Thu, Dec 14, 2017
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Arizona Solar Center Blog

Commentary from Arizona Solar Center Board Members and invited contributors.

While blog entries are initiated by the Solar Center, we welcome dialogue around the posted topics. Your expertise and perspective are highly valued -- so if you haven't logged in and contributed, please do so!

Solar Applications in Arizona - Civano - Gallery

Courtesy, Arizona Solar Center

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A house under construction in the Civano community, located 18 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona

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The Community Center under construction. Upon completion, the Community Center was equipped with a 4.0 kWp photovoltaic power system and a solar hot water system

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Many of the homes being built at Civano use alternative building materials. This house is using straw bales

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Civano houses are designed with front porches to encourage a sense of community -- where neighbors know each other

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Many Civano homes use shading techniques to help reduce solar gain

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Local utility company, Tucson Electric Power, has guaranteed the heating and cooling portion of the Civano homes' utility bills

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The Civano Community Center under construction

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Shading and landscaping have long been used as way to keep buildings cool during Arizona summers

NOTEPhotos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.
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Solar Applications in Arizona - Solar Facilities - Gallery

Courtesy, Arizona Solar Center

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Covered parking with integrated PV array at the Yuma Proving Grounds

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PV power plant in Tempe

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Solar home in Phoenix

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PV powered telecommunications site

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Rooftop PV array in Central Arizona

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PV power plant in Central Arizona

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Chandler home with roof-mounted PV array

NOTE: Photos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.

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Solar Cooking - Gallery

Courtesy, Barbara Kerr
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Two Arizona women have devoted 30 years to developing and promoting low tech and inexpensive solar cookers.  Their designs are now spread across the globe.

In the early 1970s, Barbara Kerr and Sherry Cole developed an inexpensive family-sized cardboard box cooker - the EcoCooker.  Then in 1993, based on original work done in France by Dr. Roger Bernard, Kerr and Cole did the initial work on a collapsible panel cooker.  Their solar panel cooker (original BackPacker) is still used in that form today but was also a precursor the the CooKit - a redisign by Solar Cookers International and volunteer engineers.  The CooKit has been successfully introduced in refugee camps by SCI projects.

Their work was based on the discovery that foods could be roasted, baked, stewed and simmered in inexpensive cardboard solar ovens with no danger of setting the box afire and that the low temperatures achieved by their simple designs cooked very well.  This greatly reduced the expense and the labor of fabricating as compared with wood or metal.  Anyone could inexpensively and usually successfully experiment in their own home workshop.  As solar cooking was liberated from the more demanding materials, it stimulated a wave of interest in solar cooking.  Over the years interest has grown in solar cooking, and many people have made successful and improved versions of these fruitful beginnings.

Solar Cookers International is a non-profit, volunteer organization launched in 1987 to support work by Kerr and Cole to help both people and the environment.  First the solar box cookers, and later the solar panel cooker owe their global visibility to this volunteer organization.  People in many parts of the globe have found it feasible to cook on sunny days with sunshine, conserving their scarce fuel wood while continuing to feed their families nutritious, well-cooked meals...

Support solar cooking by joining SOLAR COOKERS INTERNATIONAL, 1919 21st Street, Suite 101, Sacramento, CA  95814.  Also see the Solar Cooking Archives at www.solarcooking.org and the KerrCole Website at www.solarcooking.org/bkerr.

NOTE: Photos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.

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Solar and Wind Systems - Intelligence Center & Fort Huachuca (in Sierra Vista, AZ) - Gallery

Courtesy, William Stein


This Dish/Stirling solar thermal electric generator was first installed in Jan 1996. It is currently operating at 7.2 KW at 950 W/m2.


Hangar 1 is one of two hangars with a 2300 SF Solarwall and 30 daylighting units installed. The daylighting was installed in 1998 and the Solarwall was installed in 2001.


This 10 KW wind turbine was installed in Feb 2002.


This picture shows both Hangars 1 and 3 with the Solarwalls and a third building with daylighting. The daylighting in the middle building and Hangar 3 was installed in 2000.

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Field HouseBarnes Field House has various renewable energy systems installed on it. The main gym has 24 daylighting units installed in 2001. The West facing PV system is 4.8 KW and was installed in 1998. The domestic hot water system on the side of the field house (center of the picture) is 960 SF and was installed in 1981.The ground mounted pool solar system for the indoor pool is 2000 SF and was installed in 1980. They are all operational.

NOTE: Photos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.

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Pool Pump, Tracking Array - Gallery

Courtesy, Lane Garrett

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Leeson 3/4 HP DC motor, ETA Adapter, 1.5 HP pool pump that circulates 26,000 gallons per day in a 14 ft. by 28 ft. pool.  Located at Lane & Ursula Garretts' home in Scottsdale, AZ.  The PV Powered pool pumping system has paid for itself more than 3 times over, since installed in 1980.

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660 Watts of PV power that runs the pool pump shown in the previous picture.  ZomeWorks Tracker with 6 AstroPower modules.  Considerably less expensive now, systems of this type, are giving 20% or more tax-free return on the installed cost.

NOTE: Photos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.
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