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Alrashed, F A (2015) Design and application of zero-energy homes in Saudi Arabia, Unpublished PhD Thesis, School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment , Glasgow Caledonian University.
- Type: Thesis
- Keywords: energy consumption; population; renewable energy; residential; Saudi Arabia; stakeholders; survey; sustainability
- URL: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.688317
Saudi Arabia faces severe energy and environmental challenges as the annual demand for electricity grows at a rate of 6% and the country is ranked amongst the highest in the world in terms of per capita electricity consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The residential sector in Saudi Arabia needs to play a vital role to address these challenges as it accounts for over 50% of the total national electricity consumption. Official forecasts suggest that to meet the demands of growing population, the country needs to build 230 thousand new homes annually through to 2020. Zero Energy Homes (ZEHs) can be an appropriate solution to promote sustainability in the residential sector. A ZEH is a residential building with greatly reduced energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy needs can be supplied with renewable technologies. This research aims to investigate the technical and economic viability of ZEHs in Saudi Arabia taking into account the five inhabited climatic zones represented by major cities: Dhahran, Guriat, Riyadh, Jeddah and Khamis Mushait. The work also incorporates three different questionnaire based surveys targeting consumers as well as wide ranging building industry stakeholders receiving 453 and 122 responses from them respectively. The results of the first two surveys helped identify challenges and opportunities for developing ZEHs in the country. The third one investigated the existing energy consumption trends and practices in the residential sector by examining the monthly electricity bills for 115 dwellings for one full year. With the help of these survey results, a typical home as desired by Saudi nationals was designed and simulated using Integrated Environmental Solutions <Virtual Environment>. The modelling work was validated by energy consumption data from the third survey and a set of measured as well as predicted energy models developed by other researchers. From the range of ZEHs that have been developed around the world, this work identified and examined five as case studies for their performance, each representing a set of climatic conditions similar to those in the main Saudi climatic zones. The results revealed that the ZEHs are adaptable in all of the five climatic zones of Saudi Arabia. Through incorporating appropriate sustainable design features, energy-efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies the typical home was transformed into a ZEH to examine its technical and economic viability. The Benefit-Cost Ratio approach was employed to ensure the cost-effectiveness of the ZEH. Solar photovoltaic (PV) was found to be the right renewable technology to meet the energy needs of these homes. The annual electricity consumption for the designed ZEH in the regions of Dhahran, Guriat, Riyadh, Jeddah, Khamis Mushait was calculated to be 68 kWh/m^, 66 kWh/m^, 65 kWh/m^, 86 kWh/m^, and 43 kWh/m^ while the needed solar PV capacity was determined to be 21.0 kW, 16.1 kW, 15.6 kW, 20.6 kW, and 8.9 kW respectively.