UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Shifting the balance of energy use and health impacts across Delhi's housing stock


1 January 2015

Disparities in household energy-consumption and health risks from temperature and PM2.5 exposure in Delhi are partly driven by a largely unplanned (76%) housing sector, use of air conditioning (A/C) limited by income, a varied climate of hot summers, cool winters and a humid monsoon, and an extremely polluted ambient environment. Energy consumption is highest among the affluent planned housing whilst relevant health risks are largest within the unplanned, informally built dwellings, which are home to the urban poor. This paper investigates the potential for low-energy evaporative cooling systems to shift the balance between health risk and energy consumption across Delhi's housing stock. Four exemplar archetypes representative of the variation in the Delhi housing stock are modelled using EnergyPlus dynamic thermal modelling software - two each from the planned and the unplanned sector. Health assessment is approximated by quantifying the resulting temperature and PM2.5 exceedance times. Evaporative cooling systems reduce adverse health impacts in all archetypes, with the greatest impact observed in the unplanned sector through a reduction in excess heat exposure. Significant energy savings, of up to 50%, were made in the planned sector while consumption increased in the informal sector by around 20%. Consequently, the use of evaporative cooling across the Delhi's housing stock results in a more equitable balance of heath and energy use.

Shifting the balance of energy use and health impacts across Delhi's housing stock.

Nix, E., Das, P., Davies, M. (2014)

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