Passive cooling systems for buildings in the Marrakesh region

Published by Brahim BENHAMOU

In Morocco, the operating power cost of air conditioning systems for buildings may account for more than 30% of the total power bill.  Furthermore, the impact of air conditioners usage on electricity demand is an important problem as peak electricity load increases continuously, forcing the National Electricity Authority  to build additional plants. In parallel, serious environmental problems are associated with the use of air conditioning. In the Moroccan traditional way of life, people developed empirical solutions (architectural, but also behavioral) to reach a minimal level of thermal comfort. However the rapid growth of income induces higher comfort requirements, which is mostly achieved through the use of electric air-conditioning equipment, especially in modern houses. This leads to a significant increase in energy consumption and consequently in greenhouse gas emission.

This project aims to study the use of passive and hybrid systems in buildings for natural refreshment and heating. The project also focuses on the building envelope in order to point out the synergy between an adapted envelope and the use of the passive/hybrid systems for cooling/heating. Specifically, two existing buildings with some solar passive systems for cooling/heating will be monitored and simulated. One of these building is a residential one, while the second is an office building. In the second part of the present project, the passive systems for cooling/heating will be tested individually in a test-cell. The response of these systems will be also calculated by means of dynamic transient software. The comparison of the monitoring results and the dynamic calculations will produce an efficient and well-validated simulation tool. This tool may be used for in order to design energetically efficient buildings in an arid climate such as that of Marrakech. The final objective, of this project is to accompany the national energy efficiency strategy and the elaboration of the building energy efficiency code.

Contact: Prof. Brahim Benhamou, Project Leader,

Moderated by : Sylvain Bosquet

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