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Journal Articles Solar Energy Year : 2018

Periodic Urban Models for Optimization of Passive Solar Irradiation

T. Vermeulen
  • Function : Author
L. Merino
  • Function : Author
C. Knopf-Lenoir
  • Function : Author
P. Villon
  • Function : Author


Urban sprawl and energy consumption issues suggest to consider how to design energy efficient dense cities. Solar radiation is a significant heat input in well insulated buildings in temperate climates. However, the solar masks generated by the surrounding buildings in dense urban areas can reduce significantly this energy gain. This paper proposes a definition of a district as a periodic urban fabric, where a given configuration of buildings, called urban cell, is repeated to represent the urban outline. It allows us to evaluate the relationship between cumulative solar potential on façades and urban shape, with solar masks that are consistent with the considered area. In this study, an evolutionary algorithm is used to explore the set of urban cells composed of a square grid of blocks of varying height. Four conditions for solar radiation are taken into account: clear sky direct radiation at the latitude of 50° North for three particular days (winter solstice, summer solstice and equinox), and annual direct and diffuse radiation based on the meteorological data of Paris, France. For each condition of solar radiation, the influence on the optimization results of the size of the area of interest and its built density is assessed. The results provide information on what are the urban shapes maximizing solar potential and give some quantitative indications on the amount of solar radiation that can be captured.
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Dates and versions

hal-02153690 , version 1 (12-06-2019)



T. Vermeulen, L. Merino, C. Knopf-Lenoir, P. Villon, Benoit Beckers. Periodic Urban Models for Optimization of Passive Solar Irradiation. Solar Energy, 2018, 162, pp.67-77. ⟨10.1016/j.solener.2018.01.014⟩. ⟨hal-02153690⟩
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