Abstract

Photovoltaic (PV) modules on building rooftops provide shade from summer heating, leading to a reduction in cooling load during hot seasons. However, PV shading also reduces passive solar heating during winter months, leading to an increase in the building heating load during cold seasons. In this study, the heat transfer performance of an enclosure formed by adjacent PV modules is analyzed for three locations in the United States, comparing the daily heat flux through rooftops for the case of a PV-shaded rooftop as well as an unshaded roof. Several result metrics are developed as part of this work, including the saved energy load (SEL), or the energy conserved by adding PV-shading to the rooftop, and the additional energy load (AEL), or the supplemental building energy required to replace shaded solar heating. Finally, this work calculates the utility factor, being the ratio of SEL and PV power output to AEL as a metric of PV effectiveness. SELs are 5.2, 6.2, and 11.7 kWh/m2 · year for Dayton, Boise, and Phoenix, respectively, while the AELs for the same locations are 1.6, 1.5, and 2.1 kWh/m2 · year. The utility factors for the same three locations are 61, 71, and 79. In general, locations with hot, non-cloudy summers and clear skies in winter see the largest utility factor. Further, it is shown that PV shading can conserve building energy during the winter months by preventing radiative losses to cold winter skies.

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