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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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2/23/2012 4:24:00 PM
City Briefs
Rec center to see solar savings

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- The City of Cottonwood is committing another facility to solar energy savings.

The Cottonwood Council has taken the first step in providing solar generated hot water for the Cottonwood Recreation Center and the outdoor competition pool. The proposal calls for a solar thermal installation expected to be more efficient than a solar photovoltaic system

Tuesday the council unanimously approved the first contract for design and preconstruction services to Emcor Services Arizona. The contract will cost $32,000.

The installation of the system will cost another $350,000, to be paid from interest from GADA funds the city has been holding.

Cottonwood now pays about $25,000 annually to heat the indoor and outdoor pools, spa and domestic water at the facilities.

Six firms competed for the design-build contract.

Community Services Manager Richard Faust told the council that the payoff will take about 13 years but the long term savings over the natural gas heating system is estimated at $450,000.

Cottonwood's satellite wastewater plant at Riverfront Park is proposed to be 100 percent solar. A grant funded solar component is going up at the Cottonwood Airport and the council has committed to use solar in all future construction.

Arizona benefit bike run based in Cottonwood

An annual Arizona benefit bike run will be based in Cottonwood this year. Dubbed "Bike MS: Ride the Vortex" the two day, 150 mile bike run will make a circuit of the Verde Valley and Sedona and be anchored in the Cottonwood Kid's Park April 14 and 15.

Blaine King, representing the Arizona Multiple Sclerosis Foundation asked the council to allow alcohol and overnight camping at the park for the two day special event.

He says the activity is expected to attract bicyclists to raise money. There are 100 such bike runs across the country.

The council approved the event activities.

City joins the social media

COTTONWOOD-- A social media policy was under review by the Cottonwood Council, Tuesday. The city hopes to join the social media bandwagon to help publicize its activities and event. A Facebook page would be the initial step. The policy was borrowed from the City of Sedona, which has an active page according to Administrative Services Manager Rudy Rodriguez.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: Dan Sizelove

What type of solar thermal collectors are being used? I ask because at $350,000 one is led to believe it is the wrong type.

If the solar thermal collectors being installed on the pool are medium- or high-temperature "glazed" (has a solar glass casing or are evacuated tube-type collectors) you are using the wrong technology for the application.

Swimming pools do not need the temperatures these types of solar thermal collectors produce - these collectors are meant for home hot water and steam production, however they are too often installed on pools.

This pushes the payback period way higher than it should be - in the case of the Cottonwood pool the system won't pay for itself for almost 15 years!

Low-temperature unglazed collectors made from a durable polymer like polypropylene are the most cost-effective way to heat a swimming pool. With an unglazed system you will rarely find a payback period longer than 7-9 years.

Feel free to email or call me for more information - jdsizelove (at) warmwater (dot) com

Dan Sizelove
Aquatherm Industries, Inc.

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