Many cities around the world have reached a critical situation when it comes to energy and water supply, threatening the urban sustainable development. The aim of this paper is to develop a spatial optimization model for the planning of residential urban districts with special consideration of renewables and water harvesting integration.
In particular, the paper analyses the optimal configuration of built environment area, PV area, wind turbines number and relative occupation area, battery and water harvester storage capacities, as a function of electricity and water prices. The optimization model is multi-objective which uses a genetic algorithm to minimize the system life cycle costs, and maximize renewables and water harvesting reliability.
The developed model can be used for spatial optimization design of new urban districts.It can also be employed for analyzing the performances of existing urban districts under an energy-water-economic viewpoint.Assuming a built environment area equal to 75% of the total available area, the results show that the reliability of the renewables and water harvesting system cannot exceed the 6475 and 2500 hours/year, respectively. The life cycle costs of integrating renewables and water harvesting into residential districts are mainly sensitive to the battery system specific costs since most of the highest renewables reliabilities are guaranteed through the energy storage system.