The architectural integration of active solar systems. Building applications in the Eastern Mediterranean region
SourceRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
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Abstract This paper investigates the different possibilities of architectural integration of active solar systems on the shell of existing buildings in traditional settlements and in existing urban centres, in Greece and on the island of Cyprus. Insolation conditions in both countries make this integration very advantageous, in terms of energy conservation, environmental protection and financial benefits. In the contemporary urban centres, building façades, under certain conditions, and especially flat roofs could easily be exploited for energy conservation applications. Furthermore, both countries have considerable building stock in traditional settlements. In these settlements, during the summer period significant increase in population is observed as a result of their intense tourism activity, which in turn results in a drastic increase in domestic hot water and power demands. Based on the above assumptions, the article investigates the different possibilities of architectural integration of active solar systems and analyses the benefits gained and the difficulties caused by the particularities of the contemporary urban fabric, highlighting, at the same time, the restrictions that apply to traditional settlements. As a result, the placement is not always the optimum option in terms of energy efficiency and power generation. Nevertheless, it presents important quantitative advantages in terms of the surfaces that could be utilised and qualitative advantages in terms of educating the general public on issues of energy conservation, renewable energy sources and sustainable development. The economic crisis, that has affected both countries, makes the need to exploit the benefits of active solar systems integration even more pronounced and desired.