Design and Analysis of Integrated Solar Panels for Roofs of New Homes in Phoenix, Arizona

Ackerman, Jessica [Browse]
Senior thesis


Wood, Eric F. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering [Browse]
Princeton University. Program in Sustainable Energy [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
This research analyzes how the tilt and orientation of a solar panel array change the maximum amount of energy generated from incoming solar radiation. It measures the payback period for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) compared to traditional retrofitted installations and also explores the extent to which aesthetics influences a homeowner’s decision to invest in solar panels.In Phoenix, Arizona, a solar panel system built in to a roof with a tilt of 18.5° and an azimuth of 195° represents a system that comparatively generates the most amount of energy during the summer in late afternoon. This is optimal since this time is similarly the home’s daily peak electricity demand. The BIPV system examined is able to pay for itself after eight years, which performs better than the retrofitted system that pays for itself after ten. Roughly two-thirds of homeowners are not satisfied with the appearance of standard solar panel systems that are mounted on roofs using racking hardware after construction is completed. This thesis presents a design for a new roof, specifically for homes in the construction phase, that addresses these aesthetic concerns.

Supplementary Information