Analyzing the Impact of Outside Temperature on Energy Consumption and Production Patterns in High-Performance Research Buildings in Arizona


The intimate relationship between energy consumption and climate change demands attention. More energy will be needed to run cooling systems if the annual global temperature continues to rise. The urban heat island would also increase the demand for cooling. As global energy demand continues to grow, the utility sector would face a continuous increase in energy demand. Studies in several countries have shown mostly nonlinear relationships between outside ambient temperature and electricity consumption, whereas other studies have suggested the absence of such relationships among high-performance buildings. However, these studies were based on aggregate data from entire cities and/or countries (indirect relationships) and were not based on real-time data (direct relationships). This study uses continuous real-time data from four high-performance research buildings and presents the results from a set of correlations and regression analyses between several variables, i.e., outside temperature, heat index, electricity consumption, and the production of solar energy. The authors found no relationship between electricity use and outdoor temperature, and between electricity use and heat index. Conversely, the efficiency of the production of solar energy was affected negatively by higher outdoor temperatures.

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Journal of Architectural Engineering