sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Renewable Energy Integration and Application in Buildings for Carbon Neutrality

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Building".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 7681

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Interests: renewable energy technologies and applications in buildings; fundamentals of fluid mechanics and heat/mass transfer to enhance building energy systems; engineered nanomaterial development towards energy smart building envelopes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Interests: renewable energy technologies; building energy conservation; radiative sky cooling; solar energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In view of the rapid development of renewable energy technologies and the goal of achieving Net Zero Energy Buildings as well as the growing demand for carbon neutrality, it is crucial to provide efficient renewable energy utilization technologies for building energy saving. Accordingly, papers submitted for consideration for publication in this Special Issue should advance and disseminate the body of knowledge related to renewable energy technologies integrated with green buildings to achieve sustainable, high-performance and low-energy building systems. The Special Issue aims to serve researchers, engineers, and other stakeholders to help them keep abreast of the latest development of alternative renewable energy solutions to current building practices. Acceptable topics include original reviews of past practices, advanced and up-to-date information of current interests, or exploration of new concepts pertinent to renewable energy technologies integrated with buildings. Cutting-edge renewable energy technologies in realizing net zero energy and carbon neutrality for buildings are highly encouraged so as to promote information and knowledge exchange on the frontier scientific research, and to contribute to the sustainable development of the building industry. The Special Issue covers all aspects of science and technology concerned with renewable energy development, utilization, storage, and integration with building systems. Articles related to but not limited to the following topics are encouraged to be submitted in this Special Issue:

  • Renewable energy technologies (solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, etc.) and their integration with buildings
  • Green building materials
  • Energy demand and management, and smart buildings
  • Climate responsive architectural design
  • Energy efficient building envelope and system
  • Low-energy architecture
  • Hydrogen and fuel cell technology integrated with buildings
  • Building energy systems, conservation, and generation
  • Economics of green building and cost models/methods
  • Emerging technologies for sustainable facilities and infrastructure
  • Full-spectrum solar energy utilization in buildings
  • Thermal and electrical energy storage systems
  • Radiative sky cooling technologies integrated with buildings
  • Energy sharing and trading among building sectors

Note that papers should be within the scope of the “Renewable energy, sustainable buildings and carbon neutrality” and the submitted papers are encouraged to address the connections between renewable energy applications and sustainable buildings.

Prof. Dr. Lin Lu Vivien
Dr. Jianheng Chen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • renewable energy
  • building energy
  • energy efficiency
  • energy storage
  • green buildings
  • building envelope
  • energy flexibility and management
  • sustainable infrastructure
  • carbon neutrality

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

17 pages, 4478 KiB  
Article
Investigation of the Energy-Saving Potential of Buildings with Radiative Roofs and Low-E Windows in China
by Lin-Rui Jia, Qing-Yun Li, Jie Yang, Jie Han, Chi-Chung Lee and Jian-Heng Chen
Sustainability 2024, 16(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16010148 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 614
Abstract
This study develops a model for buildings with a cooling roof, walls, and low-emissivity (Low-E) windows. This model is verified through experimental analysis. The cooling demands of standard buildings and cooling buildings are compared, and the energy-saving potentials of cooling buildings are analysed. [...] Read more.
This study develops a model for buildings with a cooling roof, walls, and low-emissivity (Low-E) windows. This model is verified through experimental analysis. The cooling demands of standard buildings and cooling buildings are compared, and the energy-saving potentials of cooling buildings are analysed. It is found that compared to standard buildings, cooling buildings exhibit superior cooling performances attributable to the application of cooling materials. Considering Hong Kong’s weather data, the indoor temperature of cooling buildings can be sub-ambient. The cooling demands of cooling buildings are decreased from 75 W/m2 to 30 W/m2, indicating a 60% energy-saving potential. The nationwide cooling demand for a standard building across China is approximately 95.7 W/m2, whereas the nationwide summer average cooling demand for cooling buildings is 52.7 W/m2. Moreover, the cooling performance of a cooling roof is adversely affected by hot and humid weather conditions, resulting in lower temperature drops in southern regions compared to northern regions. However, the nationwide temperature drop across China can still be 1.6 °C, demonstrating promising cooling potentials. For the Low-E windows, the temperature can also be sub-ambient, with a nationwide average temperature drop of 1.7 °C. Therefore, the use of Low-E windows across China can also significantly contribute to energy savings for indoor cooling. Overall, the results of this study show that cooling buildings have high energy-saving potential under various climates. The proposed model can provide a reliable tool to facilitate relevant cooling evaluation by stakeholders, thereby benefiting the popularization of this technology. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 8964 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of the Heat Transfer Characteristics of Medium-Shallow Borehole Ground Heat Exchangers with Various Working Fluids
by Kexun Wang, Tishi Huang, Wenke Zhang, Zhiqiang Zhang, Xueqing Ma and Leyao Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12657; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612657 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Medium-shallow borehole ground heat exchangers (BGHEs) utilize a burial depth ranging from 200 to 600 m. The heat exchange capacity of a single medium-shallow BGHE is higher than that of a single shallow BGHE. Compared to medium-deep BGHEs, the cost of medium-shallow BGHEs [...] Read more.
Medium-shallow borehole ground heat exchangers (BGHEs) utilize a burial depth ranging from 200 to 600 m. The heat exchange capacity of a single medium-shallow BGHE is higher than that of a single shallow BGHE. Compared to medium-deep BGHEs, the cost of medium-shallow BGHEs is lower, and both heating and cooling can be achieved, while the former can only be used for heating. However, there is a relative lack of research on the heat transfer characteristics of medium-shallow BGHEs, especially on the influence of the working fluid type on the heat transfer performance of BGHEs. This study aimed to investigate the impact of different working fluids on the performance of medium-shallow BGHEs. First, a heat transfer model for medium-shallow BGHEs was established considering the ground temperature gradient and geothermal heat flow, and its accuracy was validated using experimental test data. Second, the model was used to compare and analyze the effects of various working fluids on the heat transfer performance, pressure loss, and potential environmental benefits of BGHEs. Based on economic analysis, CO2 was determined to be the most suitable working fluid among the organic fluids considered. Finally, the influence of the number of boreholes and the type of working fluid on the heat transfer performance of borehole clusters consisting of 2 and 4 boreholes was analyzed using the superposition principle. The results indicated that CO2 could provide the highest heat transfer among the various working fluids selected in this study, as its heat extraction and heat dissipation were approximately 15% and 12% higher than those achieved by water. Isobutane (R600a) achieved the highest net heat and emission reduction, surpassing water by 66.7% and 73.6%, respectively. Regarding the four boreholes, the outlet temperature of the BGHEs gradually decreased at the end of each heating season. After 10 years of operation, the value decreased by approximately 2 °C. The results in this paper provide a theoretical basis and technical guidance for the rational selection of working fluids and improvements in the heat transfer performance of BGHEs, which could promote the development and application of medium-shallow geothermal energy sources. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 4454 KiB  
Article
Performance Evaluation of High-Rise Buildings Integrated with Colored Radiative Cooling Walls in a Hot and Humid Region
by Jianheng Chen, Lin Lu, Linrui Jia and Quan Gong
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12607; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612607 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Radiative sky cooling is an appealing form of heat exchange between terrestrial objects and outer space through thermal radiation, which is attracting worldwide interest due to its nature as passive cooling, that is, cooling without consuming energy. Due to a recent breakthrough in [...] Read more.
Radiative sky cooling is an appealing form of heat exchange between terrestrial objects and outer space through thermal radiation, which is attracting worldwide interest due to its nature as passive cooling, that is, cooling without consuming energy. Due to a recent breakthrough in material science, sub-ambient daytime radiative sky cooling has been effectively achieved, which has significantly stimulated research interest in this field. In view of the numerous radiative coolers being reported as having excellent spectral properties and cooling ability under sunlight, integrating these superb cooling materials into building skins is a promising route to implementing radiative sky cooling technology. To this end, this study deploys state-of-the-art colored radiative cooling coatings as a new retrofitting strategy for building walls, and then conducts a comprehensive performance evaluation by considering a high-rise building situated in the hot-humid city of Hong Kong. Potential benefits of implementing differently colored cooling wall strategies, including their performance regarding thermal insulation, energy savings, economic viability, and environmental sustainability, were thoroughly investigated. The obtained results elucidate that for the utilization of the porous P(VdF-HFP)-based bilayer wall, relative to the monolayer, the frequency of the wall temperature exceeding the surrounding environment on an annual basis can be further reduced by up to 4.8%, and the yearly savings in cooling electricity vary from 855.6 to 3105.6 kWh (0.4–1.5%) with an average of 1692.4 kWh. Besides this, the yearly savings in net electricity cost vary from 1412.5 to 5127.3 HKD and the reduction in carbon emissions ranges from 1544.4 to 5606.1 kg with an average of 3055.0 kg. In addition, discussions of the combination of the super-cool roof strategy with blue porous polymer-based cooling walls reveal that the achievable savings in terms of energy costs and reductions in carbon emissions are 1.6 and 2.2 times more than either the application of the super-cool roof or porous polymer bilayer walls alone, respectively. This research offers new understandings of the deployment of colored cooling coatings on vertical building façades in hot and humid regions, which can considerably facilitate the realization of low-energy buildings in a passive approach for stakeholders. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 9579 KiB  
Article
Design Selection Method of Exhaust Air Heat Recovery Type Indirect Evaporative Cooler
by Chunmei Guo, Yu Li, Xianli Li, Ruxue Bai and Chuanshuai Dong
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7371; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097371 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1038
Abstract
In order to promote the engineering application of indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) in the field of building air conditioning, as well as reduce air conditioning energy consumption and carbon emissions, this paper proposes a fresh air unit using indirect evaporative cooling to achieve [...] Read more.
In order to promote the engineering application of indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) in the field of building air conditioning, as well as reduce air conditioning energy consumption and carbon emissions, this paper proposes a fresh air unit using indirect evaporative cooling to achieve heat recovery from exhaust air, which gives the recommended values of air and spray water operation parameters. The indirect evaporative cooler heat and mass transfer mathematical model and numerical solution procedure were made. In summer outdoor design conditions, the fresh air outlet state parameters, cooling capacity, fresh air cooling load, wet bulb efficiency and enthalpy efficiency were numerically solved for thirty typical cities from five climate zones of China. In addition, also based on the model results for the cities in China, two representative operating conditions points of medium and high humidity were selected. Eight models of fresh air unit coolers in the air volume range of 1000–10,000 m3/h commonly used in engineering were simulated to obtain the optimal heat transfer area and size selection of ERIEC heat exchangers for fresh air units, and economic analysis was performed. The results show that the wet bulb efficiency ranges from 0.67–0.98, and increases as the outdoor design wet bulb temperature decreases; the enthalpy efficiency ranges from 0.76–1.29, and increases as the outdoor design wet bulb temperature increases; and the fresh air load that the exhaust air heat recovery type indirect evaporative cooler can bear ranges from 55–100%, which could largely decrease the cold load of the matched surface cooler. As demonstrated, the energy-saving effect is remarkable. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 7769 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of the Ca(OH)2/CaO Thermochemical Heat Storage Process in an Internal Heating Fixed-Bed Reactor
by Jun Yan, Lei Jiang and Changying Zhao
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7141; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097141 - 25 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1157
Abstract
Using a Ca(OH)2/CaO thermochemical heat storage system is an effective way to promote the utilization of renewable energy. However, poor thermal conductivity restricts the application of a widely used fixed-bed reactor. To improve the heat storage rate, the internal heating mode, [...] Read more.
Using a Ca(OH)2/CaO thermochemical heat storage system is an effective way to promote the utilization of renewable energy. However, poor thermal conductivity restricts the application of a widely used fixed-bed reactor. To improve the heat storage rate, the internal heating mode, which heats the reactant via the internal heating tube instead of the external wall, was adopted, and the heat storage process in the fixed-bed reactor was investigated numerically. The results show that the number and location of tubes have a significant impact on heat storage performance. Compared with the external wall heating mode, the optimized scheme of six internal heating tubes can shorten the reaction time by 21.78%. The temperature and reaction extent distribution reveal that as the reaction proceeds, the optimized scheme has a higher temperature and reaction extent. Additionally, the effects of different conditions, such as solid particle porosity, wall temperature, outlet pressure, and solid particle size, were also analyzed. The study demonstrates that increases in solid particle porosity, wall temperature, and solid particle size as well as a decrease in outlet pressure can improve the heat storage rate. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 6174 KiB  
Article
Multi-Objective Optimization of Integrated Solar-Driven CO2 Capture System for an Industrial Building
by Yongting Shen and Hongxing Yang
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010526 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1889
Abstract
Industrial CO2 emission, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total CO2 emission, is a “hard-to-abate” emission sector, owing to the longstanding challenge in reducing CO2 emission while not sacrificing industry economics. Herein, this research proposes an integrated solar-driven CO [...] Read more.
Industrial CO2 emission, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total CO2 emission, is a “hard-to-abate” emission sector, owing to the longstanding challenge in reducing CO2 emission while not sacrificing industry economics. Herein, this research proposes an integrated solar-driven CO2 capture system for application in industrial buildings to decarbonize factories’ CO2-rich exhaust gas generated from workers or manufacturing processes, and further conducts multi-objective optimization based on the NSGA-II algorithm. By setting the integrated system’s performances, including captured CO2 mass, net levelized CO2 cost-profit, generated electricity, and exergy efficiency, as the constrained multi-objectives, the effects of system working parameters on them are disentangled and articulated concerning the energy-mass balance principles. Research demonstrates that the captured CO2 mass mainly depends on solar radiation and sorbent mass, net levelized CO2 cost on sorbent mass, and exergy efficiency on the total solar input. For capturing the CO2 from a light-CO2-intensity factory with CO2 partial pressure of 1000 Pa by using 6.0 tons of Zeolite 13X, a CO2 capacity of 0.79 mol/kg, levelized CO2 cost of 128.4 USD/ton, and exergy efficiency of 5–10% can be achieved. Furthermore, sensitivity and scenario analysis are conducted to demonstrate the system’s stability and feasibility. Overall, this work provides comprehensive and objective-oriented guidance for policymakers and industry owners and paves the way for greening the ever-increasing industry needs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop