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!

All About Solar Cookers 1

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The delicious way to save energy and money

As many as 500 people gather each year for an annual potluck near Tucson. They eat vegetables, bread, pie and lasagna – typical foods at many such gatherings. This potluck, however, is vastly different from most because all the food, even the pizza, is cooked on-location by the sun

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What's cooking? A Comprehensive Look at Solar Cooking

WHAT'S COOKING - SLIDE 01 Cooking - the event that occurs every day in every home (except for fast food runs or special dinners out) and is taken totally for granted as a part of daily life. We cook breakfast, lunch and a dinner (unless you are on a cold salad kick). We outfit our kitchens with the latest in appliances, from microwaves to double convection oven, to stovetops with a multitude of tradable tops for grilling, broiling and deep frying.

WHAT'S COOKING - SLIDE 02

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What's cooking? A Comprehensive Look at Solar Cooking

WHAT'S COOKING - SLIDE 01 Cooking - the event that occurs every day in every home (except for fast food runs or special dinners out) and is taken totally for granted as a part of daily life. We cook breakfast, lunch and a dinner (unless you are on a cold salad kick). We outfit our kitchens with the latest in appliances, from microwaves to double convection oven, to stovetops with a multitude of tradable tops for grilling, broiling and deep frying.

WHAT'S COOKING - SLIDE 02

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Passive Solar Heating & Cooling Manual, Part 4 of 4

Glossary

Active Solar System:

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Passive Solar Heating & Cooling Manual, Part 3 of 4

Natural Cooling

Passive cooling techniques can be used to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, mechanical air conditioning requirements in areas where cooling is a dominant problem. The cost and energy effectiveness of these options are both worth considering by homeowner and builders. Contained within this section are rules of thumb and an explanation or the essentials of passive cooling systems.

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Passive Solar Heating & Cooling Manual, Part 2 of 4

Passive Solar Architecture - Heating

Passive Solar Heating presents the most cost effective means of providing heat to buildings. Generally, the amount of solar energy that falls on the roof of a house is more than the total energy consumed within the house. Passive solar applications, when included in initial building design, adds little or nothing to the cost of a building, yet has the effect of realizing a reduction in operational costs and reduced equipment demand. It is reliable, mechanically simple, and is a viable asset to a home. The following are rules of thumb and an explanation of the essentials of passive solar design.

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Passive Solar Heating & Cooling Manual, Part 1 of 4


NOTE:  Booklet available in Microsoft Word format, RTF format and PDF.  Published by Rodale Press, Inc., 1980.  A project of Western SUN Arizona and Western Solar Utilization Network.

Introduction to Solar Energy

The sun's energy arrives on earth in the primary form of heat and light.  Other aspects of solar radiation are less easily perceived and their detection often requires sophisticated equipment.  All solar radiation travels through space in waves, and it is the length of these waves (the shortest is less than a millionth of an inch, the longest more than a thousand yards) by which all solar radiation is classified.  The aggregate of all radiation aspects of the sun is called the solar spectrum.

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Award for the pioneering promotion of renewable energy sources

Press release, Bonn, May 8, 2009

For his long-lasting and worldwide commitment to the dissemination of solar energy, Hermann Scheer, member of the German parliament, president of EUROSOLAR, chair of the World Council for Renewable Energy and recipient of the alternative Nobel Prize, has received the Karl Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit 2009 this Thursday in Newark, USA.

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Passive Solar Energy - The Starting Point

PASSIVE SOLAR ENERGY - IMAGE 01 The sun’s energy is an incredible bounty. The energy contained in solar rays make their way through our filtering atmosphere and is critical to life on this planet...

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Passive Solar Energy - The Starting Point

PASSIVE SOLAR ENERGY - IMAGE 01 The sun’s energy is an incredible bounty. The energy contained in solar rays make their way through our filtering atmosphere and is critical to life on this planet...

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Residential PV Stand Alone Systems Presentation

Full slide show in window below | For 3 page summary in a separate PDF window: Residential PV Stand-alone Brochure {edocs}pdfs/stand-alone.pdf,700,550{/edocs}
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Residential PV Stand Alone Systems Presentation

Full slide show in window below | For 3 page summary in a separate PDF window: Residential PV Stand-alone Brochure {edocs}pdfs/stand-alone.pdf,700,550{/edocs}
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Residential PV Grid-Tie Presentation

Full slide show in window below | For 3 page summary in separate window: Brochure format

{edocs}pdfs/grid-tie.pdf,700,550{/edocs}
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Residential PV Grid-Tie Presentation

Full slide show in window below | For 3 page summary in separate window: Brochure format (PDF){edocs}pdfs/grid-tie.pdf,700,550{/edocs}
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Dutch entrepreneurs warm to solar energy

Hermann Scheer inspires Dutch participants at major conference

Press release; 5/5/2009

http://www.solarplaza.com/article/dutch-entrepreneurs-warm-to-solar-energy

When it comes to solar energy, Dutch entrepreneurs are successful all over the world. This was evident at The Solar Future in Rotterdam, the biggest solar energy conference ever held in the Netherlands. Here, with over 250 participants, it also emerged that a large group of new entrepreneurs are ready to invest in solar energy. Conspicuous by its absence from the conference, organized by Rotterdam-based company Solarplaza, was the Dutch government. One of the presentations demonstrated that the stop-go policy of different subsidy schemes has set the Netherlands back a long way within Europe. Flanders alone installed over 10 times more new PV capacity in 2008 – around 50 MegaWatt. Comparisons with Germany are even more painful. Germany instals the same amount in a day as the Netherlands does in a year.

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AZ Dept. of Commerce Report - Birth of a Technology

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The Birth of a Technology

French scientist Edmund Becquerel in 1839 discovered the photovoltaic effect – that light falling on certain materials can produce electricity.  Later physicist, including Albert Einstein, found that tiny photons, or particles of light, could interact with electrons surrounding the nucleus of an atom.  That interaction causes a free stream of electrons - the basis of electricity.

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AZ Dept. of Commerce Report - Fundamentals of Photovoltaics

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The Fundamentals of Photovoltaic Systems

The basic element of a photovoltaic system is the solar cell. Modern solar cells are approximately 4 inches square and are most often made from silicon, a semiconductor.

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AZ Dept. of Commerce Report - From Calculators to Power Plants

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From Calculators to Power Plants: PV Systems in Action

Photovoltaics systems are quite different from traditional methods of generating electricity. Their power production is directly affected by the weather and the time of day – I. e. they can’t produce electricity without sunshine. Ironically, photovoltaic cells are also affected by the sun’s heat becoming less efficient at high temperatures.

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AZ Dept. of Commerce Report - Solar Cells

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Single – Crystalline Cells

The oldest and most efficient type of photovoltaic cell is made from single-crystalline Silicon.  It is called single-crystalline because the atoms form a nearly perfect, regular lattice – if you could see into the cell, it would look exactly the same in almost every spot.  In these cells, electrons released during the photovoltaic effect have clear, unobstructed paths on which to travel.

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AZ Dept. of Commerce Report - Sizing a Photovoltaic System

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Sizing a Photovoltaic System

(What follows is a quick and easy method for sizing photovoltaic systems. However, the formula is not intended

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