Optimizing The Integration Of Renewable Energy Systems In Buildings
Advisor: Professor Khaled El-Rayes
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported in 2021 that the United States is the second largest producer of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions worldwide. To minimize these CO2 emissions and their negative environmental impacts, there is an increasing demand to integrate renewable energy systems in private and public buildings. For example, federal and state governments have recently enacted several regulations and incentive programs to promote the use of renewable energy systems in existing and new buildings. This highlights the pressing need for designers to search for and identify optimal designs for the integration of cost-effective renewable energy systems in both existing and new buildings.
The main goal of this study is to develop novel models for optimizing the integration of renewable energy (RE) technologies in existing and new buildings. To accomplish this goal, the research study developed three novel models for optimizing: (1) integration of RE systems in existing buildings to minimize their required total upgrade costs to satisfy an owner-specified target reduction in energy consumption; (2) preliminary design of new buildings to maximize their harvested RE and minimize their construction cost by identifying optimal building dimensions, orientation, window-to-wall ratio, and site layout; and (3) schematic design of new buildings with integrated RE technologies to maximize their generation of renewable energy and savings-to-investment ratio while minimizing their cost. The performance of the developed three optimization models was analyzed using real-life case studies and application examples. The results of this analysis illustrated the novel and original contributions of the three developed models in searching for and identifying optimal building designs and integration of onsite renewable energy systems during the upgrade of existing buildings as well as the preliminary and schematic designs of new buildings. These original and unique capabilities of the developed models are expected to support designers in optimizing the integration of cost-effective renewable energy systems in both existing buildings and new buildings.