Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /usr/home/suntracker/public_html/j39b.azsolarcenter.org/libraries/src/Pagination/Pagination.php on line 140

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!

How Not to Install Batteries - Connection Considerations

meltdownPhoto at left shows the situation after a battery discharge
test at 300 amps was terminated on a 1530 AH IBE battery string when one post melted.

...
Continue reading
17693 Hits
0 Comments

How Not to Install PV - Shadow Considerations

This PV array was installed under a tree and as a result the branches of the tree were casting shadows on the PV modules.

...
Continue reading
19123 Hits
0 Comments

How Not to Treat Batteries - Maintaining Battery Electrolyte Levels

batteryDuring normal operation, water is lost from a flooded lead-acid battery as a result of evaporation and electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen, which escape into the atmosphere. One Faraday of overcharge will result in a loss of about 18 g of water per cell. Evaporation is a relatively small part of the loss except in very hot, dry climates. With a fully charged battery, electrolysis consumes water at a rate of 0.336 cm^3 per cell per ampere-hour of overcharge. A 5000-Ah battery overcharged 10% can thus lose 16.8 cm^3, or about 0.3%, of its water each cycle. It is important that the electrolyte be maintained at the proper level in the battery. The electrolyte not only serves as the ionic conductor, but also is a major factor in the transfer of heat from the plates. If the electrolyte is below the plate level, then an area of the plate is not electrochemically active; this causes a concentration of heat in other parts of the battery and “Sulfation” of the dry portion of the plates which may not be reversible. Periodic checking of water consumption can also serve as a rough check on charging efficiency and may warn when adjustment of the charger is required.

...
Continue reading
19019 Hits
0 Comments

How Not to Do It

Following is a collection of common mistakes made when installing solar electric systems.

...
Continue reading
19132 Hits
0 Comments

Solar Building Design in Arizona

Cliffs 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 in environmental concerns, coupled with diminishing resources and costly energy place even greater emphasis upon solar and renewable energies as an important part of Arizona's energy mix.

Solar utilization has a long history, beginning with some of the earliest structures in which humans lived. The early inhabitants of what we now call Arizona probably did not think of their homes as passively heated and cooled. They built them in response to the climate, to social and cultural standards and to their need for adequate shelter. They did not have available to them abundant energy resources or mechanical devices for moderating the indoor climate of their homes. So they used what was available - the sun, wind, caves, fire and available materials such as branches and sticks, and mud and stone. If necessary, they built several dwellings, including one for summer and one for winter.

...
Continue reading
31607 Hits
0 Comments