Nonlinear benefit-cost optimization-based selection of insulation material and window type: a case study in Turkey
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CitationUctug, F. G., & Agrall, S. (November 01, 2017). Nonlinear benefit-cost optimization-based selection of insulation material and window type: A case study in Turkey. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 9, 6.)
In this study, we maximize the energy savings of a hypothetical household by choosing an optimal insulation material with its optimal thickness and also the optimal window type. We develop a nonlinear mixed integer optimization model that maximizes the net present value of the benefits obtained by insulation over the lifespan of the house. Savings are calculated based on the gains from the electricity usage for air conditioning during cooling-required days and the fuel usage for heaters in heating-required days. The heat transfer calculations consider conductive, convective, and radiative components simultaneously. The optimization model takes the climate conditions of the region where the house is located, the consumer's desired indoor temperature, and the properties of the insulation options; then, it returns a combination of selected insulation materials with its optimum thickness and window type as output. We applied the optimization model developed to hypothetical houses in four different climatic regions of Turkey for different lifespans. For all reasonable lifespans, the model choses stonewool as the ideal insulation material. For high interest rates, single windows or double-glazed windows are preferable, but as the interest rate decreases and the net present value of the energy-savings increases, the model prefers triple-glazed windows as the ideal material. Erzurum, a city in climatic region 4, characterized by very cold winters and cool summers, was found to require the highest optimum insulation thickness, and the economic return resulting from the above-mentioned energy-saving actions was also found to be the highest in the case of Erzurum. In all the regions, the energy-saving investments were found to be feasible via applying the feasibility assessment techniques of net present value and payback period. The model developed in this study is applicable to any household as long as the required input data are available. Published by AIP Publishing.