Sola3010 & Sola9009 Low Energy Buildings and Photovoltaics Course Outline

Topics: Photovoltaics, Building engineering, Architecture Pages: 9 (2659 words) Published: August 13, 2011
SOLA3010 & SOLA9009 Low Energy Buildings and Photovoltaics Course Outline 6 Units of Credit (UOC) 4 contact hours per week Course Context and Description Building energy use comprises about 40% of the total electrical energy used in NSW. Since the advent of artificial heating and lighting methods and the modernist aesthetic, much of the traditional wisdom that informed climate-specific vernacular architecture has been abandoned. There is currently significant interest in reducing energy use in buildings and particularly greenhouse gas production in buildings, by: 1. Using intelligent building design that responds to the climatic conditions found at the site. 2. Implementing efficiency measures that reduce waste of energy. 3. Producing energy (heat or electrical) from renewable sources. PV is one of the few renewable electricity generation options that can be readily used in urban areas and has no environmental impacts at the site. PV was first used in buildings in the 1970s, usually in remote areas without access to the grid. In the 1980s, grid-connected PV modules on roofs of houses were demonstrated. The term Building-Integrated PV (BIPV) describes the integration of PV modules into building materials so that PV forms part of the building envelope such as the roof, walls or glazing elements of the building. In the 1990s, BIPV demonstration projects in the US, Europe and Japan led to BIPV construction products being developed and commercialised. BIPV is usually part of the building envelope, hence requiring no separate support structure; and replacing conventional building materials, including high-value commercial building façades which can cost as much as a PV façade. Recently, BIPV products have begun to evolve into elegant building technologies designed to also provide shading, daylighting, raincladding or noise protection for buildings (see BIPV pictures). The collection and reuse of the waste heat from PV, known as PV-T technology is also an area being commercialised. Photovoltaics in buildings and the built environment in general is one of the fastest growing markets for PV, particularly in Europe. Although prices for PV electricity in Europe are significantly higher than grid electricity, GHG reduction goals, supported by government initiatives and the high value accorded to a “green” image in buildings have created an environment where PV in buildings has experienced strong growth. There is currently significant interest in reducing energy use and greenhouse gas production in buildings by designing buildings that are climate-appropriate, implementing energy efficiency measures and producing energy from renewable sources. Prediction of building thermal, lighting performance and solar access, and techniques for energy efficient design


will be introduced in this course with a focus on residential buildings. A competency in the use of building energy simulation software will be developed. The course will examine the use of PV in the urban environment, with a particular focus on the integration of PV modules into the building envelope. Technical issues associated with the use of PV in buildings and the urban environment, such as heat transfer processes, partial shading, and mismatch and system siting, sizing and configuration will be investigated. Students will tackle urban design problems that require balancing architectural and human requirements with the functional constraints of PV technology. Examples of PV products for buildings and the urban environment will be studied and system performance assessment and prediction will be introduced. Assumed Knowledge You will be expected to have an understanding of the technical components of PV systems, including how solar cells work and the effect of mismatch, shading and temperature on the operation of photovoltaic modules, including the mathematical analysis. Methods for sizing PV systems will also be assumed knowledge. First year physics is also assumed...

Links: While resources specific to lecture topics will be added to the Lecture Slides and Readings pages, the following resources are generally applicable to the course
Recommended Texts
Introduction to Architectural Science – S. Szokolay Heat and Mass Transfer: A Practical Approach – Y.A. Cengel Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach – Y.A. Cengel, M.A. Boles (useful for psychrometry) Energy Efficient Building Design – Resource Book – Brisbane TAFE – Holger Willrath A Handbook on Low-Energy Buildings and District-Energy Systems: Fundamentals, Techniques, and Examples - L D Danny Harvey
Web Resources
Climate Information  Australian Bureau of Meteorology -  NASA Low Energy Buildings  Australian Greenhouse Office “Your Home” technical manual - Contains info on good residential design and measures to conserve water & energy  Victorian Energy Smart Housing Manual  Energy Design Resources - BIPV Sites  IEA Task 7  IEA PV Case Studies  Whole Building Design Guide - BIPV - Steven Strong Design Tools  PVSYST - Software for photovoltaic Systems  Ecotect - Visual building energy analysis and design tool  Desktop Radiance - Imaging software for lighting analysis  Energy Plus - Accurate thermal simulation (without visualisation)
Solar Architects  Bear Architecten Netherlands)  Solar Design Associates (US)  Kiss + Cathcart Architects (New York)  Solarcentury (UK)  Studio E Architects (UK)  Architekturbüro Hagemann  RELAB LLC Standards and Rating Frameworks & Software  Building Code of Australia - via UNSW Library (sirius)  NABERS  Green Star  NatHers  Accurate  BASIX BIPV Products  BIPV Resources including listing of Manufacturers, Products & Case Studies:
Assistance with Report Writing, Presentations, Referencing and other Academic Skills Refer to the SPREE writing and presentation guide ( for guidance in relation to report writing, presentations, referencing, note taking and time management. The Learning Centre website is the central University online resource for staff and student information on plagiarism and academic honesty. It can be located at: The Learning Centre also provides substantial educational written materials, workshops, and tutorials to aid students, for example, in:        Writing; Presentations; Correct referencing practices; Paraphrasing, summarising; Note taking; Time management; Appropriate use of, and attribution for, a range of materials including text, images, formulae and concepts.
Individual assistance is available on request from The Learning Centre.
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