Date of Award

2009

Degree Name

Geography

College

College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree

M.S.

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Anita Walz

Second Advisor

Kevin Law,

Third Advisor

Joshua Hagen

Abstract

Solar panels are one of the fastest growing renewable energy technologies. This study aims to identify to what extent roof-mounted solar panels can reduce the need of power provided by Appalachian Power Company. Data from the Reliability First Corporation was employed to determine the individual average household power usage. Three study areas in Huntington, West Virginia, were selected to determine if solar panels could be implemented. Roofs in the study areas were digitized to calculate the available area. Based on the average household usage, four different sized photovoltaic systems were determined. Potential power production was computed to identify any offset of consumption from the power grid. The average household roof size is sufficient to sustain a solar panel system that provides 75% or more of the required energy.

Subject(s)

Geographic information systems.

Photovoltaic power system - Research.

Solar energy - Research.

Solar energy - Huntington, West Virginia - Research.