Assessment of net energy contribution to buildings by rooftop photovoltaic systems in hot-humid climates

Ammar H.A. Dehwah, Muhammad Asif*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)
305 Downloads (Pure)


The study aims to investigate the overall impact of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems on the energy performance of residential buildings in hot-humid climates. The study area spans over 100 km2 encompassing 33,000 residential units in the city of Al-Khobar in Saudi Arabia. It examines the restrictions towards the utilizability of building rooftops for PV application. The total building rooftop area and its corresponding PV output at the urban scale level has been estimated with the help of geographic information systems and PV simulation tools. The secondary contribution by PV in terms of heat gain reduction has also been investigated through EnergyPlus simulation engine. It is found that villas and apartment buildings respectively offer 21% and 28% of their rooftops for PV application. Results suggest that solar PV can offset 19% of the electricity demand when 25% of the building roof is utilized, in addition to a cooling load reduction of 2% due to the shading effect of panels. For the total study area, the annual electricity generation potential for tilted and flat application of PV with the existing roofs conditions turns out to be 797 GWh and 757 GWh respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1299
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable Energy
Early online date24 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • solar energy
  • buildings
  • PV
  • urban scale
  • rooftop
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Rooftop
  • Buildings
  • Solar energy
  • Urban scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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