Paper Conference

Proceedings of uSim Conference 2022: 3rd uSim Conference of IBPSA-Scotland



Omprakash Ramalingam Rethnam, Albert Thomas

Abstract: The target of achieving net-zero emissions by the mid-century set in the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow demands the formulation of many innovative policies related to sustainability worldwide. In developing countries such as India, 74% of the country's greenhouse emissions is is accounted to the energy sector. A significant recipient of the supplied energy is the building sector consuming more than one-third of the country's total energy consumption. Although there are many existing policies such as the India Integrated Energy policy, building codes such as the energy conservation building code, and other rating manuals such as the Indian Green Building rating system, the focus of these existing standards is mainly on accomplishing energy efficiency in individual buildings. To achieve the stringent net zero targets for the building sector, exploring the energy dynamics of community-based renewable energy adoption is essential, especially in a developing country perspective, where space availability is a concern. Therefore, there is a strong need to implement various policies and recommendations from standards on a community/city scale to support the journey towards net-zero emissions in the coming decades. This study develops a framework with focus on a community-based energy analysis approach, where the theme of net-zero energy consumption is decentralized in parcels by focusing on residential building communities. The framework developed is then used to explore the feasibility of community-solar rooftops where the solar energy generated on the rooftop of one building is shared with other buildings within the same premises, thus offsetting the inadequacy of some existing buildings to cater to the renewable energy installations onsite due to space and other implementation issues. An urban building energy modelling framework is developed for a residential building community with a set of 14 individual apartment-type buildings in the city of Mumbai, India. Further, a solar photovoltaic (P.V.) assessment is carried out, and the results are validated using geospatial analysis. The study results demonstrate that out of the 14 buildings selected, not every building can meet its energy demand using rooftop solar P.V. panels. However, the rooftop potential across the building community varies between as low as 68% to as high as 236% of the individual building's total energy demand. By integrating the solar rooftops across different buildings within the building community, the effect of net-zero energy consumption as a community is achieved in this proposed study.