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Analyzing Photovoltaic Potential Using a Geographic Information System: A Case Study of Prince William County Public Schools

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dc.contributor.advisor Curtin, Kevin M. Holstein, Brandy
dc.creator Holstein, Brandy 2015-04-29 2015-08-19T12:47:24Z 2015-08-19T12:47:24Z 2015-08-19
dc.description.abstract This thesis researches the potential of rooftop photovoltaic installations on public school buildings using insolation maps and data created using geographic information systems. Electricity is a fundamental need; however, the environmental repercussions from the combustion of fossil fuels have led to increasing use of renewable energy sources. Utilizing renewable energy technologies at public education facilities provides unique educational opportunities through public demonstration projects, field trials, and enhanced curriculum, in addition to reducing pollutants and providing a measure of energy security. The flat-roofed middle school and high school buildings in Prince William County, Virginia are ideally suited for harnessing solar power, and each building is analyzed using the Solar Analyst extension in ArcGIS to calculate incoming global solar radiation using atmospheric parameters observed in nearby Sterling, Virginia. This quantitative analysis combined with qualitative information from Prince William County Public Schools identifies Parkside Middle School and Potomac High School as the most appropriate sites for photovoltaic systems. The findings of this research: a) demonstrate the ability of Solar Analyst to model insolation over a complex topography; b) investigate insolation results from location-specific parameters and over different time periods; and c) identify prospective public school locations in Prince William County for distributed generation photovoltaic installations.
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject photovoltaic en_US
dc.subject solar analyst en_US
dc.subject insolation en_US
dc.subject public school en_US
dc.subject distributed generation en_US
dc.title Analyzing Photovoltaic Potential Using a Geographic Information System: A Case Study of Prince William County Public Schools en_US
dc.type Thesis en Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy en_US Master's en Environmental Science and Policy en George Mason University en

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