Engineering Management & Systems Engineering;
School of Engineering & Applied Science

Sponsored Research Projects Get High Marks by Solar Institute

Research projects being financially supported by the Institute for the Analysis of Solar Energy, being undertaken by E&EM doctoral students Steve Burns and Ariel Castillo, won strong praise during two quarterly reviews conducted during the Spring 2009 semester.

Steve’s project, entitled “A Linear Programming Model To Support Development and Maintenance of a Solar Grand Plan Deployment Schedule,” involves research to assist in translating the “Solar Grand Plan” described in a recent Scientific American feature article from a conceptual vision into a full implementation plan.  It envisions the development of a linear programming model that outputs a development timeline along with expected energy costs, solar and wind power capacity installed and expected markets to be served on an annual basis. 

The model will enable planners to develop a realistic deployment schedule that balances power price and construction timeframes with growth in installed solar capacity, with such capacity being limited based on projected available equipment production capacity to support the Solar Grand Plan.  The model will generate outputs for two cases: a power generation only, and a power generation plus transportation case.  Additionally, an ancillary output will be available for both cases that will allow for users to determine if and when, based on carbon constraints or market forces, wind and solar power will be able to economically compete with fossil fuel based power, allowing for the discontinuation of current solar and/or wind power incentives.

Ariel’s project, entitled “Determination of Renewable and Solar Energy Transition Potential of Department of Defense Facilities and Non-Tactical Vehicles,” is intended to assist in solving climate and energy issues by determining energy demands of Department of Defense (DoD) facilities and non-tactical vehicles that could be met by renewable and solar generation.  In addition, Ariel’s research includes the development of recommendations for a transition by the DoD to renewable and solar energy technologies for its current operations.

In the course of his research, Ariel is discussing is preliminary results with key senior government and energy leaders.  For example, Ariel recently met with former CIA Director James Woolsey to discuss the important national security benefits of energy independence.  Mr. Woolsey's wealth of experience and knowledge in energy security has been important in validating and improving Ariel's research initiative.

Additional information on the research projects that Steve and Ariel can be seen at