Photovoltaic Facades: Key to the Concept of Zero Energy Buildings

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Buildings around the globe consume almost 40 % of energy, and building operations are based on non-renewable sources of energy, e.g., ventilation, air conditioning, electricity, heating, which contributes to over 33% of greenhouse gases. To sustain our future generations from the adverse effects of greenhouse gases, buildings hold a major potential. If a building greatly reduces energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy needs can be supplied with renewable technologies-thus, that building can be termed as zero energy building. To achieve a zero building concept, the building should be designed to reduce energy consumption to a minimum. The building should be able to produce energy on itself. To achieve the aim of this concept, building envelope’s, facades are the ultimate potential key in an envelope which will lead to minimum energy consumption and also energy production with the help of photovoltaic facades Building-integrated Photovoltaic facades are an important solution proposal. However, its implementation is accompanied by significant challenges in terms of the complexity of processes and technologies involved and the adaptability of these solutions to different geographical areas with particular climatic conditions. This research aims to assess the viability of the implementation of photovoltaic facades in commercial and residential projects. The viability will be studied in terms of the overall savings in the power usage, economic feasibility, and detailed techno-commercial study and comparison with the conventional façade methods. The objective of the study of study are: • Energy production details. • Impacts on the cost in comparison with electrical power consumption. • Possible aesthetics of the photovoltaic facades. • Research & developments in building design for the maximum application of the photovoltaic facades. • Commercial study & comparisons between conventional façade system & photovoltaic façade system. • A detailed study in terms of the life span and indirect benefits. • Report on the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions to electric power usage. The methodology for researching photovoltaic facades in terms of different aspects ( commercial, technical, aesthetics) will be carried out per the following steps: • Selecting a prototype model for a commercial and residential building • Evaluate the model climatic properties like temperature, sun orientation. • Creating a base model with conventional façade systems. • Evaluating the general energy consumption with conventional facades. • Development of the same model now with integrated photovoltaic façade systems, keeping following factors:- i. Tilted façade: Good idea to increase yield while paying attention to overheating  ii. Where to integrate. In vision and no vision. If transparent, what is required, g-factor, v, etc.…  iii. Shadows often exist, study to carry  iv. Determine zones not allocable to PV: near doors, trees, details, terraces …  v. Insulated modules are not back-ventilated  vi. Where and how are the wiring ways going inside the building? Construction details. • Detailed cost analysis.
photovoltaic facades, zero energy buildings, non-renewable sources, energy consumption