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Solar Books

Solar Books 2017-05-22T14:13:58+00:00

Just click on the link below it to read more and to order.

pssive solar home

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


Book Description
Finally there is a contemporary book that demonstrates the potential for heating and cooling a home with free energy. This new volume is a welcome addition to the canon of indispensable solar construction books, bringing fully up to date for the 1990s the legendary promise of 1970s-era solar pioneers: the promise of a home that heats and cools itself with minimal use of a back-up furnace.
Whether you are adopting the model developed by Jim Kachadorian or using another designer’s layout and plan, The Passive Solar House 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

       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.

Customer Review
       Well thought out :5 stars

“It is amazing how many houses are plopped down in this country with no consideration of the sun. After reading this book, it becomes apparent that even if we built the same houses, but simply oriented them with respect to the sun (i.e., windowed rooms facing south, closets on the north wall, etc.) we could make drastic reductions in our consumption of natural resources.The book has general information on site selection, house layout, etc. but also details a manner of building involving forgoing a basement for a floor of concrete (for thermal mass), window placement and insulating shutters. During the day, the house will not overheat because the ‘solar slab’ soaks it up, while at night recirculation techniques are outlined that make this heat available and comfortable at night. The book also includes all the formulas used in the calculations of thermal mass, window sizing, etc. Even if you don’t plan on building the house in this book, I got some great ideas involving placement of a hearth (a vertical thermal mass) in front of windows to put the sun to work minimizing the need for heating fuel. If you are planning a house, I’d highly recommend this book.”


    Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual


Solar Energy International (Author)

Price: $40.00

        Book Description

Producing electricity from the sun using photovoltaic (PV) systems has become a major industry worldwide. But designing, installing and maintaining such systems requires knowledge and training, and there have been few easily accessible, comprehensive guides to the subject.
Now, with Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual, a world-class solar energy training and education provider—Solar Energy International (SEI)—has made available the critical information to successfully design, install and maintain PV systems. The book contains an overview of photovoltaic electricity and a detailed description of PV system components, including PV modules, batteries, controllers and inverters. It also includes chapters on sizing photovoltaic systems, analyzing sites and installing PV systems, as well as detailed appendices on PV system maintenance, troubleshooting and solar insolation data for over 300 sites around the world. Used worldwide as the textbook in SEI’s PV Design & Installation workshops, topics covered include:

The basics of solar electricity
PV applications and system components
  • Solar site analysis and mounting
Stand-alone and PV/generator hybrid system sizing
Utility-interactive PV systems
Component specification, system costs and economics
  • Case studies and safety issues
Photovoltaics guarantees that those wanting to learn the skills of tapping the sun’s energy can do so with confidence.

  Customer Review

Outstanding reference

“This book got me thru the design and installation of a complete off-grid system for my lake cottage. The process of site evaluation, system component selection, wiring, etc. is complex, but with a lot of study and this book, I ended up very happy with the results. Everything you need to know is here. I recommend it for anyone who is starting with little PV knowledge and wants to end up with a whole house system.”

sun power

  Power from the Sun: A Practical Guide to Solar Electricity [Paperback]

Price: $22.47

Book Description

Easy-to-understand, accurate, and comprehensive, this is the guide for anyone interested in installing a solar electric system.
Power from the Sun provides a basic understanding of electricity, solar energy and the sun, and solar site assessment. It discusses the types of photovoltaics (PVs) and PV systems, advances in PVs, charge controllers, inverters, batteries, and generators, as well as the installation and maintenance of a PV system.
This book is written for the layperson and is designed to raise the solar electricity literacy of readers. It provides a great overview of the many options available and is designed to help homeowners make wise decisions during the design, purchase, and installation of solar electric systems—and save a lot of money.
 Providing readers with the knowledge necessary to communicate effectively with PV installers, Power From the Sun is a great guide for homeowners, business owners, installers, architects, building department officials, utility company employees, and just about anyone else who wants to lower their energy bills or achieve greater energy independence.

Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars: Great book for anyone novice to expert

“Great book for anyone novice to expert. I am a retired multi-skilled technician with an extensive background in electronics and electrical fields. I found this book very informative for anyone interested in finding out more on solar panels and/or practicle installations. One can choose to get in great depth or just fundamentals. It is a great book.”

the solar house

    The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling [Paperback]

Price: $24.31

Book Description

Passive solar heating and passive cooling—approaches known as natural conditioning—provide comfort throughout the year by reducing, or eliminating, the need for fossil fuel. Yet while heat from sunlight and ventilation from breezes is free for the taking, few modern architects or builders really understand the principles involved. Now Dan Chiras, author of the popular book “The Natural House,” brings those principles up to date for a new generation of solar enthusiasts. The techniques required to heat and cool a building passively have been used for thousands of years. Early societies such as the Native American Anasazis and the ancient Greeks perfected designs that effectively exploited these natural processes. The Greeks considered anyone who didn’t use passive solar to heat a home to be a barbarian! In the United States, passive solar architecture experienced a major resurgence of interest in the 1970s in response to crippling oil embargoes. With grand enthusiasm but with scant knowledge (and sometimes little common sense), architects and builders created a wide variety of solar homes. Some worked pretty well, but looked more like laboratories than houses. Others performed poorly, overheating in the summer because of excessive or misplaced windows and skylights, and growing chilly in the colder months because of insufficient thermal mass and insulation and poor siting. In “The Solar House,” Dan Chiras sets the record straight on the vast potential for passive heating and cooling. Acknowledging the good intentions of misguided solar designers in the past, he highlights certain egregious—and entirely avoidable—errors. More importantly, Chiras explains in methodical detail how today’s home builders can succeed with solar designs. Now that energy efficiency measures including higher levels of insulation and multi-layered glazing have become standard, it is easier than ever before to create a comfortable and affordable passive solar house that will provide year-round comfort in any climate. Moreover, since modern building materials and airtight construction methods sometimes result in air-quality and even toxicity problems, Chiras explains state-of-the-art ventilation and filtering techniques that complement the ancient solar strategies of thermal mass and daylighting. Chiras also explains the new diagnostic aids available in printed worksheet or software formats, allowing readers to generate their own design schemes.

  Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars: An excellent guide for embracing ecology-friendly living

“The Solar House: Passive Heating And Cooling by global environmental issues expert Daniel D. Chiras is an “user friendly” architectural guide to choosing and implementing an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly backup heating system, and thereby making any dwelling both cost-effective and naturally heated and/or air conditioned. Black-and-white sketches clearly illustrate the detailed walk-throughs about the basics of passive solar heating, passive cooling, assessing the performance of one’s energy system and much more. An excellent guide for embracing ecology-friendly living, The Solar House is especially recommended as a do-it-yourself home reference for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in making their personal home as comfortable and environmentally friendly as possible.”

I have this book….it’s really good!

go solar

 Got Sun? Go Solar, Expanded 2nd Edition: Harness Nature’s Free Energy to Heat and Power Your Grid-Tied Home [Paperback]

Price: $14.81

Book Description

A straight-talking book tells grid-connected homeowners how to use free energy from the sun and wind to reduce or even eliminate their electric bills, and what to expect from this independent, thoughtful lifestyle. Whether you live in the sun-soaked Southwest, or windy North Dakota, alternative energy has come of age with affordable modern technology. Now with rebates and incentives from most states, installing a home system is an economically-attractive and environmentally-responsible option. Chapters include:

  •  Why invest in alternative energy for your home?
  • Is it legal and safe?
  • How solar electricity really works
  • Batteries or not?
  • Sizing a system to fit your home and your needs
  • Got Wind?
  • What does it cost?
  • Does your state offer rebates or incentives?
  • Permits, Paperwork and Financing
  • The Nuts & Bolts: what to look for, what to avoid
  • Who does the installation?
  • Extensive appendix with resources, manufacturers, sizing worksheets, glossary, and more.

“This is the best book ever published for the lay person about residential solar energy. Besides being fun to read, it will answer every technical question the homeowner would ever want or need to know. As the solar home power business explodes in America, this well-illustrated, easy-to-read book is essential. “–Neville Williams, Founder Standard Solar Inc., Solar Electric Light Company, and Solar Electric Light Fund

Customer Review

Good Start

“If you are interested in solar power, then this book will get you started. It is a quick read and it will answer a lot of questions you might have at the very beginning of your journey towards a solar-powered home. Is it going to answer all the questions? No. But it will answer your fundamental questions, and after reading this book, you will know what questions to ask next.”