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Assessment of the role of energy storage in construction mass in optimising yields from passive and active solar technologies in housing using laboratory validated dynamic thermal simulation design tools

  • Supervisor: Prof. Susan Roaf (REALL design / Heriot-Watt University)
  • Sponsor Company: IES Virtual Environment
  • PhD Student: Kevin Bowe

Current Standards and Guidelines simply require designers and developers to adopt on-site low and zero carbon generation of electricity from a range of renewables but studies have shown a 200% variation in domestic energy consumption, depending on controls and behaviours in identical buildings.  In modelling such building integrated systems there is no consideration of the maximum and minimal energy gains that can be accrued from the technologies if they take advantage of the storage inherent in different building types. 

Using the case study of the Riccarton Ecovillage and Living Laboratory (REALL) this PhD will develop:

  • Accurate commercial modelling tools that are capable of incorporating thermal storage into optimised energy supply and demand systems for occupied buildings with different levels of thermal mass using different solar technologies, in a detailed, robust and verified manner.
  • An understanding by designers, modellers, developers and policy makers of the potential role of building-integrated thermal storage systems used with combinations of solar technologies.
  • A real and a virtual test facility, in which carbon emission reduction optimisation strategies using complex combinations of energy supply, demand, storage and occupant behaviour can be interrogated and improved.