Study of Energy, Environmental, Economic and Strategic Aspects for Renewable Energy Facilities in Hong Kong

Project: Research

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The burning of fossil fuels for energy generation is the root of many serious global issues, including pollution, waste, diminishing energy resources and climate change. Renewable energy (RE) sources play an essential role in meeting the ultimate goal of replacing fossil fuels by generating sustainable, inexhaustible, clean and safe energy. Barriers to the use of RE facilities include the high initial cost, large installation space needed, and low output efficiency. An effective strategy to encourage RE use and promote building energy efficiency and conservation would be to require that a certain percentage of total building energy be generated from RE sources. Hybrid RE systems, such as photovoltaic (PV)/wind, PV/thermal and semi-transparent building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) schemes, can improve reliability, increase output power and enhance daylighting designs. Hybrid PV/thermal systems convert solar energy into electricity and useful heat. Regarding financial costs, the cost of generating electricity from wind turbines is less than that using PV schemes. Semi-transparent BIPV facades produce electricity, and contribute to daylighting schemes that reduce lighting energy expenditure and cooling requirements. Building-integrated RE facilities can offset construction costs. Grid connection to an electrical power system can eliminate the need for batteries and associated accessories. Such building energy strategies can motivate building professionals to install RE facilities to meet in-house power demands. Specific hybrid RE installations may be appropriate to particular building types. For example, semi-transparent BIPV facades integrated with proper daylighting schemes are apposite for air-conditioned office buildings. Wind turbines can cause noise and vibration problems, so hybrid PV/wind systems would be suitable for installation in low-rise buildings located in less populated areas. Hybrid PV/thermal systems are appropriate for buildings with year-round hot water demands. This research project will study the energy, environmental, financial and strategic aspects of RE facilities. Field measurement of relevant climatic factors and RE installations, including PV, solar hot water and wind turbine systems and semi-transparent BIPV facades, will be conducted in an institution. Using numerical approaches, computer simulation methods and artificial neural network (ANN) technology, the performance of such systems will be analyzed to determine total building energy consumption and optimum designs. The benefits in terms of energy, the environment and costs will be examined in detail. The findings will contribute to the establishment of a renewable and sustainable energy policy target to provide a healthy environment.


Project number9041470
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/10/093/12/12