Towards a digital workflow to assess visual impact of solar modules and their operation within energy-hubs

This study proposes an integrated methodology to assess the BIPV potential of existing urban neighborhoods, including social acceptance and grid infrastructure management issues; as a demonstration, a case study in Geneva, Switzerland is considered. In particular, the annual solar radiation on the outdoor exposed areas is calculated on an hourly basis and converted into electricity by considering standard monocrystalline PV modules. Social acceptability is evaluated on a discrete qualitative scale, based on the average visibility of the building envelope from the public space and assessed through a psychophysically reliable indicator. Three different envelope surface coverage ratios are assumed for BIPV, i.e. for low, medium and high visibility respectively. Renewable electricity generation is used to match the hourly electricity demand for lighting, appliances as well as an air-to-air heat pump that covers heating and cooling needs. Excess electricity is used within multi energy hubs featuring PV panels, a battery bank and an internal combustion generator; as a last resort, electricity is injected to the grid. As such, the levelized cost of energy and the grid integration level can be calculated at each time step. The financial outcome of the analysis may be used to explore novel business models for solar energy renovations in urban contexts.

Published in:
Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1343, 012106
Presented at:
CISBAT 2019 | Climate Resilient Cities – Energy Efficiency & Renewables in the Digital Era, Lausanne, Switzerland, September 4-6, 2019
IOP Science
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 Record created 2020-01-29, last modified 2020-01-30

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