Modeling, Design, and Optimization of Net-Zero Energy Buildings (Solar Heating and Cooling)

Building energy design is currently going through a period of major changes. One key factor of this is the adoption of net-zero energy as a long term goal for new buildings in most developed countries. To achieve this goal a lot of research is needed to accumulate knowledge and to utilize it in practical applications. In this book, accomplished international experts present advanced modeling techniques as well as in-depth case studies in order to aid designers in optimally using simulation tools for net-zero energy building design. The strategies and technologies discussed in this book are, however, also applicable for the design of energy-plus buildings. This book was facilitated by International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Programs and the Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Programs through the joint SHC Task 40/EBC Annex 52: Towards Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings R&D collaboration.After presenting the fundamental concepts, design strategies, and technologies required to achieve net-zero energy in buildings, the book discusses different design processes and tools to support the design of net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs). A substantial chapter reports on four diverse NZEBs that have been operating for at least two years. These case studies are extremely high quality because they all have high resolution measured data and the authors were intimately involved in all of them from conception to operating. By comparing the projections made using the respective design tools with the actual performance data, successful (and unsuccessful) design techniques and processes, design and simulation tools, and technologies are identified.

Community Review  

  • Please don’t be intimidated by the seemingly daunting history of 4 centuries worth of energy innovation.
    I stared the book down for a few weeks before finally starting it, couldn’t put it down.
    It reads as small stories of inventors, industrialists, nobility, and scientists involved in the production of energy in its various forms since the 17th century. The book is complete with diagrams and illustrations from patents of even centuries past. The book starts off for the first part as a bit more technical than a person with no engineering background may like. However, one doesn’t need to truly grasp the workings of an internal combustion engine or Newcomen machine to follow along with the story. The details are there if one is so inclined.
    Richard Rhodes has a gift for finding historical facts that are missed in most public educations. He states, for instance, based on his research that George Westinghouse is actually the champion of AC (alternating current) rather than the classically taught Nikola Tesla. If one is interested in learning peculiarities and truths of important events in the development of coal, oil, petroleum, and nuclear energy then look no further. This is a fun book.
  • I feel I must defend the audio version of this most enjoyable and illuminating book on energy, a topic I would never have approached if not for the book club. The narrator’s voice is soothing as he goes into all the detail that could be overwhelming. Having fun with a Scottish brogue makes the characters more vivid. I’m a great fan of Audible which is a whole other dimension to the written word.
  • The audible version is torture to listen to. The reader speaks in a very low monotone and swallows many words and exhales as he pronouces
    others like man speaking on his deathbed, hardly enough breath left to speak and breathe at the same time. To make matters worse when he
    articulates the quotes of significant characters in the history like Watt, he lapses in an incomprehensible attempt at imitating a Scottish brogue .
    He might as well have been speaking Russian. The subject itself is interesting. I may buy the book and read it.
  • One of the most widely used forms of renewable energy is solar. In theory, it makes sense for everyone to use this technology. However, there are several factors to consider in order to determine whether or not solar power is right for you. Use the information below to help make that decision.Your home or business should receive at least five hours of direct sunlight per day to get the most from solar energy. Obviously more sun is better when it comes to solar panels, however if you get less than this solar energy can still be a viable option. If you are in an area where energy bills are sky high, solar might still save you money even if you don’t have the optimal sun exposure.Panels that are easily rotated have the best efficiency. If you must have fixed angle panels, compromise in the middle for the best possible angles for winter and summer.Find a reputable company. With the rapidly rising popularity of solar energy, new companies are springing up left and right to take advantage. A solar energy installation is a big purchase that should last you many years. When shopping for your system, look for a company that you can be confident will still be around ten or even twenty years from now.You can depend on solar panels. They don’t have moving pieces, so when you buy a system, you can rest assured that you will not have to fix anything or buy any new parts. It takes very little effort on your part to create enough energy to power your home, making these systems a very attractive option for most people.Try to maximize the sun exposure with the alignment of your panels. To figure out where to place your panels, you may need to keep an eye on the sun’s path each day, and think about if this will change in a different season.Look into solar powered appliances. There are a number of products that are available that are powered by solar energy. One of the most popular is the solar powered water heaters. Just having one appliance run by solar energy can save you hundreds of dollars each year in energy costs.As was mentioned in the beginning of this article, solar energy seems like it would make sense for everyone. However, having read this article, you should now understand that there are some cases where solar energy simply isn’t worth it. Use the information above when trying to decide whether or not solar energy is a viable option for you.

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