Energy cooperativeness of urban structures

Peter Morgenstein


An obvious characteristic feature of current architectural projects should be their energetic economy and sophistication. Such trend is in the long term run required the European Union. The architectural point of view will certainly not be sufficient to accomplish the targets of the 20-20-20 strategy envisioned for the year 2020. It will be inevitable to push the concept of the energetic economy into the urban architectural context.

The current architecture as well as urban planning aim at logical transformation that will most likely mean the alternation of principles in thinking and design compared to their development at the end of 20th century. The indispensable transformation should induce new urban basis and principles which would be in harmony with the today’s state of the world and its expected future development.

The principle of energetic cooperativeness of urban structures is one of the possible ways for rational whole-European strategy of emission reduction, energy consumption and use of renewable energy resources. The principle stresses the use of locally accessible resources, above all the energy of solar radiation in its form of thermal collectors and photovoltaic cells.

The doctoral thesis research of the author is based on software simulation of the incident solar radiation to surfaces of the defined types of urban structures with the aim to examine their solar potential. The simulations are based on hourly data throughout a typical year for the locality of the city of Bratislava.  For the purpose of energetic characteristics of the researched structures, new urban indicators were introduced: a cooperative indicator describing the potential of energetic cooperation of the given structure, and a solar index expressing the structure´s relative potential of use of the solar radiation.

The partial results of the energetic cooperativeness of urban structures are presented in the table. They confirm a striking dependence of energetic consumption on demands of the end user.

Keywords: city, energy, solar energy, energy cooperation, photovoltaics, sustainability, urban design