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Title: Mitigation Options to Reduce Peak Air Temperature and Air-Conditioning Demand in the Context of a Warming Climate for a Tropical Coastal City
Abstract Air conditioning (AC) demand has recently grown to about 10% of total electricity globally, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the cooling requirement for buildings globally increases by three-fold by 2050 without additional policy interventions. The impacts of these increases for energy demand for human comfort are more pronounced in tropical coastal areas due to the high temperatures and humidity and their limited energy resources. One of those regions is the Caribbean, where building energy demands often exceed 50% of the total electricity, and this demand is projected to increase due to a warming climate. The interconnection between the built environment and the local environment introduces the challenge to find new approaches to explore future energy demand changes and the role of mitigation measures to curb the increasing demands for vulnerable tropical coastal cities due to climate change. This study presents mid-of-century and end-of-century cooling demand projections along with demand alleviation measures for the San Juan Metropolitan Area in the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico using a high-resolution configuration of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with Building Energy Model (BEM) forced by bias-corrected Community Earth Systems Model (CESM1) global simulations. The World Urban Database more » Access Portal Tool (WUDAPT) Land Class Zones (LCZs) bridge the gap required by BEM for their morphology and urban parameters. MODIS land covers land use is depicted for all-natural classes. The baseline historical period of 2008–2012 is compared with climate and energy projections in addition to energy mitigation options. Energy mitigation options explored include the integration of solar power in buildings, the use of white roofs, and high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The impact of climate change is simulated to increase minimum temperatures at the same rate as maximum temperatures. However, the maximum temperatures are projected to rise by 1–1.5 °C and 2 °C for mid- and end-of-century, respectively, increasing peak AC demand by 12.5% and 25%, correspondingly. However, the explored mitigation options surpass both increases in temperature and AC demand. The AC demand reduction potential with energy mitigation options for 2050 and 2100 decreases the need by 13% and 1.5% with the historical periods. Overall, the demand reduction potential varies with LCZs showing a high reduction potential for sparsely built (32%), and low for compact low rise (21%) for the mid-of-century period compared with the same period without mitigation options. « less
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ASME Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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