The design and performance of building-scale distributed energy generation in Houston, TX
Sanchez, Roque Tomas
Alvarez, Pedro J.
Master of Science
The expansion of worldwide energy demands, coupled with the fragility of electricity distribution grids, has sparked interest in building-scale distributed solar energy production. To further research into the barriers and challenges of residential grid-intertied solar photovoltaic electrical production, the U.S. Department of Energy founded the U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon. Through the 2009 U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon, the challenges of solar PV design and system performance were explored for the affordable-housing market of Houston, TX. Energy demand and production modeling techniques were used to inform the design of the prototype, the Zero-Energy Row House (ZEROW), and techniques for cost reduction and simplification of power generation systems were employed in the pursuit of archiving grid-parity solar electrical production as the household level. Preliminary ZEROW system design, performance, and challenges are discussed, as well as directions for future research.
Alternative energy; Environmental engineering