Architectural variations in residences and their effects on energy generation by photovoltaics

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Title: Architectural variations in residences and their effects on energy generation by photovoltaics
Author: Caballero, Sandra Catalina
Abstract: In the current global market, there are plenty solutions for the savings of energy in the different areas of consumption in buildings: Green roofs and walls, cool roofs, daylighting, motion sensors, and others but there are very few sources of renewable energy at the reach of a common person in residential (smaller) scale. Photovoltaic systems are the most well-know and reliable process of harvesting energy at this small scale. The relationship between energy demand and energy production when installing a photovoltaics system in a residence is one of the main drivers while making a decision at the time of purchasing a system. However, architectural decisions in early stages may influence, enhance or even decrease the possible energy generation and interior performance, thus influencing the possible return of investment. This study evaluates the possible architectural variations that may be beneficial or disadvantegous at a particular city and other circumstances. From, roof, angle, location, roof articulation, layout articulation , shading devices and others, this paper shows a spectrum of convenient and inconvenient projects due to current conditions like climate, solar radiation, typical construction, electricity rates and government incentives. As a conclusion a hierarchy of architectural elements when being used with photovoltaics is developed to demonstrate that a common user can strategically play with architectural features of his/her house to take the most out of the system.
Type: Thesis
Date: 2011-07-25
Publisher: Georgia Institute of Technology
Subject: Payback time.
Return of investment
Architectural variations
Monocrystalline silicon
Photovoltaic power systems
Building-integrated photovoltaic systems
Department: Architecture
Advisor: Committee Chair: Augenbroe, Fried; Committee Member: Brown, Jason; Committee Member: Gentry, Russell
Degree: M.S.

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