• 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) 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 2009: $2,000Solar water heaters placed 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

Some things to pay attention to in Arizona


Seeking Arizona agriculture producers who are using small solar systems in their operations in Arizona

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.

Arizona Corporation Commission 

See our information on PROPOSED RULEMAKING REGARDING INTERCONNECTION OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION FACILITIES PROPOSED RULEMAKING REGARDING INTERCONNECTION OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION FACILITIES

During March 2019, SRP wrapped up their public pricing process at a final rate setting board hearing.

The board approved new rates for SRP customers, which will translate to a $1 to $4 decrease in monthly bills.
The board also voted to lower rates for solar customers, approve three new options for solar customers, and adopt a new battery/storage incentive.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2019/03/25/salt-river-project-decreases-rates-customers-but-solar-debate-rages/3245669002/.

APS announces 2018 ended with 16,479 applications and 14,818 installations: 

APS 2018 PV

Note: APS applications peak in August due to deadlines to freeze APS purchase rates for 10 years.

FRAUD ALERT

Attorney General Warns About Deceptive “Solar Initiative” Flyers

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a warning today about deceptive flyers appearing on residences in the Phoenix area that promote a solar energy effort.

The flyers claim to be a “Public Notice” from the “Maricopa County Solar Initiative,” and claim that “Arizona and the Federal Government ITC (26 USC § 25D) are paying to have solar energy systems installed on qualified homes in this neighborhood.” The flyers tell consumers to call to schedule their “site audits.” Consumers who call are subjected to a solar sales pitch by a private company. In addition, the Maricopa County Solar Initiative’s website improperly uses a modified version of the county seal, but the “Solar Initiative” is linked to a private business and is not associated with the county. The “Solar Initiative” is also not registered to do business in Arizona.

Similar flyers previously appeared in Clark County, Nevada, this summer, and law enforcement officials there have warned that the “Clark County Solar Initiative” notices are deceptive.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has aggressively prosecuted businesses masquerading as government agencies, including obtaining consent judgments against “Mandatory Poster Agency” and “Compliance Filings Service,” resulting in full restitution for Arizonans totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A picture of the “Public Notice” is below:
A picture of the improperly modified county seal used by the “Solar Initiative” is below:

 If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, you can file a complaint online at the Arizona Attorney General’s website. You can also contact the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, and outside of the metro areas at (800) 352-8431.

Source:https://www.azag.gov/press-release/attorney-general-mark-brnovich-warns-about-deceptive-solar-initiative-flyers

Also covered at: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2018/11/26/deceptive-flyers-circulate-arizona-promoting-solar-energy-effort/2115597002/


Interesting Technology Updates;

A look at some of the more significant changes under consideration for the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) that will affect future distributed generation systems (solar electric wind, etc.). Article 690, Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems and Article 705, being renamed Interconnected Electric Power Production Sources, are specific to distributed generation.

The referenced article below by IAEI, a membership driven, non-profit association promoting electrical safety, has a good summary of upcoming changes.

https://iaeimagazine.org/magazine/2019/09/10/pv-installations-for-the-2020-nec/


Events

Interesting Videos

Arizona Corporation Commission urged to fix solar net metering 'grandfathering' issue

Arizona Corporation Commission urged to fix solar net metering 'grandfathering' issue

By David Wichner Arizona  Daily Star            Updated Jan 6, 2017

Mamta Popat / Arizona  Daily Star 

APS, TEP and a number of solar industry groups argue that more customers should fall under current net-metering

The Arizona  Corporation Commission is being urged to amend its recent decision to end retail net metering for customers with rooftop solar, to correct the timing of when customers will be grandfathered under the old rules.

The commission voted in late December to scrap the current system of net metering, by which  customers with rooftop solar systems are reimbursed for their excess generation at each utility’s retail energy rate.

To replace net metering, the utility panel approved a policy in which  solar customers will be paid a new “export rate,” based on a proxy rate for power from utility-scale solar farms or on cost studies for each utility.

The solar export rates — expected to be a fraction of retail rates — will eventually be set as part of proceedings in pending rate cases filed by utilities including Tucson Electric Power Co. and Arizona  Public Service Co.

But a few days after the commission’s vote, Arizona  Public Service Co. filed documents urging the commission to amend its decision.

APS noted that under an omnibus amendment passed after two full days of debate, the final order grandfathers under the current net-metering rules only customers whose systems are interconnected with their utility when the new rates go into effect. Grandfathered customers will keep their net metering rates for 20 years from the time their systems were turned on.

But APS said  it believes the grandfathering period was  intended to extend to customers who  submit an interconnection application by the effective date of the decision issued in their utility’s rate case, not when they are actually interconnected, which  could occur weeks later.

“Otherwise, whether a customer is grandfathered could be determined not by when a customer makes a decision to submit an application to interconnect, but instead by the volume of (rooftop solar) applications received, among other factors outside a customer’s control,” APS said.

Since APS filed its request to correct the decision, parties including TEP, the state Residential Utility Consumer Office, the Vote Solar  Coalition, the Alliance for Solar Choice and the Arizona  Solar  Energy Industries Association have filed documents in support of the change.

In a letter supporting APS’s position, the Arizona  Solar  Energy Industries Association said  if the grandfathering issue is not fixed, “the sales and installations of solar in Arizona  will immediately and abruptly stop in some areas of the state.”

“The error in language is minor but the implications are potentially devastating,” AriSEIA President Tom Harris wrote in a letter to Commissioner Andy Tobin, who sponsored an amendment that became a catch-all for modifications negotiated during the open meeting. “We do not believe this was  your  intent.”

In a filing on Wednesday, the administrative law judge in the solar case agreed with change urged by APS and the other parties and asked the Corporation Commission to take up the issue at its next open meeting Jan. 10-11.

UPDATED: The judge's recommended amendment on grandfathering is on the Corporation Commission agenda for Jan. 10-11.

Solar Applications in Arizona - Civano - Gallery

Courtesy, Arizona Solar Center

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A house under construction in the Civano community, located 18 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona

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The Community Center under construction. Upon completion, the Community Center was equipped with a 4.0 kWp photovoltaic power system and a solar hot water system

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Many of the homes being built at Civano use alternative building materials. This house is using straw bales

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Civano houses are designed with front porches to encourage a sense of community -- where neighbors know each other

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Many Civano homes use shading techniques to help reduce solar gain

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Local utility company, Tucson Electric Power, has guaranteed the heating and cooling portion of the Civano homes' utility bills

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The Civano Community Center under construction

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Shading and landscaping have long been used as way to keep buildings cool during Arizona summers

NOTEPhotos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.

Solar Applications in Arizona - Solar Facilities - Gallery

Courtesy, Arizona Solar Center

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Covered parking with integrated PV array at the Yuma Proving Grounds

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PV power plant in Tempe

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Solar home in Phoenix

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PV powered telecommunications site

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Rooftop PV array in Central Arizona

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PV power plant in Central Arizona

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Chandler home with roof-mounted PV array

 

NOTE: Photos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.

Solar Cooking - Gallery

Courtesy, Barbara Kerr

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Two Arizona women have devoted 30 years to developing and promoting low tech and inexpensive solar cookers.  Their designs are now spread across the globe.

In the early 1970s, Barbara Kerr and Sherry Cole developed an inexpensive family-sized cardboard box cooker - the EcoCooker.  Then in 1993, based on original work done in France by Dr. Roger Bernard, Kerr and Cole did the initial work on a collapsible panel cooker.  Their solar panel cooker (original BackPacker) is still used in that form today but was also a precursor the the CooKit - a redisign by Solar Cookers International and volunteer engineers.  The CooKit has been successfully introduced in refugee camps by SCI projects.

Their work was based on the discovery that foods could be roasted, baked, stewed and simmered in inexpensive cardboard solar ovens with no danger of setting the box afire and that the low temperatures achieved by their simple designs cooked very well.  This greatly reduced the expense and the labor of fabricating as compared with wood or metal.  Anyone could inexpensively and usually successfully experiment in their own home workshop.  As solar cooking was liberated from the more demanding materials, it stimulated a wave of interest in solar cooking.  Over the years interest has grown in solar cooking, and many people have made successful and improved versions of these fruitful beginnings.

Solar Cookers International is a non-profit, volunteer organization launched in 1987 to support work by Kerr and Cole to help both people and the environment.  First the solar box cookers, and later the solar panel cooker owe their global visibility to this volunteer organization.  People in many parts of the globe have found it feasible to cook on sunny days with sunshine, conserving their scarce fuel wood while continuing to feed their families nutritious, well-cooked meals...

Support solar cooking by joining SOLAR COOKERS INTERNATIONAL, 1919 21st Street, Suite 101, Sacramento, CA  95814.  Also see the Solar Cooking Archives at www.solarcooking.org and the KerrCole Website at www.solarcooking.org/bkerr.

NOTE: Photos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.

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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