The urban design of distributed energy resources
Author(s)Sheehan, Travis (Travis P.)
Urban design of DERs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Distributed energy resources (DERs) are a considerable research focus for cities to reach emissions reduction goals and meet growing energy demand. DERs, consisting of local power plants and distribution infrastructure, range from urban to neighborhood scale. In optimizing neighborhood scale DERs, one of the many design decisions is a desirable mix of building types to balance energy demand through daily and annual cycles. However, real estate development drives use-mix primarily through market demand forecasts and financial value creation. The research presented here answers two questions: (1) What are the impacts of altering use-mix to conform to a desired energy profile? and (2) Can site design overcome regulatory and perceptual barriers when integrating DERs at the neighborhood scale? These questions are explored through a review of existing incentives and barriers to district energy systems - including policy, real estate, technical, and design issues. Next I identify within a test site, at the neighborhood scale, the energy and design characteristics pertinent to the research presented here. Ultimately, I propose an analysis framework to examine the energy-form-finance issues encountered when planning a neighborhood scale energy district. Using the resulting framework, I perform a sensitivity analysis that measures the financial impact of altering use-mix to balance energy loads.Finally, I propose an appropriate site design informed by the review and analysis. Recent policies like the Murton Rule in London, which offer incentives for small power plants, have increased the popularity of the neighborhood scale district energy systems. Though the literature covers financial, regulatory, and engineering aspects of these systems, few studies explore the impact of DERs on urban form at the neighborhood scale. This thesis demonstrates that issues of meeting real estate demands and power demands can be resolved elegantly if one approaches the problem holistically.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture; and, (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2012.MIT Institute Archives copy: missing pages 99-100.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 113-115).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning., Architecture.