• 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 Energy Materials (C2SEPEM) a new 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 force the homeowners to remove Read More
  • Home Battery Systems

    Rooftop solar panels are common in Arizona thanks to abundant sunshine, but to get even more use from the technology, homeowners are beginning to pair them with large home batteries. Batteries allow homeowners to store their surplus electricity, rather than send it to the grid in exchange for credit from their electric company. 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 water or a heat-transfer fluid. Read More
  • Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

    (Information provided by DSIRE - Last reviewed 02/19/2009) The information below is somewhat dated, the incentives have been extended, but reduced.  See our more up to date article. 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:   26% Maximum Incentive:   Solar-electric systems 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 in The idea of using 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 mv is the normal range Read More
  • 1 New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance
  • 2 Know Your Rights
  • 3 Home Battery Systems
  • 4 Solar Hot Water
  • 5 Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
  • 6 Solar Building Design in Arizona
  • 7 How Not to- Battery Connections

Blogs

  1. Solar Center Blog
Brian Czech
17 February 2019

What’s Really Green and What’s Really New

Ask Americans what the Green New Deal is all about, and you’ll get two basic answers. Most often you’ll hear, “It’s about moving to renewable energy in order to fight climate change.” You’ll also hear, from a camp further right, “It’s all about socialism!”

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. 


Featured (Note- Articles below shift Left-Right)

Some things to pay attention to in Arizona


Arizona Legislature 

Immediate Action Needed: Oppose SCR 1010

A Strike Everything resolution/bill, S.C.R. 1010 was put in motion by Senator Kerr. Per recent reporting by the Arizona Republic, "Proposal would let power customers avoid paying for renewable energy," this measure is a direct attack on renewable energy in Arizona. For more details

Arizona Corporation Commission 

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has posted STAFF'S THIRD REVISED PROPOSED DRAFT RULES (DOCKET no. RE-00000A-18-0284) That lay out a clearer framework for Electric Utilities to report their compliance with the proposed standards for the Renewable Energy Standard, Clean Peak Standard, Distributed Renewable Storage Requirement, and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure.

See the ACC Staff Report: docket.images.azcc.gov/E000004960.pdf

See also Materials Presented by the Joint Stakeholders at the Commission's March 2020 Energy Rules Workshop

ACC Staff has made substantial changes to the draft rules that were filed on July 2, 2019 based on feedback received at each workshop held in this matter, comments to the docket, and a review of relevant energy policies across the United States.

The Nature Conservancy has submitted their report "Arizona Thrives - A Path to a Healthy and Prosperous Future" to the ACC. Interesting.

APS has submitted their report,  The Solar Center has slightly reformatted this report by rotating the pages for easier viewing.  APS has provided two presentations to address the ACC questions. Worth a read.

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has released the Notice of Final Rulemaking Interconnection of Distributed Generation FacilitiesInterconnection of Distributed Generation Facilities document.

With this rulemaking, the Commission adds a new Article 26, entitled " Interconnection. of Distributed Generation Facilities" to 14 A.A.C. 2, the Chapter containing the Commission's rules for fixed utilities, with the new Article 26 including 28 new rules. The rules for Interconnection of Distributed Generation Facilities ("DGI Rules") establish mandatory technical standards, processes, and timelines for utilities to use for· interconnection and parallel operation of different types of distributed generation ("DG") facilities; customer and utility rights and responsibilities; provisions for disconnection of DG facilities from the distribution system; specific safety requirements; more flexible standards for electric cooperatives; a reporting requirement; and a requirement for each utility to create, submit for initial approval and submit for approval periodically and when revised, and implement and comply with a Commission-approved Interconnection Manual.

The first dozen pages are basically legal stuff.  The document defines how an utility must review, then accept/reject/etc. an application to connect distributed generation to the utility.  It defines both customer rights and utility procedures.  There are a lot of utility, installer and customer comments along with the ACC staff recomendations. 

 Municipality Info

 

PhoenixFireLogo sm

The City of Phoenix is now (January 2020) requiring a special permit from the Fire Department for most solar systems and batteries.  The fees and required plans varies with size and content.  See this link for an application and details:  https://www.phoenix.gov/firesite/Documents/Solar Photovoltaic OTC Bundle Rev 01-2020.pdf

This is in addition to a building permit from the Planning & Development Department and must be separately obtained at a different address (150 South 12th Street) or on-line via the above link. Also noted is that residential PV permits are no longer over the counter and as of March 2020 are estimated to take 29 working days to process.  Separate inspections are required.

The code requirements are contained in Phoenix-Chapter 12 BESS R-3-1.pdf

Also note: All Phoenix solar building permits are now electronic submittal only. Contact the Electronic Plan Review (EPR) Triage Team at 602-534-5933 or epr.support@phoenix.gov. For more information on EPR, visit us at https://www.phoenix.gov/pdd/onlineservices/electronic-plan-review.

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Utility Information

 


Arizona Public Service Co. has announced that it plans to produce all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050 and will get 45% of its power from renewable sources like solar and wind by the end of this decade.

This is a good improvement from the point of view of sustainable energy.  There are still a lot of details to be worked out such as the role that distributed energy will take.  Will APS APS improve its policies in regard to residential and small commercial systems.

There are several good news articles and the APS press releases on this announcement:

APS:APS sets course for 100 percent clean energy future

Arizona Republic: APS will eliminate carbon emissions by 2050 and close coal plant ahead of schedule, CEO says

The Washington Post: Arizona’s biggest utility says it will get all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050

 

Interesting Technology Updates;

 

 

 

 


Other Announcements

Dr. Bonnie Eberhardt Bobb, Executive Director of the Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, is looking for agriculture producers who are using small solar systems in their operations in Arizona who might be willing to help her with preparing ACC testimony, discussion with representatives, writing letters of support, signing petitions, etc. to further their goal of increased renewables in agriculture. She would love to hear from ag producers and listen to their stories of how solar has benefited their operations. Thank you so much. Please contact drbonnie2002@yahoo.com if you can assist.

Events

Interesting Videos

Student Competitions

Developing interest in science, math and engineering among students is an important endeavor. Competitions like the ones below are excellent engineering activities to foster excitement in students of all ages about various ways to use photovoltaic cells.

Solar Car Races
  • Dell-Winston Solar Car Challenge - In 1993, the Winston Solar Car Team launched an education program to teach high school students how to build and safely race roadworthy solar cars. The Winston Solar Education Program met this objective, and works to provide...  More information on Dell-Winston Solar Car Challenge
  • American Solar Challenge (formerly called Sunrayce) - The largest U.S. competition for solar-powered vehicles, the American Solar Challenge is a competition to design, build, and drive solar-powered cars in a cross-country time/distance rally event. More information

 

Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.  More information on the Solar Decathlon

 

Lecture & Presentation Materials

The following materials have been provided by presenters at Arizona Solar Center related events:

 

Note: These presentations are provided as part of the on-going educational efforts of the AzSC to raise the level of public awareness and knowledge. Any use of protected information and images is ancillary and unintentional, and if inappropriate will be removed upon notification.

Education Overview

Solar energy education takes on many forms - from a certificate program for professionals to topic-specific instruction for the DIY individual. Formal education is offered by universities, community colleges, technical colleges and on-line programs.  Whether you are looking for an educational offering for passive solar design, photovoltaic or solar water heating -- the State of Arizona has many organizations that teach concepts and applications of solar energy usage.  The following institutions have offered courses in the past. You may contact them directly for more information.

  • Arizona State University
    Lightworks at Arizona State University: ASU LightWorks
    ASU Lightworks is an umbrella organization of laboratories, departments, research centers and individual researchers with a focus on various forms of alternative energy sources, primarily solar, bioenergy and energy storage.
  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College
  • Coconino Community College
  • Gentle Strength University
  • Northern Arizona University
    Clean Energy Research and Education at Northern Arizona University: NAU - Clean Energy Research and Education
    The Clean Energy Research and Education Group provides society with broadly educated energy experts and new technologies, and helps shape energy decision-making in both the private and public sectors while increasing the public's energy literacy.
  • Pima Community College
  • Prescott College
    Environmental Studies and Sustainability curriculum and degree programs. Visit Prescott College Website for more information.
  • University of Arizona
    AzRISE at University of Arizona: Arizona Research Institute for Energy Solutions
    AzRISE (Arizona Research Institute for Energy Solutions) is a hub for cross-college energy science, policy and technology research and development, which benefits the public and enhances the land-grant mission of the University of Arizona. The Institute is a platform for energy experts, who work closely with industry, NGOs, government, and communities to address emerging energy challenges and opportunities.

 

Other:

  • Arizona Science Center - Call (602) 716-2000) to inquire about next offering.
  • Solar Institute - Visit the Solar Institute's Website for class locations/times.
  • Solar on-Line Learning Center - Solar Online provides training and education for employment and professional advancement in the renewable energy and sustainable building industries. Visit Solar on-Line's Website for class locations/times.
  • SolarAccess.com on-Line Courses - Visit Solar on-Line's Website for class locations/times.
  • IREC Workforce Education - Click here

Education Modules

Arizona is a land of physical and climatic diversity. From the San Francisco Peaks to the Sonoran desert, Arizonans past and present have adapted to this land of diversity and climatic intensity .

Arizona history is replete with solar applications that are reflected in the form and shape of our buildings and the patterns of our behavior. Through time, Arizonans have evolved solar strategies in their buildings and their equipment.

The Solar Education Modules presented below provide a visual example of Arizonans Living With the Sun.

 

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

    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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