YERTpod27: Everything’s Under the Sun in Arizona

SAVE THESE DATES! YERT will be celebrating the end of its travels with two rockin’ events. The first is in San Francisco on July 11 at the Temple Nightclub. The second is in Pittsburgh on August 9 at the Rachel Carson Homestead. RSVP on Facebook (SF)(P’burgh) or eVite (SF)(P’burgh) and bring your friends!

Dear YERTians,

YERT took a power trip in Arizona—to explore perhaps the cleanest and most plentiful power source available in that desert state.

Our first stop? APS (Arizona Public Service) is a utility company that has opened up the closest thing we’ve found to a solar power playground. Dan Lonetti and Steven Gottfried showed us all around the “APS STAR Center,” where we saw the latest and greatest solar panels being tested in the heat of the Arizona sun. The day didn’t end before Steven (and Flat Stanley) blew our minds with a tour of the Saguaro Solar Trough Power Plant, which uses advanced solar hot-dog-cooking-style technology to heat mineral oil that ultimately powers a turbine—creating electricity!

Our next stop took us on over to Jack Ehrhardt, Planning Director for the Walapi Tribal Nation, who showed us all around the solar powered airport that they’ve established at the lip of Grand Canyon West. We can’t wait to show more of Jack to you. You’ll see why…

Sun of a Gun!

Mark, Ben, and Julie (and Erika)

P.S. Breadcrumbs! For more information about the topics in this video, check out these links…

  • Saguaro Solar Trough Power Plant – From the APS website: “This facility is the first solar trough to combine an organic Rankine cycle turbine engine with a parabolic trough solar field. The plant generates 1 MW of power.” This facility can eventually be coupled with a thermal storage tank that saves the superheated mineral oil underground during the day and recalls it in the evening when the sun has set but demand is still high. Read their brochure about the plant, too.
  • Wikipedia includes this generic note about solar trough technology… “The overall efficiency from collector to grid, i.e. (Electrical Output Power)/(Total Impinging Solar Power) is about 15%, similar to PV(Photovoltaic Cells) and less than Stirling dish concentrators.” And more info from the Department of Energy here.
  • Scottsdale Green Building Program – Anthony Floyd knows his stuff when it comes to building solar power (and other green features) into a building. He is Scottsdale’s Green Building Program Manager and shares a few words about the city’s green building process here, and a presentation he authored that is overflowing with stats and information here.

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