Architectural Integration of Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Collector Systems into buildings
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In the time when the world is debating on climate change issues which is basically due to use of fossil fuel, the use of solar energy in various form is relevant. The existing buildings are responsible for use of large amount of energy for lighting, heating, cooling and use of various energy run equipments mostly powered by fossil energy. Today’s intention should be to replace this fossil fuel by solar energy which is free and available in abundance. At the moment, solar technologies in the form of photovoltaics and thermal collectors are available in competitive prices. However, their use has not been to the expectation specially in building sector to replace the use of fossil fuels. The main reason for these technologies not being popular in building integration is the lack of good architectural quality rendered not meeting desired design considerations. Innovative approaches have to be explored in terms of design and implementation in order to match the modern technological components to the scale, proportion, material, colour scheme and balance of buildings. So, the objective of this thesis is to pave possible ways of integrating these technologies into buildings, both on existing and new constructions to add emphasis on the overall architectural expression in addition to producing energy. The intention here is to highlight design possibilities regarding the use of solar technologies into buildings with innovative approaches. Basic focus is on the appearance or aesthetics part of integration as this makes the major impact on the people. PVs and thermal collectors can deliberately be used as architectural design elements in a distinctive way. The development towards passive house, zero energy and zero emission buildings will cause a more frequent use of building integrated solar energy systems as a source of renewable energy. Due to the limitations in the integrability of such systems in relation to the design, colour and scale of the building envelope, their integration may ruin the final architectural quality of the building. Many solar systems do exist on the market, and with better and better energy performance. But, if they are not designed to be integrated into buildings to enhance the quality of architecture, probably no one will opt using these systems as a source of renewable energy generators. In this case, even though there will be more and more efficient PV or STC systems in the market, they won’t be of use if aesthetic ways of integrating them is not sought. It looks like PV integration have brought about some improvements in the architectural quality of building integration, but the solar thermal collectors lacks on this part to some extent. While the technical development and energy performance improvements are always in progress, the actual use of these systems in buildings is not increasing as it could and should do. Existing buildings account for over 40% of the world’s total primary energy use and 24% of greenhouse gas emissions (Wall, 2009). A combination of making buildings more energy-efficient and using a larger fraction of renewable energy is therefore a key issue to reduce the non-renewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. With this aim, integration of PV and solar thermal collector systems into buildings becomes very important. Integrating these PV and solar thermal collectors systems into buildings is not only for clean energy but also to use them as multifunctional elements where they replace the conventional building elements. With this, the economical viability of integration is met and most importantly, they become architectural components. So the possible ways of architectural integration of PV and solar thermal collector systems have been explored and analysed in the thesis with special focus made on the aesthetic part of integration. ‘Integrability’ of both the systems in terms of different integration requirements have been compared. In doing so, integration advantages of both the systems have been explored.