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!

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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Gov. Brewer signs Arizona solar jobs bill

In a major victory for solar advocates in the state, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today signed SB 1403 into law.

The bill extends tax credits and other incentives to manufactures of renewable energy equipment (mainly solar) if they locate in Arizona and meet other criteria...

Read full story

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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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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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Make Content Suggestion

Solar energy, renewable energy and sustainability are increasingly important topics today. And information on these topics is highly dynamic. We make an effort to provide accurate, useful and timely information. Please help us by making suggestions or comments.
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Eight Questions about Solar Power in Arizona

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Key Organizations in Arizona

Arizona Solar Center

Arizona Solar Center

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.


Arizona Solar Energy Association

Arizona Solar Energy Association

The Arizona Solar Energy Association (ASEA), was founded in the mid-70's as a state chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), the largest solar energy organization in the United States. ASEA's mission is to educate the people of Arizona about solar energy, its applications, and the benefits of utilizing solar technologies.

Minutes from Annual Meeting, January 23, 2010


Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association

Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association

ARISEIA is the Arizona chapter of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). SEIA is the national solar industry trade association and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Our chapter is one of many state and regional chapters. Through SEIA, we are able to participate nationally in the solar industry, while.


City of Scottsdale Green Building Program

City of Scottsdale Green Building Program

Home builders and prospective home buyers in Scottsdale interested in environmentally compatible homes now have access to a comprehensive building initiative called the Green Building Program. The program encourages the use of environmentally responsible building in our precious desert environment by incorporating.


AzSC
meetup-logo
Group

Arizona Solar Center Meetup Group

The Arizona Solar Center Meet-Up Group Bulletin Board is the newest addition to the Arizona Solar Center informational and educational outreach programs. The Meet-Up Group is a dedicated extension of the AZ Solar Center for professionals and those in the business of solar and sustainability.

For more organizations in Arizona, see the Arizona section of our Directory.

For information on how universities in Arizona are involved with solar and other renewable energy technologies, see University Initiatives.

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Wind Energy

Wind-Related Periodicals

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Geothermal

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Solar Space Heating

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Solar Financing

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Solar Equipment

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Photovoltaics

  • DOE - Solar Energy Technologies
    The U.S. Department of Energy funds R&D to develop solar energy technologies. Learn about DOE solar energy programs and initiatives, how to use solar energy and get financial incentives, and access solar information.
  • DOE - SunShot Inititiative
    The DOE SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national initiative to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. Reducing the installed cost of solar energy systems by about 75% will drive widespread, large-scale adoption of this renewable energy technology and restore U.S. leadership in the global clean energy race.
  • NREL - Open PV Project
    The OpenPV project is a free database of real American solar project info sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. It has data on over 160,000 solar systems across the country - where they are, how big they are, how much they cost, and more. It's all illustrated in a Visualization Gallery with charts and graphs.
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Other Energy

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Biomass

  • Biomass Energy Research Association
    BERA is an association of bioenergy researchers, companies, and advocates that promotes education and research on renewable biomass energy and waste-to-energy systems.

  • DOE - Biomass
    The U.S. Department of Energy funds research, development, and demonstration to help develop sustainable, cost-competitive biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower.

  • EPA - Student's Guide to Biomass Energy
    The biomass page of the EPA's guide to climate change.

Hydrogen Power

  • A Hydrogen Powered World
    The site is run by The Clean Energy Educational Trust to promote the concept of a hydrogen-powered world.

Hydropower

Renewable Energy

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Journals

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International Solar

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General Solar

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State Solar

  • Arizona - Arizona Corporation Commission
    The ACC regulates utilities, corporations and securities in the state. The Commissioners have the ultimate responsibility for final decisions on granting or denying utility rate adjustments, enforcing safety and public service requirements, and approving securities matters.

  • Arizona - Arizona Public Service's (APS) Green Choice Program
    APS' Green Choice Rates are an easy and affordable way to make use of renewable energy resources.

  • Arizona - Arizona Smart Power
    Arizona Smart Power specializes in helping residential consumers understand and compare the bids they are getting from photovoltaic or solar thermal dealers – and to understand the solar installation process.

  • Arizona - Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA)
    The Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association is a non-profit trade association representing local, national and international solar companies in the Arizona market.

  • Arizona - Arizona Solar Racing Team
  • The official website for the University of Arizona solar racing team.
  • Arizona - Arizona State University (ASU) LightWorks Solar Initiative
    LightWorks pulls light-inspired research at ASU under one strategic framework. It is a multi-disciplinary effort to leverage ASU’s unique strengths, particularly in renewable energy fields including artificial photosynthesis, biofuels, and next-generation photovoltaics.

  • Arizona - Arizona State University (ASU) Sustainability - Energy Conservation
    Describes ASU's commitment to reducing its energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency on campus.

  • Arizona - Arizona State University (ASU) Polytechnic Campus, Alternative Energy Technologies Concentration
    Electronics Engineering Technology (Alternative Energy Technologies) degree program.

  • Arizona - Governor's Office of Energy Policy
    The GOEP provides a wide variety of information on energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics.

  • Arizona - Salt River Project's (SRP) EarthWise Program
    SRP EarthWise Energy is a voluntary program that SRP customers can join for as little as $3 per month, with 100% of dollars helping to build solar projects for non-profit organizations in the Valley.

  • Arizona - Tucson Electric Power's (TEP) Renewable Energy Programs
    TEP offers home and business incentive programs for renewable energy technologies.

  • California - California Energy Commission's "Energy Quest"
    Energy Quest is the award-winning energy education website of the California Energy Commission.

  • California - California Energy Commission
    The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency.

  • Colorado - Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)
    RMI is dedicated to research, publication, consulting, and lecturing in the general field of sustainability. It's mission is to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources.

  • Florida - Florida Solar Energy Center
    The Florida Solar Energy Center is a research institute of the University of Central Florida.

  • Nevada - Nevada Solar Living
    Nevada Solar Living was created to provide information about solar power and other forms of renewable energy.

  • New Mexico - KTAO Taos, New Mexico Solar Radio
    KTAOS is a radio station at 101.9 FM powered by solar energy.

  • New Mexico - New Mexico Solar Energy Association
    The New Mexico Solar Energy Association is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting solar energy and related sustainable practices.

  • North Carolina - North Carolina Solar Center
    The North Carolina Solar Center, at N.C. State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies.

  • Texas - SolarAustin
    Solar Austin is a non-profit organization working to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy, building healthy communities, strong economies, and energy independence.

  • Texas - Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES)
    The TXSES mission is to increase the awareness of the potential of solar energy and other renewable energy applications and to promote the wise use of sustainable and non-polluting resources.

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Federal Solar

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How a Battery is Recycled

98% OF A LEAD ACID BATTERY IS RECYCLABLE
The first step in simple, the bottom of the scrap battery is cut by a mechanical saw, allowing the sulphuric acid and any lead suspended in the acid to be drained off. The battery is then fed into a hammer mill for crushing.
Once crushed, the remaining components are floated off through a series of flotation ponds. The plastic pieces of the battery case, each by now no larger than a fifty cent coin are re-granulated into plastic which is used to manufacture the next generation of battery cases.
Next, the remaining two components of the scrap battery - lead and lead oxide - are fed into a rotary furnace along with lead dross, sludge, coke and other additives used to assist in the removal of impurities. This mixture is smelted for about seven hours at temperatures of approximately 500 degrees Celsius (that's over 900 degrees Fahrenheit).
The molten lead is poured off into a holding kettle and then transferred into refining pots where the final impurities and dross are removed. Lead with a purity of 99.97 per cent is capable of being made, however sometimes, antimony or calcium is added to the lead to make alloys. Various grades of lead alloy are made, depending on the manufacturing end use.
The refined lead is then used to manufacture new generation batteries.
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BATTERIES ARE VITAL

Lead acid batteries are crucial to life in the modern world. They are essential to transport and communication systems, electrical utilities and often provide life-saving backup during power failures.
Many times, we do not realize how important batteries are because, so often, they can not be seen. Batteries are typically out of sight and out of mind.
Telephones, for example, will work during electrical storms and power outages. This is because telecommunication systems are backed-up by battery power. Lead acid batteries maintain emergency power for computer systems and critical operations such as air traffic control, rail crossings, and hospitals. Civil Defense communications during natural disasters sometimes rely heavily on battery power.
Electric wheelchairs are powered by batteries, as are electric forklifts and industrial vehicles in warehouses, distribution centers, mines and other enclosed spaces where fumes from combustion engines would be hazardous. Without these powerful workhorses, life as we know it could be very difficult and different.
Lead acid batteries, while developed in the late 19th century, look likely to be a crucial power source well into the 21st century. Inventors are striving for economic battery-power alternatives to oil and gas fuels.
LEAD IS A VALUABLE RESOURCE.
The value of lead has been known for centuries. Lead products formed part of the Ancient world's wonders, from lead-glazed mosaic tiles, to stained glass windows and the hanging Gardens of Babylon.xray
Lead roofing and flashing has been used in Europe for years because of its low maintenance, resistance to corrosion, ease of installation and its beauty. St Paul's Cathedral in London was built with a lead roof in the 17th century and it has never required re-roofing. Lead is renowned for its resistance to moisture. Power companies sheathe underground electric cables with lead to protect against dampness.Lead alloys are used for X-ray and radiotherapy shields for cancer patients. It is essential in television screens and computer monitors because lead compounds can block radiation without affecting screen quality. Lead is used to provide top quality soundproofing in some of the world's best hotels. It is also used to protect against high altitude radiation in commercial aircraft.
Lead's future also looks promising. The first lead based computer chips have been developed to retain data when the power is switched off and lead shock dampers are now used for earthquake damage prevention.
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RECYCLING SUCCESS

More than 98 per cent of a lead acid batteries can be recycled, making them the most recycled of any consumer product. New generation lead acid batteries can be made from 100 per cent recycled lead and from up to 90 per cent recycled plastic.
When lead acid batteries are improperly disposed of, the acid inside them can leach into soil and waterways causing serious contamination. Recycling lead acid batteries safely means a lot less lead gets into the environment and therefore, health risks are much reduced.
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RESPONSIBILITY AND THE BATTERY MANUFACTURER

As responsible battery manufacturers, all U.S. Manufactures are committed to ensuring the majority of used lead-acid batteries are recycled.
These companies believe strongly in moving with the technological improvements. They are also committed to continuing to providing the "cradle to grave" management of all Lead Acid products.

(Original source of this article is unknown.)

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