Monitoring the energy-use effects of cool roofs on California commercial buildings

TitleMonitoring the energy-use effects of cool roofs on California commercial buildings
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsAkbari, Hashem, Ronnen M. Levinson, and Leo I. Rainer
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Volume37
Start Page1007
Issue10
Pagination1007-1016
Date Published10/2005
Keywordscalifornia, commercial buildings, cool roof, cool roofs, energy, envelope, Heat Island, monitoring, peak demand
Abstract

Solar-reflective roofs stay cooler in the sun than solar-absorptive roofs. Such "cool" roofs achieve lower surface temperatures that reduce heat conduction into the building and the building's cooling load. We monitored the effects of cool roofs on energy use and environmental parameters in six California buildings at three different sites: a retail store in Sacramento; an elementary school in San Marcos (near San Diego); and a four-building cold storage facility in Reedley (near Fresno). The latter included a cold storage building, a conditioning and fruit-palletizing area, a conditioned packing area, and two unconditioned packing areas.

Results showed that installing a cool roof reduced the daily peak roof surface temperature of each building by 33-42 K. In the retail store building in Sacramento, for the monitored period of 8 August-30 September 2002, the estimated savings in average air conditioning energy use was about 72 Wh/m2/day (52%). On hot days when the afternoon temperature exceeded 38 °C, the measured savings in average peak demand for peak hours (noon-5 p.m.) was about 10 W/m2 of conditioned area. In the school building in San Marcos, for the monitored period of 8 July-20 August 2002, the estimated savings in average air conditioning energy use was about 42-48 Wh/m2/day (17-18%). On hot days, when the afternoon temperature exceeded 32 °C, the measured savings in average peak demand for hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. was about 5 W/m2 of conditioned area. In the cold storage facility in Reedley, for the monitored period of 11 July-14 September 2002, and 11 July-18 August 2003, the estimated savings in average chiller energy use was about 57-81 Wh/m2/day (3-4%). On hot days when the afternoon temperature exceeded 38 °C, the measured savings in average peak-period demand (average cooling-power demand during peak demand hours, typically noon-6 p.m.) was about 5-6 W/m2 of conditioned area.

Using the measured data and calibrated simulations, we estimated savings for similar buildings installing cool roofs in retrofit applications for all 16 California climate zones. For similar retail stores in climate zones 2 and 4-16, installing a cool roof can save about 6-15 kWh/m2/year of conditioned area. In climate zones 2-16, estimates of average peak demand savings for hours noon-5 p.m. range from 2.9 to 5.8 W/m2. For similar school buildings in climate zones 2-16, installing a cool roof can save from 3 to 6 kWh/m2/year of conditioned roof area. For all 16 climate zones estimates of average peak demand savings for hours noon-5 p.m. range from 2.6 to 3.8 W/m2. In similar cold storage buildings in all 16 climate zones, installing a cool roof can save about 4.5-7.4 kWh/m2/year of conditioned roof area. In all 16 climate zones, estimates of average peak demand savings for hours noon-5 p.m. range from 3.9 to 6.6 W/m2.

DOI10.1016/j.enbuild.2004.11.013