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Potential and feasibility of PV for commercial buildings in Norway and its effect on building certification schemes

Hammer, Harald (2014) Potential and feasibility of PV for commercial buildings in Norway and its effect on building certification schemes. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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With climate change and increasing energy consumption there is a need for a change from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Norway has adopted both the emissions reduction goals of the Kyoto Protocol and from EU directives, and an EU directive that targets energy use in commercial buildings. Because the energy prices are rising and the costs of PV are decreasing, PV is becoming an interesting alternative to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings and as means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commercial buildings. Building certification schemes are also giving the building sector incentives to reduce the environmental impact of buildings. In this thesis building certification using Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is considered.

In the thesis, a case study in Oslo is used to quantify the potential for PV on commercial buildings in Norway, the feasibility of PV, emissions reduction by reducing energy demand from commercial buildings using PV, and PV's potential contribution on improving a commercial buildings BREEAM certification. The potential is determined by using a specific load provided to the case study based on the building's requirements to achieve goals of delivered energy based on the EU directive and Norwegian legislation on energy consumption of commercial buildings.

The solar resource of Oslo is determined for the different facades and roof according to their azimuthal angles and panel inclination using measured solar resource data. Using the adjusted solar resource values, the size of the PV system and inverters to meet the load for the worst case scenario is determined, an increase of the load by 25 % and 50 % is also considered. The determined system sizes are simulated in HOMER for an average year to determine the average energy production from the systems and to determine the feasibility of the systems. Using the average yearly performance the system's contribution to emissions reduction and to BREEAM certification is determined.

The thesis concludes that there is potential for PV on commercial buildings to meet a yearly load, but not a continuous load. PV systems are not feasible due to low irradiance and high system prices. The PV systems contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from commercial buildings. The contribution of building integrated PV to BREEAM rating is marginal.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Djordjevic, Sinisa
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