AIMS Energy, 2019, 7(1): 31-45. doi: 10.3934/energy.2019.1.31

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Techno-economic evaluation of installing EV and PV combined infrastructure on Academic Institution’s Parking Garages in Illinois, USA

Department of Technology, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA

The need for clean energy production is increasing due to our society’s high energy consumption, decreasing fossil fuel reserves, and growing environmental issues. Implementation of renewable energy systems on university campuses would best demonstrate academic institutions’ efforts to promote sustainability. In this research study, multiple locations were assessed to determine the feasibility of installing parking canopies coupled with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and to show these two systems’ effectiveness if they are implemented together. We reviewed the trend and growing demand towards electric vehicles and examined different solar panels and mounts to find the most optimal combination for the suggested study sites. Through the data collection on the study sites and the utilization of simulation tools we were able to obtain estimations of these two systems at different sites, the energy production of the systems, and carbon emissions reduction potential. As a result of the proposed study, three viable locations were selected to offer PV-EV parking canopies. A cost-benefit analysis was performed at each location to provide useful energy production and financial data to determine the optimal location. The results provided insightful implications to decision makers at the university. The implementation of solar PV and EV charging stations combined gives the university the ability to implement clean, renewable energy in order to show its commitment to sustainability as well as supporting the ability of students, commuters and faculty to switch from gas powered vehicles to electric vehicles.
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