Research Output
Modelling the energy resource for buildings and the use of appropriate low carbon technologies
  This thesis investigates the feasibility of the use of Low or Zero Carbon Energy Sources (LZCES) in the built environment and the development of an innovative Integrated Renewable Energy Planner (IREP) tool. It can be divided into four main research areas; an investigation into the on-site renewable energy resource, an analysis in the building energy usage profile, a development of a decision-making tool for the rapid identification of the most appropriate LZCES option and a post occupancy monitoring and modelling of a building.
This research work details the following considerations of LZCES: passive solar space heating modelling (PSSH); performance of building integrated including solar water collector (SWH); solar photovoltaic (SPV); wind technology (WT); ground source heat pump (GSHP); tri-generation (TriG); biomass (BioH) and rainwater harvesting (RWH). Recorded Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineer (CIBSE) data from fourteen cities around the UK were used to assess the wind, solar electric, solar passive thermal, solar water thermal, ground source and rain resource.
As part of this project, an unoccupied solar house was monitored for one summer and one winter month in East Whitburn, Scotland. A detailed investigation into the effect of external temperature, irradiance and thermal mass
was conducted on building performance and indoor temperature. It was found that the estimated internal temperature simulation was between 2% to 10% different from the monitored temperature. It could be improved if the thermal mass and ventilation rate were estimated more accurately.
A collection of manufacturers' data from 10 WTs, 10 SWHs, 3 SPVs, 2 GSHPs, 2 BioHs, 3 Tries and 2 RWHs was carried out in order to test the performance of the IREP tool. Energy, economy and CO2 saving simulations were done on a number of LZCES systems. A final assessment of the number of different options and their impact on the cost, energy and CO2 saving was performed in order to assess the best combination possible.
Future development of the IREP tool may aim to assess more accurately the output of each technologies, develop a more user-friendly facade and integrate more technologies such as light pipes, earth duct, solar wall, concentrated solar power, energy storage, UTES, waste-to-energy plant, fuel cells and to extend potentially to recycled materials. Other weather data from rest of the world could make IREP usable for other project scales and countries.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    28 February 2011

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    TH Building construction

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    697 Heating, ventilating & air-conditioning


Girard, A. Modelling the energy resource for buildings and the use of appropriate low carbon technologies. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Energy resources; low carbon technologies;

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