A comparative study of the thermal and radiative impacts of photovoltaic canopies on pavement surface temperatures

Rapid urbanization of the planet is occurring at an unprecedented pace, primarily in arid and semi-arid hot climates [Golden, J.S., 2004. The built environment induced urban heat island effect in rapidly urbanizing arid regions – a sustainable urban engineering complexity. Environ. Sci. J. Integr. Environ. Res. 1 (4), 321–349]. This growth has manifested itself as a cause of various impacts including elevated urban temperatures in comparison to rural sites known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect [Oke, T.R., 1982. The energetic basis of the urban heat island. Q. J. R. Meteor. Soc. 108, 1–24]. Related are the increased demands for electric power as a result of population growth and increased need for mechanical cooling due to the UHI. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has developed a three-prong approach of (1) cool pavements, (2) urban forestry and (3) cool roofs to mitigate the UHI. Researchers undertook an examination of micro scale benefits of the utilization of photovoltaic panels to reduce the thermal impacts to surface temperatures of pavements in comparison to urban forestry. The results of the research indicate that photovoltaic panels provide a greater thermal reduction benefit during the diurnal cycle in comparison to urban forestry while also providing the additional benefits of supporting peak energy demand, conserving water resources and utilizing a renewable energy source.

Suggested citation or credit:

Jay S. Golden.  A comparative study of the thermal and radiative impacts of photovoltaic canopies on pavement surface temperatures. Solar Energy Volume 81, Pages 872–883, 2007 

Additional credits:

Joby Carlson , Kamil E. Kaloush , Patrick Phelan

Source: Solar Energy

Publication Date: July 2007

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