Date of Graduation

12-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Nutter, Darin W.

Abstract

The solar absorptance of a roof surface directly affects the solar heat gain through the roof. It has been shown that buildings in hot climates benefit from roofs with low absorptance. Cold and moderate climates have received less attention in previous studies. This paper simulates the effects on annual energy use, carbon dioxide emission, and utility cost of varying the solar absorptance of warehouse and small office building roofs in a wide variety of U.S. climate zones using EnergyPlus software and the DOE Commercial Building Benchmark Models. Results show that the optimum absorptance not only depends on the climate zone, but also on the type of building in question.

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