Residential Housing Photovoltaic System Performance in a Northern Climate


The use of photovoltaic (PV) systems on buildings has increased in the last few decades due to decreasing price and growing concern about non-renewable energy usage. Photovoltaic technology provides renewable energy to utility grids while also reducing reliance on the grids. Several incentive, rebate and net metering programs help make PV systems more affordable. In the United States, homes account for 37% of all electricity use and 22% of all primary energy consumption. This significant impact on energy usage makes it necessary to shift toward more environmentally responsible sources of energy. Existing residential buildings can play a significant role in deploying photovoltaic technology. This study demonstrates a potential deployment of PV systems on housing in a northern climate where people usually believe that solar irradiation is insufficient to make PV systems feasible. The results show that, with available incentive programs and other system benefits, PV systems can compete with purchasing electricity from the grids. However, more incentive programs or the integration of PV systems into building skins could make the investment return more favorable.


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