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!

Pioneers of the Sun

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Sample images from movie.

Movie Summary:

This video examines early efforts to utilize heliograph communications and solar energy in the state of Arizona and includes reenactments of their original uses. The heliograph was one of the first solar experiments in territorial Arizona. In the late 1880s, the U.S. Cavalry employed the heliograph during hostilities with native Americans. Solar developments in Arizona during early part of the 20th century are also explored, from the Eneas Engine and the Day & Night solar water heater to solar cookers and passive solar architecture. Pioneers Arthur Brown, John Yellot, Sherry Cole and Barbara Kerr are recognized for their contributions to solar development in Arizona and elsewhere.

Runtime is 4 minutes 3 seconds.

Video and audio script (PDF)

 

Streaming Video:

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Video produced by the Arizona Department of Commerce Energy Office under a
grant from the Million Solar Roof program of the US Department of Energy.

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Solar Testing & Demonstration Facilities

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The APS STAR Center

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) operates the Solar Test And Research (STAR) facility to provide solar resource monitoring, small scale performance testing of new products, and to act as a staging area to ready and test equipment being installed for customer service.


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TÜV Rheinland Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory - Arizona State University

PV module testing for qualification certification, performance measurement, engineering evaluation, product development, prototype testing, accelerated testing, and outdoor exposure...


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State Energy Office Demonstration Projects

The Arizona Energy Office has sponsored several photovoltaic demonstration projects in recent years. The following locations are just a few that have benefited from these projects.

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APS STAR Center

APS STAR Center redeployed
(December 2011, text provided by APS)

For the last 25 years, the Solar Test and Research (STAR) Center is where Arizona Public Service has worked with manufacturers, universities and government labs to propel technological advancements in converting solar energy into electricity. The goal? To find technologies that would allow solar energy to become a viable resource option for customers.

Success on that front means the STAR Center takes on a new role.

Personnel and focus have transitioned from technology research to solar operations and maintenance. The chief focus is to provide cost-effective support to ensure optimal system production and research the long-term reliability of our solar investments.

Today, more than 21,500 megawatts of solar have been developed globally, with APS having more than 500 megawatts either online or in development. Manufacturers the world over produce roof-integrated tiles; mono- or poly-crystalline photovoltaic panels; solar box ovens; evacuated tube collectors and glazed flat plate collectors; hybrid solar-thermal systems; hybrid solar lighting systems; solar pumps, fans, and switchable windows; mirrors and tracking systems used in trough/parabolic mirror concentrators; and thermal storage systems. And while listing innovations, I’d be remiss not to mention the increasing deployment of passive solar design – well-known to historians and architects, but never studied on site.

This technological cornucopia has overflowed since the STAR Center opened in 1985, and innovation will doubtless continue.

Now, APS is looking to find solutions to the next set of challenges associated with renewable energy. Namely, how the intermittency from solar and wind resources affects APS’s ability to provide reliable and affordable electricity to customers.

So, while the STAR Center will no longer be open to testing and research of new solar technologies, the solar installations currently in place will remain in operation. A majority of the solar panels at STAR will continue to operate and provide clean energy to customers on the APS grid. Those panels that were removed were re-deployed to other solar projects or returned to the manufacturers.

Further, the STAR Center is now also serving as a working laboratory for those learning to install solar electric systems – or for installation companies who are pursuing continuing education opportunities. Though its mission has changed, APS STAR Center will enjoy a long future of service to APS customers and the solar industry.

Contributed by Renee Guillory, DE Partnership Manager, Arizona Public Service

 


See www.azsolarcenter.org/azsc-archive/694-aps-star-center.html for archived version of this entry.

Past and Present Research

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Dish/Stirling

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High-concentration PV

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PV Test Rig

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80 kW PV Power Plant

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Inverter Testing

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Arizona's Renewable Energy Future

The Status of Renewable Resources and Development in Arizona

The following was prepared for and presented to David Garman, Assistant Secretary of Energy of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, at the Southwest Renewable Energy Fair in Flagstaff, Arizona in August 2003.

The presentation summarizes the measurement of renewable resources and the status of their development in Arizona, as well as the effectiveness of the state Environmental Portfolio Standard. The material contained in the presentation was current as of August 2003.

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Why Not Arizona?

A Presentation to the Governor

This presentation was prepared in August, 2003 for the Governor of Arizona as a report of the Arizona Solar Energy Advisory Council (ASEAC) on the existing status and future potential of solar energy in the state. It takes as its principal theme the relatively minor use of solar power in Arizona, something the Council found ironic given the abundance of solar energy within its border. It suggests that Arizona could and should be the world leader in solar energy research, expertise, information and developments, and it proposes several steps that could bring this reality closer. The presentation was packaged and delivered by Dr. Martin J. Pasqualetti.
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