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Understanding the Social Value of Solar Energy Production in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

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With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point in a political battle to determine the value and future

With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point in a political battle to determine the value and future of residential solar energy fees, which has critical implications for distributed generation. As the debate grows, it is clear that solar policies developed in Arizona will influence other state regulators regarding their solar rate structures and Net Energy Metering; however, there is a hindrance in the progress of this discussion due to the varying frameworks of the stakeholders involved. For this project, I set out to understand and analyze why the different stakeholders have such conflicting viewpoints. Some groups interpret energy as a financial and technological object while others view it is an inherently social and political issue. I conducted research in three manners: 1) I attended public meetings, 2) hosted interviews, and 3) analyzed reports and studies on the value of solar. By using the SRP 2015 Rate Case as my central study, I will discuss how these opposing viewpoints do or do not incorporate various forms of justice such as distributive, participatory, and recognition justice. In regards to the SRP Rate Case, I will look at both the utility- consumer relationship and the public meeting processes in which they interact, in addition to the pricing plans. This work reveals that antiquated utility structures and a lack of participation and recognition justice are hindering the creation of policy changes that satisfy both the needs of the utilities and the community at large.

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2015-12

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Computer model verification and testing of an apricus AP-30 evacuated tube collector array

Description

Evacuated tube solar thermal collector arrays have a wide range of applications. While most of these applications are limited in performance due to relatively low maximum operating temperatures, these collectors can still be useful in low grade thermal systems. An

Evacuated tube solar thermal collector arrays have a wide range of applications. While most of these applications are limited in performance due to relatively low maximum operating temperatures, these collectors can still be useful in low grade thermal systems. An array of fifteen Apricus AP-30 evacuated tube collectors was designed, assembled, and tested on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, AZ. An existing system model was reprogrammed and updated for increased flexibility and ease of use. The model predicts the outlet temperature of the collector array based on the specified environmental conditions. The model was verified through a comparative analysis to the data collected during a three-month test period. The accuracy of this model was then compared against data calculated from the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) efficiency curve to determine the relative performance. It was found that both the original and updated models were able to generate reasonable predictions of the performance of the collector array with overall average percentage errors of 1.0% and 1.8%, respectively.

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2011

Selling Sunshine: ASU Solar Energy Research 1951-1980

Description

Original exhibit panel text and an associated interview with ASU faculty Charles Backus and Harvey Bryan for the exhibit presented at the Luhrs Gallery, Hayden Library, Fall, 2013.

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2013-07-01