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Amasonen: A Design Proposal for a Mixed-Use Building with Integrated Solar Cells
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Amasonen : Ett gestaltningsförslag för en multifunktionell byggnad med integrerade solceller (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

With the growing energy consumption in the world today, the decreasing amount of fossil fuels and their negative impact on the environment, developments and greater use of renewable energy resources is crucial. One of the promising environmentally friendly energy resources is solar power. The technology for producing electricity from the use of solar cells is continuously developing and is growing on the market.

The objective of this master thesis is to illustrate how solar panels can be integrated into a building’s design, and what value this gives to the building. The purpose is also to give an indication of whether an integrated solar panel installation is profitable, and what is required for more building developers to invest in solar power.

A study on solar cells was conducted to gain knowledge of the different types of solar cells and systems and their possible integration into buildings. The study also included research on why solar cell installations are not more common today. Case Studies were also conducted on projects with integrated solar cells. This was done to gain an understanding of how solar panels can be used as design elements. The study was done as a systematic literature study through a qualitative method.

City and site analyses were carried out as a first step in the design process. The analyses focused on the movements, green spaces, climates, functions and architectural character of the city and site. The analyses were done to attain an impression of the environment the building would be placed in, and its requisites. These analyses were followed by volume and solar studies to come up with a building design that would fulfill the requirements of the client, while creating good areas for placement of the solar panels.

The master thesis resulted in a design proposal for a mixed-use building with integrated solar cells. The resulting two buildings are located in the outskirts of the city center of Linköping. The buildings are designed to interact with the surrounding buildings and the remaining city, while at the same time bringing something new and exciting to the mix. The buildings’ placement and height were decided by the combination of the movement of the sun over the plot, so as to create good areas for the solar panels, and the requisites of the site. The integrated solar panels are placed on the roofs and facades of the buildings. The possibilities of semitransparent solar cells in windows and glass railings is also examined. The solar panels on the roof consist of solar roof tiles and are placed on the east side of the north building’s roof and the west side of the south building’s roof. These tiles have matching roof tiles without solar cells inside, on the other side of the roofs, meaning that no difference can be seen between the two sides. The façade panels are placed to cover the entire protruding stairwells of the buildings. Panels are also placed on remaining parts of the south-east and south-west facing facades but are here placed in a pattern as though they are trickling down the walls. The panels are placed to avoid shade as shading of the panels reduces their effect. The solar cells are smooth, black, thin-film solar cells and the panels have matching glass panes that are placed were the design opted for panels, but the placement was not good out of a solar irradiation perspective.

The results of the rough calculations on the project’s solar panel installation’s profitability shows that the investment would have a payback time of approximately 15 years. This, when counting in a government support of 1.2 million kroners and the reduced cost for the building cover material that the solar panels replace. The solar panels in the design proposal are not in standard sizes. Would they have been so the investment cost would have been lower and the payback time, according to the rough calculations, would be around 10 years. The produced electricity constitutes around 60 percent of the operational electricity for the buildings. If semitransparent solar cells are included the value goes up to 80 percent. Although the produced electricity does not cover the complete electricity needs of the buildings, it still reduces the amount of bought electricity. Electricity that would most likely not come from a renewable source. The conclusion is, therefore, that an integrated solar cell installation is economically profitable. The solar panels contribute both the aesthetics of the building and building functions, as well as electricity from a renewable source. Investing in a solar cell installation also sets a good example and will lead to more investors taking a chance on solar power.

Getting more building developers to invest in solar cells systems can be done by increasing the, today lacking, knowledge of solar energy and solar cells, the process for designing and installing a solar cell system, as well as the laws regarding solar power and solar power investments. Another obstacle for solar power is the high costs of the installations. The prices on solar cells are, however, continuously dropping, because of the development in technology and the manufacturing process, as well as the growing number of manufacturers. To increase the speed of this process more building developers should invest in solar cells, as a higher demand will lead to more manufacturers, which will then lead to reduced prices. The government can also help by offering research support and for example tax subventions to make an investment in solar power seem more worthwhile.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 97
Keywords [en]
PV-cells, PV-System, Integrated Solar Cells, Renewable Energy Resources
Keywords [sv]
Integrerade Solceller, Solcellssystem, Förnybar Energi
National Category
Architecture
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69617OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-69617DiVA, id: diva2:1219857
External cooperation
Tengbom Linköping
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Architectural Engineering, master's level
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-19 Created: 2018-06-18 Last updated: 2018-06-19Bibliographically approved

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