• 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 Know Your Rights
  • 2 Agua Caliente PV Power Plant Among World’s Largest
  • 3 Solar Hot Water
  • 4 Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
  • 5 Solar Building Design in Arizona
  • 6 How Not to- Battery Connections

Blogs

  1. Solar Center Blog
  2. Guest Blogs
Jim Arwood
28 December 2016

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”  --Winston Churchill

Jim Arwood
24 November 2016

The future is not what it used to be.

In the 1990s, the push for electric vehicles gained momentum in response to national security concerns over our reliance on imported fuels and tailpipe emissions.


Will add Guest Blog content here
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017
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Some things to pay attention to in Arizona

APS Rate Case - Higher rates, solar changes now effective as of September 1st

APS customers had until August 31st to submit complete interconnection applications to APS in order to be grandfathered under earlier solar policy.  Basic rates have increased and net metering was eliminated, replaced by a fixed purchase rate that starts at $0.129 per kwhr and will decrease in the future.  Further details are posted in a link below.

Quick APS Links:

News Release (Aug. 15, 2017)
Summary for Residential Customers
Summary for Business Customers
Solar Grandfathering Fact Sheet (also see the note below for additional information)

The Arizona Solar Center has put together an unofficial summary of the new APS rate schedules for new solar customers, click here.

On August 21st APS emailed the following information to Stakeholders (but it does not seem to be on the APS website):

Stakeholders,

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has approved a decision in our rate review, and we are happy to share some details with you affecting our solar customers. We appreciate your support in delivering this message to customers and will be glad to help you with any questions you may have. For your reference, attached are letters that were sent to customers regarding grandfathering. Other resources are available at aps.com/gosolar.

Grandfathering

  • Current solar customers that are interconnected to the APS grid will remain grandfathered for 20 years from the date of interconnection.
    • The grandfathering stays with the premise. Systems transferred to a new premise will require a new application, and the customer would no longer be eligible for EPR-6.
    • Over the terms of the grandfathering period, a customer may not increase the capacity of their grandfathered solar system by more than a total of 10% or 1 kW, whichever is greater.
  • Customers who submit a complete application by 11:59 p.m. August 31, 2017 will be eligible for grandfathering. The system would need to be installed and have AHJ approval by February 28, 2018 in order to qualify. A complete application includes all of the following:
    • Customer Application
    • Executed Contract
    • Disclaimer
    • Consumer Acknowledgement
    • Installer Application
    • Three Line Diagram
    • Site Plan

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.

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The lecture series includes:

  • Dec. 7 –Solar Energy & Storage Battery Systems
  • Feb. 1, 2018 – Living an Edible Landscape Life
  • 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

General News feed

Caution- News leads open in new windows. Warning- These news links are automatically generated by others such as Google News and are not reviewed by the Arizona Solar Center, Inc. We are not responsible for link content.

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

How Not to Do It

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

shade-pv

 

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.

 


orientation-pv1

 

How Not to Install PV - Orientation & Shadowing

Here the photovoltaic module is facing West and gets very little sunshine. In addition, a shadowing issue further reduces the output.

 


meltdown

 

How Not to Install Batteries - Battery Post Meltdown!  What's the Ampacity of a 3/8" Bolt?

Bolts are not for current carrying.  Bolts are to hold lugs, etc. in tight contact with electrical terminals.

 


dry-battery

 

How Not to Treat Batteries - Maintaining Battery Electrolyte Levels

During normal operation, water is lost from a flooded lead-acid battery as a result of evaporation and electrolysis...

 

Please contact us  (use the link on the main page) if you have additional examples for posting here. These can be related to photovoltaic installations or to other solar technologies. We will arrange with you to get pictures and explanations. Thanks.

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.  


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.

xrayLEAD 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.

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.


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.


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.)

Government & Advocacy for Solar & Renewables

Governmental

Arizona Corporation Commission Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff
www.azcc.gov/divisions/utilities/electric/environmental.asp

Arizona Goes Solar (Arizona Corporation Commission joint website with regulated utilities)
www.ArizonaGoesSolar.org

Governor of Arizona Renewable Energy Webpage
www.azgovernor.gov/renewable

Governor's Solar Energy Advisory Task Force (eliminated by Gov. Ducey)

City of Tucson (links below go to a search page)

Non-Governmental

Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board (SASSB)
www.solarstandards.org

Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Renewables Website
www.az4renewable.com

Environment Arizona
www.environmentarizona.com
(March 2010 Report Summary: Building a Solar Future - Repowering America's Homes, Businesses and Industry with Solar Energy)

Arizona Energy Consortium
(November 2011 Report: Arizona's Solar Strategic Plan)

The Vote Solar Initiative
www.votesolar.org

 

Initiatives & Programs

Arizona Initiatives

Governor's Solar Energy Advisory Task Force (closed by Gov. Ducey)

Arizona Energy Consortium
(November 2011 Report: Arizona's Solar Strategic Plan)

Environment Arizona
(March 2010 Report Summary: Building a Solar Future - Repowering America's Homes, Businesses and Industry with Solar Energy)

 

National Initiatives

Information about current and past initiatives and programs at a national level may be found on the Solar Initiatives page of the US Department of Energy EERE Information Center website.

 

Past Initiatives in Arizona

Arizona Solar Initiative (1999-2001)

The Mission of the Arizona Solar Initiative was to encourage individual, local, and statewide action that capitalized on the national Million Solar Roof Initiative and the region's explosive growth. This Initiative sought to enable Arizona to become a national leader in solar energy utilization, manufacturing, and exports.

Goal 1: Establish an Arizona Solar Initiative sub-committee of the Arizona Solar Energy Advisory Council. The sub-committee will be comprised of invited parties and a representative from the Energy Office.

Goal 2: Install 100,000 new thermal and photovoltaic systems in Arizona by 2010.

Goal 3: Establish technical capabilities to utilize solar in government and non-government application.

Goal 4: Educate consumers about the benefits of using passive and active solar systems.

Goal 5: Coordinate industry and government efforts to overcome institutional barriers.

Goal 6: Develop and support solar manufacturing capacity in the state.

About

  • 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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