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Environmental and economic evaluation of PV solar system for remote communities using building information modeling: A case study

Environmental and economic evaluation of PV solar system for remote communities using building information modeling: A case study

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Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy has been a popular renewable electricity generation source at the building and community levels. With the recent rise in the demand, residential level PV installations have been under scrutiny primarily to improve their efficiency. Electricity generation potential of a roof-mounted PV system depends on the local PV potential, building orientation, shading effect, roof angle, and roof size. Moreover, the economic viability of the PV system needs to be justified before being implemented on site. This research investigates the optimal PV solar energy potential (PvSEP) of a standalone rooftop PV system using building information modeling (BIM). Two building shapes (square and rectangular), three roof types (hip, gable, and shed), eight orientations (E, W, S, N, NE, NW, SE, and SW), and nine roof slopes (starting from 10° to 50° with an interval of 5°) were analyzed at two geographical locations in British Columbia (i.e., Kelowna and Fort St. Johns). The BIM was created in the Autodesk Revit platform, and 432 simulations were performed for each location using the Revit Architecture extension Insight. Results indicated that even though location, roof angle, orientation, and roof types are significant factors for PvSEP, building shape do not have a significant impact. This has been consistent with the published literature. The PV system with the maximum PvSEP results in the minimum payback time and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This research aims to aid PV system installation decision-making by using state-of-the-art technology during the pre-construction stage.

Chapter Contents:

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Literature review
  • 4.3 Methodology and case study
  • 4.4 Results
  • 4.5 Discussion and conclusions
  • Appendix A
  • References

Inspec keywords: building information modelling; building integrated photovoltaics; roofs

Other keywords: Canada; building shapes; PV installations; roof-mounted system; Revit Architecture extension; building information modeling:; PV solar system; environmental evaluation; roof size; residential installations; shading effect; Kelowna; Autodesk Revit platform; British Columbia; roof angle; Fort St. Johns; building orientation; PvSEP; economic evaluation; Photovoltaic solar energy; remote communities

Subjects: Photoelectric conversion; solar cells and arrays; Solar power stations and photovoltaic power systems

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