Most global energy comes from fossil fuel. Currently, there is a strong belief that climate change is anthropogenic and attributed to fossil fuel consumption. Heating and cooling systems account for half of global energy consumptions. In hot and underdeveloped countries such as Qatar, the share of air conditioning systems is expected to be even more than half the national energy consumption. This provides the challenge to study energy consumption in building sectors to find new methods to increase the performance of air conditioning systems. Up until now, renewable energy sources supply only around 2-3% of the annual global heating and cooling demand. Due to its high thermal performance, heat pump systems and in particular ground coupled heat pump systems (GCHP), are increasingly becoming more common for air conditioning applications. In the light of the improvement in performance of photovoltaic systems, the combination between the photovoltaic and HP or GCHP is gaining more economic feasibility. This paper studies renewable energy options for building cooling systems for energy and environment savings. To achieve this goal, a residential apartment in Doha, Qatar, was selected as a case study. The cooling demand of the case study was assessed and four different cooling systems were designed including: (1) air coupled heat pump system (as a reference system); (2) ground coupled heat pump; (3) air coupled heat pump combined with a photovoltaic panel to generate electricity; and (4) ground coupled heat pump combined with a photovoltaic panel to generate electricity. Compared to the reference system, the reduction in the non-renewable energy consumption and the payback time was estimated for each system.


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