the potential electricity distribution is evaluated for different urban densities and dispersion patterns. This research is concerned not only with how individual buildings may gain from distributed generation (DG) but, more importantly, how a city as a whole may benefit. The results indicate that low dense suburbia is not only the most efficient collector of solar energy but that enough excess electricity can be generated to power daily transport needs of suburbia and also contribute to peak daytime electrical loads in the city centre. This challenges conventional thinking that suburbia is energy inefficient. While a compact city may be more efficient for the internal combustion engine vehicles, a dispersed city is more efficient when DG solar power is the main energy source and EVs are the means of transport.
Keywords:solar energy, urban form, electric vehicles, energy consumption of buildings
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K421 Urban Planning
J Technologies > J910 Energy Technologies
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K460 Transport Planning
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:7778
Deposited On:28 Feb 2013 11:47

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