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Energies 2013, 6(4), 1944-1960; doi:10.3390/en6041944

Evaluation and Optimization of a Traditional North-Light Roof on Industrial Plant Energy Consumption

Form-Finding Lab, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Engineering Quadrangle-E 332, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Center for Intelligent and Networked Systems, Department of Automation, Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 December 2012 / Revised: 2 March 2013 / Accepted: 6 March 2013 / Published: 3 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Buildings and Green Buildings)
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Increasingly strict energy policies, rising energy prices, and a desire for a positive corporate image currently serve as incentives for multinational corporations to reduce their plants’ energy consumption. This paper quantitatively investigates and discusses the value of a traditional north-light roof using a complete building energy simulation and optimization framework. The findings indicate that the north-light system yields positive building energy performance for several climate zones, including: (i) Humid Subtropical; (ii) Semiarid Continental; (iii) Mediterranean; and (iv) Subtropical Highland. In the Subtropical Highland climate zone, for example, the building energy consumption of a north-light roof is up to 54% less than that of a conventional flat roof. Based on these positive findings, this paper further presents an optimization framework that alters the north-light roof shape to further improve its energy performance. To quantitatively guarantee a high probability of finding satisfactory designs while reducing the computational processing time, ordinal optimization is introduced into the scheme. The Subtropical Highland case study shows further energy building consumption reduction of 26% for an optimized north-light roof shape. The presented evaluation and optimization framework could be used in designing a plant with integrated north-lights roof that aim at energy efficiency while maintaining environmental occupant comfort levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: building energy; plant; design; heating; cooling; lighting; north-light; ordinal optimization building energy; plant; design; heating; cooling; lighting; north-light; ordinal optimization

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Adriaenssens, S.; Liu, H.; Wahed, M.; Zhao, Q. Evaluation and Optimization of a Traditional North-Light Roof on Industrial Plant Energy Consumption. Energies 2013, 6, 1944-1960.

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