Solar energy systems installed on Chinese-style buildings

David Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


A building-integrated solar energy system is proposed, with the panels installed such that the overall morphology resembles that of a traditional Chinese building, i.e., roofing (eaves) at each storey, in addition to that on top of the building. The panels include photovoltaic cells and solar thermal collectors, thus producing electric power as well as heating. The particular morphology provides a number of advantages, in terms of solar energy collection and shading, and their matching to temporal and locational variations in energy demand. These are in addition to the advantages of solar energy generally. Solar heating and photovoltaic power generation were calculated for a number of locations. These were compared with the space heating and air conditioning demands, respectively. The requirement for supplementary energy was calculated. Equivalent calculations for similar buildings without solar panels allowed the saving in non-solar energy to be estimated. Calculations were made for Beijing in winter, as an example of high space heating demand, for Hong Kong in summer, as an example of high air conditioning demand, and for Shanghai, as an intermediate example. These showed potential savings of up to 15% in space heating, and up to 55% in air conditioning energy demand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-392
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


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