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Integrating Solar PV Systems into Residential Buildings in Cold-climate Regions: The Impact of Energy-efficient Homes on Shaping the Future Smart Grid

  • Author / Creator
    Awad, Hadia
  • The integration of solar energy systems into residential buildings is an emerging trend worldwide and is an important method of mitigating the impact of housing on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To achieve optimal energy performance, the generating capacity of solar photovoltaic systems (PVs) must be designed to match the electricity loads of a given building and the impacts of solar PVs on the utility grid must be investigated, particularly in cold-climate regions. As Net-zero Energy Homes (NZEHs) equipped with solar PVs gain market penetration, maintaining the resilience of the utility grid becomes an increasingly challenging task. In current NZEH practice, in order to minimise the GHG emissions, space heating and domestic hot water supply use electricity as energy source. Intrinsically, in cold climates, NZEHs consume 2–3 times the amount of electricity to that of a typical energy-efficient home (EEH). Large-scale implementation of NZEHs such as NZEH communities will further add dynamic complexities.
    Hence, the research presented in this thesis aims to develop a generic roadmap to improve the solar PV self-consumption of sustainable communities and individual households by improving the PV design and prioritising its self-consumption. Accordingly, the present study aims to achieve the following objectives: (1) understand the local energy load and generation patterns and their impact on the grid, (2) develop a solar PV prediction model, (3) develop a load-match-driven PV optimisation tool, and (4) simulate and optimise NZEH and EEH communities equipped with community shared solar PVs.
    Results indicate that, in order to maximise the self-consumption of a PV system, it is necessary to consider the type of house being serviced. In general, provided that the present study is conducted in a high-latitude region, the tilt angle required for NZEHs is found to be higher than that for EEHs. On the other hand, the optimum azimuth angle for both NZEHs and EEHs is found to be south-west facing. It is also concluded that the implementation of community shared solar PVs can provide significant improvement in self-consumption and economic aspects compared with individual PVs following the current practice. The presented thesis also includes recommendations for future work.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3BK17567
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.