Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Power resources -- Information services; Energy policy -- Information services; Energy conservation -- Information services;


The increasing awareness over the past decade that there is a need to conserve energy and explore new energy technologies has resulted in the publishing by government and private concerns of an abundant variety of energy-related literature. This abundance of literature along with the current interest in energy has precipitated an immediate demand for the collection, analysis and interpretation of information and data relating to energy resources and technologies.

The development of the University of Northern Iowa Solar Options Laboratory (UNISOL) project began as a result of the impact of the present day energy situation on several faculty members of the Department of Industrial Technology (DIT) at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Goals of the UNISOL project were developed and approved by the UNISOL Executive Committee established within the DIT. Two of these goals deal directly with the creation of an energy-related information service. The purpose of this service is to make energy information and research data available to accommodate the needs of the lay person and professional desiring energy information.

The major purpose of this study was to develop and test an energy-related information system design to address the UNISOL project goals. The system was designed to respond to inquiries for energy information which are anticipated once the project becomes operational.

The development and testing of the UNISOL Information System (UNISOLIS) design was based on a system model schedule which involved three interrelated phases: Phase I - Development of the system design; Phase II - Development of operating capability; Phase III - Operation and testing of system.

Upon reviewing viable alternatives, it was determined that a computer-based system would best address the mission of the UNISOL project. A descriptor index, a user's manual, and a file manager's manual were developed as supportive materials of the system design. Considerable research was devoted to selecting and storing data in the UNISOLIS data bank in preparation for the system evaluation.

A total of nine members from the twelve prospective user community groups took part in the evaluation of the UNISOL design. A questionnaire and interview schedule were developed and utilized to gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of the system design. While the scope of the system evaluation was extremely broad, the sample population small, and the data bank relatively limited, the evaluation results were supportive of the overall UNISOLIS design.

It appears that the computer-based information system design and the supporting materials developed as part of this study would prove both effective and efficient in addressing the energy-related information needs anticipated as a result of the UNISOL project. Although UNISOLIS was developed to meet the hypothetical information needs of the prospective user community, it has capabilities of being easily adapted and expanded to meet the actual energy-related inquiries received once the UNISOL project becomes operational.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Alvin E. Rudisill


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (115 pages)



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