Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emission Assessment of Conventional and Solar Assisted Air Conditioning Systems

Xiaofeng Li; Vladimir Strezov
November 2015
Sustainability (2071-1050);2015, Vol. 7 Issue 11, p14710
Academic Journal
Energy consumption in the buildings is responsible for 26% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions where cooling typically accounts for over 50% of the total building energy use. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential for reducing the cooling systems' environmental footprint with applications of alternative renewable energy source. Three types of cooling systems, water cooled, air cooled and a hybrid solar-based air-conditioning system, with a total of six scenarios were designed in this work. The scenarios accounted for the types of power supply to the air-conditioning systems with electricity from the grid and with a solar power from highly integrated building photovoltaics (BIPV). Within and between these scenarios, systems' energy performances were compared based on energy modelling while the harvesting potential of the renewable energy source was further predicted based on building's detailed geometrical model. The results showed that renewable energy obtained via BIPV scenario could cover building's annual electricity consumption for cooling and reduce 140 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. The hybrid solar air-conditioning system has higher energy efficiency than the air cooled chiller system but lower than the water cooled system.


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