Date of Award
Master of Science in Engineering Management
Department of Systems Engineering and Management
Brent T. Langhals, PhD
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the largest consumer of energy within the Department of Defense (DoD). As such, the USAF is continually looking for ways to reduce consumption, as well improving network resiliency and assuring supply. One potential method for addressing these items is focusing on applications of renewable energy. A specific application of renewable energy that could greatly benefit the USAF if viable would be photovoltaic (PV) pavements. PV pavements would be able to capitalize upon the large swathes of pavements on Air Force (AF) installations, while not being hampered by other concerns such as clear zones for aircraft. One way to evaluate viability of a technology is through analyzing cost-effectiveness. While initial efforts were not directly focused on cost-effectiveness, the information gathered helped pave the way for such an analysis. Specifically, previous researchers at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) designed and implemented an experimental system for collecting performance data on horizontally oriented PV panels. Data was collected from 38 sites worldwide for a time period of up to one year. Five installations were then selected from the 38 original sites to utilize in determining cost-effectiveness. As part of evaluating cost-effectiveness, average power generation values were determined from the data. This information, along with pavement construction costs, helped form the basis of developing a model to evaluate life cycle costs for PV pavements. The model was then applied to each installation a total of 60 times to evaluate individual effectiveness. At the worst-case cost of construction for PV pavements, $460/SM, none of the installations evaluated would be able to consider installation PV pavements a viable alternative to traditional asphalt pavements.
Parks, Ian N., "Analyzing Cost Effectiveness of Photovoltaic Pavements" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 3251.