• New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

    While there is a growing market for organic solar cells ­­– they contain materials that are cheaper, more abundant, and more environmentally friendly than those used in typical solar panels – they also tend to be less efficient in converting sunlight to electricity than conventional solar cells. Now, scientists who are members of the Center for Computational Study of Excited-State Phenomena in Read more
  • Know Your Rights

    Arizona law protects individual homeowners’ private property rights to solar access by dissolving any local covenant, restriction or condition attached to a property deed that restricts the use of solar energy. This law sustained a legal challenge in 2000. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of homeowners in a lawsuit filed by their homeowners association seeking to Read more
  • Agua Caliente PV Power Plant Among World’s Largest

    The Agua Caliente solar farm near Yuma features First Solar’s thin-film cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar modules. Located 65 miles east of the city of Yuma, Arizona, this plant is one of the world’s largest operational PV power plants with 290MW (AC) connected to the electricity grid. Read more
  • Solar Hot Water

    There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don't. The typical solar water heater is comprised of solar collectors and a well-insulated storage tank. The solar collector is a network of pipes that gathers the sun's energy, transforms its radiation into heat, and then transfers that heat to either Read more
  • Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

    (Information provided by DSIRE - Last reviewed 02/19/2009) Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit State: Federal Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Fuel Cells, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Other Solar Electric Technologies Applicable Sectors: Residential Amount: 30% Maximum Incentive: Solar-electric systems placed in service before 2009: $2,000Solar-electric systems placed in service after 2008: no maximumSolar water heaters placed in service before Read more
  • Solar Building Design in Arizona

    The idea of using the sun to meet the energy needs in our buildings has been with us since the time of the Greeks, with some of the design manifestations even evident in the prehistoric structures of Arizona and the Southwest. There is a great historic tradition for Arizona buildings that utilize our most abundant resource, and the current increases Read more
  • How Not to- Battery Connections

    Photo shows the situation after a battery discharge test at 300 amps was terminated on a 1530 AH IBE battery string when one post melted. During the discharge test all cell voltages are logged. The sum of the cell voltages was 2.73 volts lower than the 48-volt string voltage. This is an average of 118 mv per inter-cell connection, 5-10 Read more
  • 1 New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance
  • 2 Know Your Rights
  • 3 Agua Caliente PV Power Plant Among World’s Largest
  • 4 Solar Hot Water
  • 5 Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
  • 6 Solar Building Design in Arizona
  • 7 How Not to- Battery Connections


  1. Solar Center Blog
  2. Guest Blogs
Lucy Mason
06 January 2018

Wishing you a wonderful and Happy New Year!

The year 2017 has gone by quickly, and AriSEIA has accomplished a full and active agenda to further solar and renewable energy in Arizona. 

Geoff Sutton
25 November 2017

In the desert south-west the intense sunshine and long summer days result in uncomfortable and even dangerously high temperatures for about four months.

Will add Guest Blog content here
Mon, Mar 19, 2018
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Some things to pay attention to in Arizona

SRP Board Elections April 3, 2018

The policies set by the SRP Board of Directors have had severe impact on the installation of residential PV systems in the SRP service area in Arizona, reducing the rate of new residential PV installations by 97% due to a major solar unfriendly change in rate schedules. SRP is a public power utility (in contrast to the investor owned utilities that are governed by the Arizona Corporation Commission) and as such is governed by its elected Board of Directors.

A slate of five Clean Energy candidates, Randy Miller (at-large 14), Corey Hawkey (at-large 12), Sheila Motomatsu (Seat 10), Jeffrey Grout (Seat 8) and Dennis Michael Burke (Seat 6), are running for positions on the Board of Directors.  These candidates will advocate for pro-solar policies at SRP.  Two pro-solar candidates elected to the SRP board in 2016 are already making a positive difference in SRP policies, but more votes are needed around the table.

Voting in these elections is not simple.  A person must request a ballot in order to vote and must own property in votable lands.  See this SRP Map for votable lands, or this custom map See this map to find where the pro-solar candidates are running.  For more details, see the SRP link on SRP governance and elections at  https://www.srpnet.com/elections/Default.aspx

Now is the time to make sure if you have a vote, request a ballot: http://register.srpcleanenergy.org/ or call 602-236-3048. SRP will mail ballots starting March 7th 2018. You must mail in your ballot for the Candidates listed above before March 31st 2018!


The Arizona Solar Energy Association (ASEA), State Chapter of the American Solar Energy Society ASES), will be holding meetings in a follow-up to the-long awaited updated ASES‚  Chapters handbook and directives.

ASES evolution, in response to some problematic economic and operational conditions, has resulted in a hearty and robust context for the present and the future. ASEA is now responding with an appropriate updating, through local and statewide discussion. 

Interim Chair, Andy Gerl, a past ASEA Chair and Board member, is making arrangements for Arizona solar advocates and supporters, members and non-members, to receive both an update re: ASES adaptation and changes, and to discuss solar in Arizona and the “reboot" of the ASEA  context, goals and objectives, within the context of varied renewable energy groups within the State, such as AriSEIA (the solar trade association); various sustainability groups; Green Building organizations; the recently formed solar hot water businesses non-profit entity; research and development at the universities; and others.

For more information about the ASEA Reboot discussions, contact Andy at andrew@blazingsolar.com  or 602-799-5942


Public Meetings:

Green Building Lecture - Economic Value of Green: Knowledge is EmPOWERing

Scottsdale’s Green Building Lecture season kicks off with a panel of industry leaders on the economic value of green. 
These free programs run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the dates listed below at the Granite Reef Senior Center, 1700 N. Granite Reef Road. RSVPs are not needed.

Green Building Lecture Series

Living an Edible Landscape Life

Date: Thursday, Feb. 1

Time: 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Join urban gardener, Joan Baron, and cooking expert, Melanie Albert, as they share the benefits and how-to's of growing your own health foods, herbs, edible flowers and fruit trees in our desert environment. Learn about our planting and harvesting seasons and enjoy sampling freshly prepared vegetables during the program. 


Joan Baron is an environmental artist, urban garden educator and desert explorer.

Joan loves to grow food wherever she can find some space! This includes her alley, where she has created a unique project called "Food in the Alley". It is a demonstration garden and laboratory where everything from Moringa trees and sugar cane flourish along with kale, swiss chard and tomatoes, AND, anyone is welcome to come by and harvest what they need. This is just one example of Joan's socially engaged art practice!

Melanie Albert is an intuitive cooking expert and author of "A New View of Healthy Eating".

Melanie is the founder of Experience Nutrition Group, LLC and loves teaching and creating hands-on opportunities for people to see how easy and fun it is to prepare delicious and nutritious meals and snacks for the whole family. She is a regular workshop teacher and can be found shopping at local farmers markets - always excited and supportive about what can be grown in Arizona! She encourages us to eat mindfully and cook with culinary skills and your intuition.

Joan and Melanie will prepare some tasty samplers for all those in attendance. Learn how to grow your own vegetables and why eating local and In- Season Organic Roots and Veggies is the best approach to a healthy lifestyle. They will share their easy favorite recipes for the winter season with ingredients from their gardens! Come join the fun and take home a free gift!

For more information see the 'Next Lecture' section of this link: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/green-building-program

The  scheduled lecture series includes:

  • April 5, 2018 – Building with earth and Mass in the Desert 
  • June 7, 2018 – Heating and Cooling with Ductless Mini-Splits

Further information on this worthwhile program

Our Twitter Feed

azsolarcenter "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” --Winston... https://t.co/YZUiXLzsKz
azsolarcenter The Sun Day Blog: The future is not what it used to be. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, the question has... https://t.co/lSR5RFewJm
azsolarcenter Novermber 5, 2016 -- APS, pro-solar group together spend $6 million on Arizona Corporation Commission races: The... https://t.co/5xyq4EsoFm
azsolarcenter November 3, 2016 Solar Battles Playing Out On Arizona Ballot This Election: It may not be at the top of the... https://t.co/uYSRxv97YR
azsolarcenter November 4, 2016: Utility spends $3.5 million to keep Arizona Corporation Commission all-GOP: The state’s largest... https://t.co/imqk6z2sDU
azsolarcenter October 25, 2016: 42 States (and DC) try to screw with solar The 50 States of Solar Policy Report by the NC... https://t.co/JBYTzpf2ui
azsolarcenter October 24, 2016 -- Future of independent solar energy at stake in Corporation Commission raceL The long-term... https://t.co/D6jy4I5Ci0
azsolarcenter October 13, 2016 -- State policy matters: It is very easy to get distracted by the dog-and-pony show of this... https://t.co/MH7mEMg9MC
azsolarcenter October 16, 2016: Arizona Corporation Commission DebateL Five candidates running for three open seats on the... https://t.co/tm0XLl6CqG
azsolarcenter My Sun Day blog is posted to the Arizona Solar Center. https://t.co/vRrxwSSQpw
azsolarcenter There is No Plan(et) B: Climate change is no longer an issue that our politicians can kick down the road for... https://t.co/KHZzajZc9K
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/JmZSHlmBUI
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/rBgkaWKDs6
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/RzXaQACpPR
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/t1fKNTPwIB
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/dWEKk3QR6H
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/y4vhOpjfh1
azsolarcenter September 29, 2016: To cover a utility's fixed costs, are demand charges or time-of-use (TOU) rates superior?... https://t.co/RgneQWNKyM
azsolarcenter September 25, 2016: Arizona Public Service not only rejected an Arizona Corporation commissioner’s request to... https://t.co/iip6RwoOOS
azsolarcenter September 22, 2016: The Salt River Project (SRP) board of directors has agreed to purchase energy produced by... https://t.co/xYegEuiI43
azsolarcenter September 18, 2016: UniSource Energy officials have shelved plans to use of land surroundingMohave Community... https://t.co/eXmHxo03wQ
azsolarcenter September 13, 2016: The city of Sedona spent about 90 minutes at its September 13 council meeting discussing... https://t.co/LHV2QcsvYt
azsolarcenter September 15, 2016: New solar research projects at Arizona State University will receive $3.75 million in funding... https://t.co/N20NYLWxGy
azsolarcenter September 25, 2016: The parable of the frog and boiling water is hundreds of years old. It has been used... https://t.co/O5PYqvxIJg

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.

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.


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.

Passive Solar - Gallery

Courtesy, Jim Arwood and Arizona Solar Center

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Built in 1981, this Tempe solar home is 68 percent earth covered or earth bermed. Features include a rock bed for heating and cooling, an attached greenhouse and a solar domestic water heating system.  Courtesy, Jim Arwood.

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In the 1970s many Arizonans turned to alternative building methods in response to the Energy Crisis. Many passive solar homes were constructed throughout Arizona. This home, in Flagstaff, was built in 1978 and provides more than 55 percent of the home's heating needs..  Courtesy, Jim Arwood.

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Passive solar homes in mountain settings reduce energy needs during heating season.  Courtesy, Arizona Solar Center

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.



Solar Installation - Gallery

Courtesy, Sean Seitz

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PV Array - 20 pcs., AstroPower AP-120 single-crystal silicon photovoltaic module

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PV Array Installation - uses Professional Solar Products RoofTrac and FastJack mounting hardware.

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APS inspection and shut-down testing performed prior to system commissioning.

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1 kWP PV Array - twenty BP Solar Millenia MST-50 thin-film amorphous silicon modules


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Sunny Boy inverter, safety equipment and existing distribution section / service entrance - as seen from a distance

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A CC&R friendly paint scheme on a Sunny Boy inverter


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.


  • Welcome to the Arizona Solar Center

     This is your source for solar and renewable energy information in Arizona. Explore various technologies, including photovoltaics, solar water heating, solar architecture, solar cooking and wind power. Keep up to date on the latest industry news. Follow relevant lectures, expositions and tours. Whether you are a homeowner looking to become more energy efficient, a student learning the science behind the technologies or an industry professional, you will find valuable information here.
  • About The Arizona Solar Center

    Arizona Solar Center Mission- The mission of the Arizona Solar Center is to enhance the utilization of renewable energy, educate Arizona's residents on solar technology developments, support commerce and industry in the development of solar and other sustainable technologies and coordinate these efforts throughout the state of Arizona. About the Arizona Solar Center- The Arizona Solar Center (AzSC) provides a broad-based understanding of solar energy, especially as it pertains to Arizona. Registered Read More
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