To improve the energy efficiency of dwellings, rooftop photovoltaic (PV) technology is proposed in contemporary designs; however, adopting this technology will add a new component to the roof that may affect its thermal balance. This paper studies the effect of roof shading developed by solar PV panels on dwellings’ thermal performance. The analysis in this work is performed by using two types of software packages: “AccuRate Sustainability” for rating the energy efficiency of a residential building design, and “PVSYST” for the solar PV power system design. AccuRate Sustainability is used to calculate the annual heating and cooling load, and PVSYST is used to evaluate the power production from the rooftop PV system. The analysis correlates the electrical energy generated from the PV panels to the change in the heating and cooling load due to roof shading. Different roof orientations, roof inclinations, and roof insulation, as well as PV dwelling floor areas, are considered in this study. The analysis shows that the drop in energy efficiency due to the shaded area of the roof by PV panels is very small compared to the energy generated by these panels. The analysis also shows that, with an increasing number of floors in the dwelling, the effect of shading by PV panels on thermal performance becomes negligible. The results show that insensitivity of the annual heating and cooling load to the thermal resistance of rooftop solar systems is only because the total thermal resistance is dominated by roof insulation.
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