Solar PV power plant location selection using a Z-fuzzy number based AHP

Irem Otay, Cengiz Kahraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


One of the most used renewable energy systems to produce clean and sustainable energy are solar energy photovoltaic (PV) plants. The selection among solar energy PV plant location alternatives requires a multi-criteria decision making approach with several conflicting and linguistic criteria. The assessment process is generally done in a vague and imprecise environment. Fuzzy set theory is often very beneficial for evaluating the subjective judgments of decision makers. The Analytic Hierarchy Process is the most used multi-criteria decision making method in the world because of its simplicity and efficiency. In this paper, we select a location for a solar energy PV plant using a 4-level hierarchy. We consider several criteria and sub-criteria including initial cost, maintenance cost, slope and distance to highways. A Z-fuzzy number is a relatively new concept in fuzzy set theory that enables one to circumvent the limitations of ordinary fuzzy numbers. Z-fuzzy numbers can be viewed as a combination of crisp numbers, intervals, fuzzy numbers and random numbers because of their generality. They give a better representation than ordinary fuzzy numbers. This study solves the multi-criteria solar PV power plant location selection problem with a Z-fuzzy based AHP method. To check the applicability of the method proposed here, a real-life case study from Turkey is presented and solved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-430
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of the Analytic Hierarchy Process
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 International Journal of the Analytic Hierarchy Process.


  • Fuzzy AHP
  • Location selection
  • Multi-criteria
  • Solar PV power plant
  • Uncertainty
  • Z-fuzzy number


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