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An Evaluation Of Solar Air Heating [SolarWall] At United States Air Force Installations

Government and Technical Reports
Released on Jul 09 2010

Author: David S. Brown, Captain, USAF AFIT/GCA/ENV/09-M03
Department Of The Air Force Air University - Air Force Institute Of Technology

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The purpose of this research was to evaluate the use of solar air heating at U.S. Air Force installations.  Specifically, this thesis analyzed Unglazed Transpired Collector (UTC) technology, more commonly known as SolarWalls®.  This thesis sought to determine if UTC systems are an economically and environmentally viable technology which Air Force energy managers should include in their portfolio of alternative energy options.

This research question was answered through the use of case studies and lifecycle cost analysis.  Case studies were performed at various U.S. military installations which have already utilized UTC systems to provide a consolidated source of lessons learned.  A life-cycle cost analysis was performed to quantify the potential cost savings at various Air Force installations to help Air Force energy leaders determine if the technology should be further implemented, and if so, which installations should be considered for future UTC use.  The quantitative results of this evaluation determined that the Air Force could realize significant economic and environmental benefits from the use of UTC technology.  The information gathered from case studies can help ensure that future users of UTC systems utilize their systems in the most effective manner possible.

Last changed:Jul 09 2010