- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- ASME Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Abstract As a consequence of the warm and humid climate of tropical coastal regions, there is high energy demand year-round due to air conditioning to maintain indoor comfort levels. Past and current practices are focused on mitigating peak cooling demands by improving heat balances by using efficient building envelope technologies, passive systems, and demand side management strategies. In this study, we explore city-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) planning integrating information on climate, building parameters and energy models, and electrical system performance, with added benefits for the tropical coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Energy balance on normal roof, flush-mounted PV roof, and tilted PV roof are used to determine PV power generation, air, and roof surface temperatures. To scale up the application to the whole city, we use the urbanized version of the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model with the building effect parameterization (BEP) and the building energy model (BEM). The city topology is represented by the World Urban Database Access Portal Tool (WUDAPT), local climate zones (LCZs) for urban landscapes. The modeled peak roof temperature is maximum for normal roof conditions and minimum when inclined PV is installed on a roof. These trends are followed by the building air conditioning (AC) demand from urbanized WRF, maximum for normal roof and minimum for inclined roof-mounted PV. The net result is a reduced daytime Urban Heat Island (UHI) for horizontal and inclined PV roof and increased nighttime UHI for the horizontal PV roof as compared with the normal roof. The ratio between coincident AC demand and PV production for the entire metropolitan region is further analyzed reaching 20% for compact low rise and open low rise buildings due to adequate roof area but reaches almost 100% for compact high rise and compact midrise buildings class, respectively.more » « less
Rising ambient temperatures due to climate change will increase urban populations’ exposures to extreme heat. During hot hours, a key protective adaptation is increased air conditioning and associated consumption of electricity for cooling. But during cold hours, milder temperatures have the offsetting effect of reducing consumption of electricity and other fuels for heating. We elucidate the net consequences of these opposing effects in 36 cities in different world regions. We couple reduced-form statistical models of cities’ hourly responses of electric load to temperature with temporally downscaled projections of temperatures simulated by 21 global climate models (GCMs), projecting the effects of warming on the demand for electricity circa 2050. Cities' responses, temperature exposures and impacts are heterogeneous, with changes in total annual consumption ranging from
to 5.7%, and peak power demand increasing by as much as 9.5% at the multi-GCM median. The largest increases are concentrated in more economically developed mid-latitude cities, with less developed urban areas in the tropics exhibiting relatively small changes. The results highlight the important role of the structure of electricity demand: large temperature increases in tropical cities are offset by their inelastic responses, which can be attributed to lower air-conditioning penetration. $$-2.7$$
Soaring temperatures and increased occurrence of heatwaves have drastically increased air‐conditioning demand, a trend that will likely continue into the future. Yet, the impact of anthropogenic warming on household air conditioning is largely unaccounted for in the operation and planning of energy grids. Here, by leveraging the state‐of‐the‐art in machine learning and climate model projections, we find substantial increases in future residential air conditioning demand across the U.S.—up to 8% with a range of 5%–8.5% (13% with a range of 11%–15%) after anthropogenic warming of 1.5°C (2.0°C) in global mean temperature. To offset this climate‐induced demand, an increase in the efficiency of air conditioners by as much as 8% (±4.5%) compared to current levels is needed; without this daunting technological effort, we estimate that some states will face supply inadequacies of up to 75 million “household‐days” (i.e., nearly half a month per average current household) without air conditioning in a 2.0°C warmer world. In the absence of effective climate mitigation and technological adaptation strategies, the U.S. will face substantial increases in air conditioning demand and, in the event of supply inadequacies, there is increased risk of leaving millions without access to space cooling during extreme temperatures.
Extreme heat events are increasing in frequency and intensity, challenging electricity infrastructure due to growing cooling demand and posing public health risks to urbanites. In order to minimize risks from increasing extreme heat, it is critical to (a) project increases in electricity use with urban warming, and (b) identify neighborhoods that are most vulnerable due in part to a lack of air conditioning (AC) and inability to afford increased energy. Here, we utilize smart meter data from 180 476 households in Southern California to quantify increases in residential electricity use per degree warming for each census tract. We also compute AC penetration rates, finding that air conditioners are less prevalent in poorer census tracts. Utilizing climate change projections for end of century, we show that 55% and 30% of the census tracts identified as most vulnerable are expected to experience more than 16 and 32 extreme heat days per year, respectively.
In the US, more than 80% of fatal cases of heat exposure are reported in urban areas. Notably, indoor exposure is implicated in nearly half of such cases, and lack of functioning air conditioning (AC) is the predominant cause of overheating. For residents with limited capacity to purchase, maintain, and operate an AC system, or during summertime power outages, the ability of buildings to maintain safe thermal conditions without mechanical cooling is the primary protective factor against heat. In this paper, we use whole-building energy simulations to compare indoor air temperature inside archetypical single-family residential buildings without AC at the start and middle of the century in eight US cities. We ran the models using hourly output from 10 year regional climate simulations that explicitly include heating from mid-century projections of urban development and climate change under a ‘business-as-usual’ emissions scenario. Moreover, to identify the impacts from evolving construction practices, we compare different versions of building energy standards. Our analysis shows that summertime overheat time may increase by up to 25% by the middle of century. Moreover, we find that, while newer building energy codes reduce thermal comfort under moderate outdoor weather, they perform better under extreme heat.