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Consumer Guide to Solar Energy The Return of the Solar Cat Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells The Solar House The Passive Solar House Solar Living Source Book Solar Today

The better informed you are, the faster you will be able to get the most out of your solar system. Acquire not only the basic knowledge but also many invaluable tricks and secrets by learning from other people's "solar experiences".

Or stay up to date - or ahead - of the "crowd" by subscribing to a monthly magazine. The solar market has been growing faster than the computer business in the last ten years and this is only the beginning!

 

 

If you know of new and exciting solar books, videos or magazines, please send us a link or at least a description, and we will include it in the solar shop & products review.
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Solar books, videos and magazines online at Amazon.com
   
Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook

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The Real Goods 11th Edition Solar Living Sourcebook, edited by John Schaeffer, is the definitive compendium on renewable energy sources, sustainable living practices, alternative construction, homesteading and off-the-grid living. Features sections on solar utility intertie, alternative vehicles and dozens of new products.

Whether you're ready to become energy independent, build your dream house or just make your home more efficient and healthy, this is the ultimate source, packed with solutions and technical details.

 

This book covers everything from the basics to fairly advanced knowledge of virtually any aspect of solar enrgy related topic.

It als covers harder to find subjects, such as alternative vehicles and new products.

I have found this amazingly interesting and well written book even in a relatively remote village in south Costa Rica - it explains really everything relevant very well. I could not stop reading until the library (a small hut) closed.

Highly recommended.

   
Power with Nature: Solar and wind energy demystified
   

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By Rex A. Ewing

Rex is comfortable with technology, and conveys that easy confidence to the reader. Renewable energy for home owners is demystified and explained in plain English by someone who lives off-the-grid, loves it, and tells good stories. Rex's clear writing is coupled with extensive drawings, pictures, sidebars, witticisms, and a few bad jokes. Altogether a thoroughly enjoyable read.

In Part One, you will be entertained by Dog of the Sun and Cat of the Wind — a primer charmingly disguised as a fable. In Part Two, you'll be enlightened by a wealth of practical, hands-on information for solar, wind and micro-hydro power; plus common sense explanations of the necessary components such as batteries, inverters, charge controllers, and more, needed to create your own electricity and live comfortably, either on- or off-the-grid. In addition to solar, wind, and hydro power, Ewing covers the basics of passive solar design, solar hot water, and water pumping.

Paperback: 256 pages; Publisher: Pixyjack Press; Illustrate edition (April 12, 2003)

 

 

Solar Panels convert daylight into electricity.

No noise.

No moving parts.

No exaust pipe.

Now, that's magic!

Solar Energy Explained - VHS
   

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T21 Solar Energy Explained Video
Bergwall Productions Inc.

Published: Delmar Learning
Binding: VHS Video

 

This is one of the few commercially available videos on solar energy I have come across.

I haven't seen it yet but it should make the teaching of solar enegy basics and its applications and implications more colourful - particularly in schools and colleges.

Consumer Guide to Solar Energy
   

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by Scott Sklar, Kenneth G. Sheinkopf

At a time when millions of Americans are facing higher energy costs and less disposable income in their pockets, the newly updated Consumer Guide to Solar Energy can show you how to reduce these costs while actually making your home more comfortable.

The costs of energy for heating, cooling and electricity are at an all-time high in most parts of the country, and many energy experts predict that they will continue to rise. At the same time, there is growing concern about the reliability of an aging and less-than-secure electric grid. Recent events have further emphasized the need for energy security and reduced reliance on imported oil.

Two nationally recognized experts on solar energy have updated their classic guide for homeowners and businesses. Learn about numerous new products, proven reliable and effective, which are now available on the shelves of hardware stores, home supply centers and other outlets. The new edition includes updated information on solar energy tax credits and a host of new state programs supporting clean energy.

 

This book is relevant to anybody who wants to focus on cutting energy costs.

I have received emails and phone calls from solar energy enthusiasts in California and other places in the world confirming that more grants and support programs exist than we might suspect. Some even finance half of your installation costs!

Personal note: using solar energy for living does not always have to be cost effective.
It is a highly enjoyable, fun and beautiful hobby on its own - and at the same time you are pioneering an unavoidable future trend and technology!

Achieving Energy Independence - One Step at a Time
   

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by Jeffrey R. Yago

A must have first text for any homeowner wanting to install a back up power system for their home or home business. Addresses new ways to prepare for power outages including Y2K, brownouts, storm outages, and rolling blackouts.

Answers all installation questions about solar photovoltaic systems, generators, battery inverters, wind turbines, and battery banks, including wiring diagrams and safety issues.

Paperback: 190 pages; Publisher: Dunimis Technology (November 15, 1999)

 

Charlie Worton's review at Amazon:

"I would recommend this book to individuals new to the solar power movement, who are seeking a broad, non-detailed overview of power production and storage through solar panel usage. "

The Return of the Solar Cat
   

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by Jim Augustyn, Hildy Paige Burns

A delightful, lavishly illustrated, highly amusing and super educational romp through the basics of solar energy, using that most perfect of solar collectors, the common cat. Pokes fun at all that's sacred to technicians, engineers, and bureaucrats, while doing a charming non-technical job of explaining how solar technology works.

Adults and children will both enjoy this book. This is an extensive update of the 1970 classic by the same author.

Paperback: 96 pages; Publisher: Patty Paw Press; Updated edition (November 1, 2003)

"Every dollar spent on a solar cat is a dollar well spent."
—Dr. Alan Catspan, noted economist.

 

Solar energy is for everybody!

For some reason, a fresh non-technical introduction is a very rare occurance.

This book does make a great gift for everyone including the technical enthusiast who likes to see a different perspective of solar technology.

Let's hope there will be a movie out soon...!

The Easy Guide to Solar Electric, Part 1 & Part 2
   

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by Pieper Adi

The Easy Guide to Solar Electric is a simple and entertaining introduction to solar electric. It is also a statement for clean energy and for environmentally healthy lifestyle. The reader will be introduced - through humor and analogies - to the basic electrical terms and the components of a solar system. Practical tips, including names and numbers, will give the reader some idea about reliable products and manufacturers. This expanded second edition is complete with index, glossary and charts.

The second part of The Easy Guide to Solar Electric is Adi Pierper's answer to many requests for a hands-on book. It teaches how to plan, design, and install a Photovoltaic System down to the nuts and bolts. A very detailed view on DC electrical theory with formulas and graphs will help the reader in the planing stage.

Paperback: 192 pages; Publisher: Adi Solar (November, 2003)

 

 

All you need to know to design and set up your first or (10th..) photovoltaic system.

The real criteria to choose batteries, solar panels, charge controllers and more.

The Solar House
   

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Passive solar design is basically simple, the devil is in the details, this book admits, even highlights, ideas from the 70's that didn't work, but mostly highlights the good design ideas that DO work.

Chira's explains in detail how homebuilders can design excellent solar buildings attuned to regional climates. Buildings that are warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and require a minimum of energy to stay that way.

This has become simply the best passive solar design book that's ever been available. Includes experienced reviews of current software programs for solar design, and extensive resource lists and appendixes.

Paperback: 320 pages; Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company (October 1, 2002)

 

A "solar house" or in other words, a home that utilizes effectively the sun's energy to heat in winter - when the sun is low on the horizon - avoiding overheating in summer, is a worthwhile achievement.

All has to do with a clever arrangement of wall & roof angles, positions shapes, windows, insulation material, and much more.

The Passive Solar House - Using Solar Design to Heat and Cool Your Home
   

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By James Kachadorian. (Real Goods Independent Living Books)

Whether you are adopting the model developed by Jim Kachadorian or using another designer's layout and plan, this book will provide you with pragmatic, immediately applicable solar design advice that is usable in any region or climate. Information includes:

- Proper siting and strategic window selection and placement
- Energy and money-saving construction tips
- Ideal air-exchange rates, and ways to avoid overheating
- Methods for gauging and maximizing thermal mass
- Criteria for sizing of back-up heating systems
- Interior design for year-round comfort

Paperback: 210 pages; Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company (June 1, 1997)

 

 

To transform or desing your (or a friend's) house so that Nature works for you, and not you against it, can be a lot of fun, provided you either know what you are doing - or you have a good reference such as this one.

"This book is brimful of worthwhile, constructive how-to advice, and gives readers the basis for understanding the hows and whys of solar design, including a succinct presentation of ten key solar-design principles that have defined and guided solar architecture for thousands of years."

Very popular. Click on the picture to see if there is a new edition available.

Logs, Wind and Sun
   

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Many people dream of getting back to nature and living self-sufficiently in a house built with their own hands. The Ewings show readers how to do just that in this account of how they built a log house and then powered it using sun and wind.

For most people, this would be a monumental undertaking, and so it was for the Ewings. In one case, their logs were delivered a mile from their homesite, and they had to move them the rest of the way themselves. Using a combination of brains and hard work, they solved this problem and many others. The Ewings take a clear, step-by-step approach to log building-a project one obviously should not undertake without considerable building experience. Fully a third of the text is devoted to explaining how to run one's home completely off the power grid.

Readers are offered a wealth of hard-to-find information about solar photovoltaic modules, wind generators, charge controllers, batteries, inverters-all fully explained in the Ewings' easygoing, pragmatic manner with an emphasis on safety.
- Reed Business Information, Inc.

Paperback: 304 pages; Publisher: Pixyjack Press (August 20, 2002)

 

 

Aquire the knowledge you need to build your own solar powered (log?) house while reading an adverture story.

Great gift for those who are not too much interested in dry technical issues.

Solar Electricity, 2nd Edition
   

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Edited by Tomas Markvart, University of Southampton, UK

The rapid evolution of photovoltaic technology has highlighted the increasing capabilities of solar electricity as a power source for distributed energy generation. Building on the success of the first edition, Solar Electricity presents a balanced introduction to all aspects of solar energy conversion, from cell types to environmental impact and applications.

Now fully revised to incorporate the latest industry achievements and featuring: New sections on the role of dye sensitised solar cells, photovoltaics in buildings, diesel hybrid systems, and photovoltaic markets and funding. Solar cell design and manufacturing technology including crystalline silicon and thin film devices. Introduction to a range of photovoltaic applications including rural electrification, grid connection issues, and the supply of electrical power to satellites in space. Illustrative case studies and self-assessment questions and answers at the end of each chapter.

Undergraduate and postgraduate science and engineering students, practising mechanical and power engineers and those with a general interest in renewable energy will find this comprehensive text on invaluable reference.

Paperback: 256 pages; Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2 edition (May 12, 2000)

 

 

Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR:

"This textbook shows how to determine the supply of solar energy for a given location, explains how solar cells are manufactured, looks at the power system structure and subsystems, and reviews the most common applications.
The section edition adds new sections on the role of dye-sensitized solar cells, photovoltaics in buildings, and diesel hybrid systems."

Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
   

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by Adolf Goetzberger, Joachim Knobloch, Bernhard Voss

Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells addresses the practical and theoretical issues fundamental to the viable conversion of sunlight into electricity. Written by three internationally renowned experts, this valuable reference profits from results and experience gained from research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

Accessible to those with a basic knowledge of physics and mathematics, this is an excellent introductory book for students studying solid state and semiconductor physics. All those working in photovoltaic development and production will find Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells an indispensable resource.

Published: John Wiley & Sons; Pages: 254; Binding: Hardcover

 

 

I have used an older version (in German) of this well known book amongst solar cell scientists and engineers, and found it very valuable to look up data and formulars related to inorganic solar cells.

It will also serve as an excellent - fairly compact - introduction to the theory of the physics of solar cells.

Thin Film Crystallic Silicon Solar Cells
   

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by Rolf Brendel

This introduction to the physics of silicon solar cells focuses on thin cells, while reviewing and discussing the current status of the important technology. An analysis of the spectral quantum efficiency of thin solar cells is given as well as a full set of analytical models.

This is the first comprehensive treatment of light trapping techniques for the enhancement of the optical absorption in thin silicon films.

Hardcover: 306 pages ; Publisher: Wiley-VCH; (March 7, 2003)

 

 

Especially the part on light trapping will be of great value to every student or anybody who is interested in solar cell science and technology.

I have learned a whole lot from Rolf during my time at the MPI Stuttgart.

Wind Energy Basics: A guide to small and micro wind system
   

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By Paul Gipe.

Step-by-step manual for reaping the advantages of a windy ridgetop as painlessly as possible. Chapters include wind energy fundamentals, estimating performance, understanding turbine technology, off-the-grid applications, utility intertie, siting, buying, and installing, plus a thorough resource list with manufacturer contacts, and international wind energy associations.

Paperback: 122 pages; Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company (April 1, 1999)

 

 

Moving air (wind) is largely a consequence of heated air (by the sun!) that rises and cooling air that falls. In between the rising and falling air masses the air can move horizontally and propell turbines that generate electricity.

Wind power is a very important part of the renewable energy pot of the current and future electricity grid.

Sun, Wind & Light
   

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How to design buildings that heat with the sun, cool with the wind, light with the sky, and move into the future using on-site renewable resources.

Developed for rapid use during schematic design, this book clarifies relationships between form and energy and gives designers tools for designing sustainably. It also:
- Applies the latest passive energy and lighting design research
- Organizes information by architectural elements at three scales: building groups, individual buildings, and building parts
- Brings design strategies to life with examples and practical design tools
Features:
- 109 analysis techniques and design strategies
- More than 750 illustrations, sizing graphs, and tables
- Both inch-pound and metric units

Paperback: 400 pages; Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (October 24, 2000)

 

 

An invaluable book for designers of smart (sustainable energy using) houses.

Solar Energy, Science in Action - VHS    

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Director: Basu Bhattacharya

Format: VHS Video, NTSC
(Due to NTSC format, this VHS will probably not be viewable in other countries but USA and Canada. )

 

 

Beth Mabie's (US) review at Amazon: "Great, quick overview of solar energy in its varying forms. It gives the history of solar energy through modern times. It is easy to understand and uses many analogies to clarify difficult points. The questions asked at the end of each section are relevant and thought provoking. --- Approporiate for all age groups (best for 3rd to 6/7th grade)."

Cooking With the Sun: How to Build and Use Solar Cookers
   

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by Beth Halacy, Dan Halacy

Solar cooking is easy, free, and clean, and you can build a solar oven and a solar hot plate with a few dollars' worth of materials and hand tools.

Cooking with the sun shows how to harness the sun's energy in preparing food. It presents detailed plans, liberally illiustrated with line drawings and photos, for building solar ovens that can cook a 12 pound turkey in three hours, and a solar reflector "hot plate" that perks coffee and cooks steak, bacon and eggs, hot cakes and other stove-top meals. The oven will reach temperatures of 375 degrees F, and the "hot plate" 650 degrees F.

Endorsed by the American Solar Energy Society and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Paperback: 114 pages. Publisher: Morning Sun Press.

 

 

Read about the adventure of solar cooking - learn the secrets of this still very new art that most chefs have not even heard about!

Be one of the first!

Journal Of Solar Energy Engineering - MAGAZINE subscription
   

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4 issues/12 months

Testing and simulation, solar thermal power, wind energy, conservation, bio-conversion, ocean energy systems, photovoltaics, materials, system analysis and optimization.

Original articles covering testing and simulation, solar thermal power, wind energy, conservation, bio-conversion, ocean energy systems, photovoltaics, materials, systems analysis and optimazation.

 

 
Great magazine for engineers and those with a strong technical background and interest.
Solar Today - MAGAZINE subscription
   

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6 issues/12 months

Keeps scientists, engineers, educators, practicioners, researchers, and consumers current with developments in solar energy related fields.

 

 

Very popular solar energy magazine.

Recommended for those who want to stay informed about everything new and solar related without getting too technical.

A great gift for an interested family member (brother, father...) who lives in the same household...

Solar & Renewable Energy Outlook - MAGAZINE subscription
   

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24 issues/12 months

Dedicated to the business, technology and politics of renewable energy.

 

 

Stay up to date with all aspects of renewable energy (not just solar) including wind, biomass, ocean power etc.

Also a great gift for a solar interested family or couple.


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