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Buildings 2017, 7(3), 59;

Energy Optimized Envelope for Cold Climate Indoor Agricultural Growing Center

Department of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 March 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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This paper presents a study of the development of building envelope design for improved energy performance of a controlled indoor agricultural growing center in a cold climate zone (Canada, 54° N). A parametric study is applied to analyze the effects of envelope parameters on the building energy loads for heating, cooling and lighting, required for maintaining growing requirement as obtained in the literature. A base case building of rectangular layout, incorporating conventionally applied insulation and glazing components, is initially analyzed, employing the EnergyPlus simulation program. Insulation and glazing parameters are then modified to minimize energy loads under assumed minimal lighting requirement. This enhanced design forms a base case for analyzing effects of additional design parameters—solar radiation control, air infiltration rate, sky-lighting and the addition of phase change materials—to obtain an enhanced design that minimizes energy loads. A second stage of the investigation applies a high lighting level to the enhanced design and modifies the design parameters to improve performance. A final part of the study is an investigation of the mechanical systems and renewable energy generation. Through the enhancement of building envelope components and day-lighting design, combined heating and cooling load of the low level lighting configuration is reduced by 65% and lighting load by 10%, relative to the base case design. Employing building integrated PV (BIPV) system, this optimized model can achieve energy positive status. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), are discussed, as potential means to offset increased energy consumption associated with the high-level lighting model. View Full-Text
Keywords: building envelope design; energy performance; indoor agricultural growing center; building integrated PV building envelope design; energy performance; indoor agricultural growing center; building integrated PV

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Hachem-Vermette, C.; MacGregor, A. Energy Optimized Envelope for Cold Climate Indoor Agricultural Growing Center. Buildings 2017, 7, 59.

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