Impact of uncertainty in building energy demand on the design and performance of solar photovoltaic systems

  • Janar Jeksen

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis

    Abstract

    The appropriate design of renewable energy systems is essential in the attempt to reduce the energy intensity of the building sector. The current work is broad in its coverage and addresses limitations in existing literature in evaluating energy estimation approaches, addressing the effects of climate change, and assessing the performance criteria of PV systems using both technical and economic analysis. This thesis presents a comprehensive framework to quantify the impact of uncertainty in building operation patterns on the techno-economic performance of PV systems. A systematic five-step methodology assesses the drivers of energy consumption in office buildings using hybrid statistical, or top-down, and energy modeling, bottom-up, approaches to then design grid connected PV systems with and without battery storage using SAM software. The framework is illustrated and validated on small, medium, and large-sized office buildings located in three different weather zones, namely hot dry (Tucson, AR), mixed marine (Seattle, WA), and cold humid (Rochester, MN). The technical analysis shows that systems without batteries experience greater variability in the energy demand across states compared to the battery-coupled systems, whereas PV energy supply levels in both scenarios directly correlate with the energy demand across the states. Meanwhile, the economic analysis of solar system adoption suggests that PV systems without battery storage are preferable to battery coupled systems based on NPV values.
    Date of AwardMay 2022
    Original languageAmerican English

    Keywords

    • Energy demand
    • building operation patterns
    • technical analysis
    • economic analysis.

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