alternative energy systems in building design pdf
In the coming decades, the alternative energy technology industries will undergo unprecedented growth and will represent a significant component of the U.S. gross national product. The replacement of conventional fossil fuel and nuclear fission energy resources by renewable-energy sources will mandate that industries, academia, and research institutions provide immediate technological solutions to curb global environmental pollution. To mitigate global environmental and atmospheric pollution and to accelerate technological growth, it is imperative that international academia keep up with industry by educating carrier professionals to meet these imminent challenges.
In the very near future, global economies will face enormous challenges that they will
need to resolve, increasing the ever-growing need for ecologically friendly renewableenergy resources. Despite its status as the economic bastion and technological leader of
the free world and the largest atmospheric polluter of our planet, the United States has in
the past few decades totally neglected the economic promotion of key alternative energy
technologies such as solar and wind energy power generation. Even though both these
technologies were invented in the United States, the nation has fallen far behind all
developing countries, including Japan, Germany, and, soon, China.
Some of the most compelling factors supporting the promotion of alternative energy studies are discussed below. They indicate that alternative energy technologies will come to represent billions of dollars of new markets in the United States and around the world. A few highlights of the alternative energy industry, covered by the Renewable Energy Laboratories and the American Solar Electric Power Association,
are as follows:
■ By 2020, California’s installed photovoltaic capacity is expected to increase 30- to
40-fold, at an average of 36 percent a year.
■ Solar power generation, by 2020, is expected to provide approximately 10–17
percent of the electricity in California, as well as 3–6 percent of electricity in the
■ Over the next 3–7 years, California’s unsubsidized solar energy cost to consumers
is expected to compete with the cost of with grid power.
■ Since 1970, the price of solar photovoltaic power has decreased 100-fold.
■ Currently, the U.S. solar industry employs 3000 men and women. By 2020, this figure
is estimated to exceed 150,000.
■ By 2020, the solar photovoltaic industry is estimated to be worth close to $27 billion
■ The national goal of the United States is to meet 10 percent peak power by 2030,
or the equivalent of 180 million barrels of oil per year.
■ State-by-state analysis shows that U.S. photovoltaic grid-connected potential in
2010 will be 2900 MW/year, and solar power will be reduced to $2.00–$2.50 per
installed watt, representing a $6.6 billion business.
■ Residential rooftop space available could accommodate 710,000 MW of solar electric
■ The Pacific and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States will account for 52 percent
of solar power installation.
■ California has the potential to accommodate 40 percent of the total building rooftop
solar power market in the United States.
■ Projections of global solar power demand for 2020 indicate that solar power energy
will be in parity with grid energy.
■ By 2020, global solar power production is expected to increase from 10 to 300 GW,
an investment that will represent approximately $500 billion.
■ Over the next decade, 20–40 GW of solar power installed globally would provide
15 percent of the annual power consumed.
■ Global polysilicon production capacity is estimated to triple within the next 5 years.
The cost of silicon ingot production may drop by as much as 50–60 percent.
■ In California, principal electric service providers are undertaking measures to integrate substantial amounts of green energy into their grids.
All these indicators suggest that alternative energy technologies, particularly the solar photovoltaic industry, in the United States and the rest of the world will be expanding at an unprecedented rate that will result in the creation of thousands of job opportunities for trained scientists, engineers, and technologists. Alternative Energy Systems in Building Design is intended primarily to be a design
reference guide for engineers, architects, scientists, management personnel, and university students. This book also can be supplemented with a teacher’s reference guide, which will allow it to be used in undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The main objective of this book is to provide readers with a pragmatic design reference manual for the design and implementation of some of the most commercially viable alternative energy technologies. In view of the unprecedented worldwide demand for solar power cogeneration systems, this book has extensive coverage of solar physics, associated technologies, and pragmatic design guidelines for professionals who must assume responsibility for all aspects of a solar power project design. Design guidelines discussed in the book reflect my personal experiences as a consulting engineer and educator.