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Home > Browse By Topic > Renewable Energy > Solar Energy > Books

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1.

GOT SUN? GO SOLAR

Rex A. Ewing and Doug Pratt
Paperback

Price: $20.00

If you're considering a solar or wind system for your home or business, this solar power guide is a valuable resource. In Got Sun? Go Solar, the authors explain how installing a solar or wind system i…

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If you're considering a solar or wind system for your home or business, this solar power guide is a valuable resource. In Got Sun? Go Solar, the authors explain how installing a solar or wind system is an economically attractive and environmentally responsible option.

From Vermont to California, homeowners are plugging in to a hot new idea — reducing or eliminating their electric bills by using free energy from the sun and wind. In this straight-talking new solar power guide, authors Rex Ewing and Doug Pratt tell other grid-connected homeowners how to capture alternative energy and put it to use in their home.

Renewable energy is going mainstream, thanks to affordable new technologies with rebates and incentives from many states. Today more and more homeowners believe that installing a home RE system is the economically-attractive and environmentally-responsible thing to do. Whether they install a solar/wind system to benefit their checkbooks or to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, they also enjoy the added independence of a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

This solar power guide covers battery backup versus non-battery systems, as well as equipment needed and installation considerations. Other topics include legal and safety issues, incentives/rebates, and permits and paperwork. An extensive appendix of resources, state energy offices, system sizing worksheets, and much more turns this 160-page book (filled with more than 120 photos and illustrations) into a must-have book for anyone interested in exploring their power options.

Contents:

  • Why invest in renewable energy for your home?
  • Is it legal and safe?
  • How solar electricity works
  • Batteries or not?
  • Sizing your system
  • Got Wind?
  • What does it cost?
  • Any financial help out there?
  • Permits and Paperwork
  • The Nuts and Bolts: what to look for, what to avoid
  • Who does the installation?
  • Appendix: manufacturers, web resources, state energy offices, sizing worksheets, glossary and more

About the authors:

The authors of this solar power guide know firsthand how these systems work. Rex Ewing, author of Power With Nature has lived off-the-grid in the Colorado Rockies since 1999. Doug Pratt, the former technical editor of the Solar Living Sourcebook, lives in a grid-tied home in northern California, and has been on the front lines of the renewable energy revolution since 1985.

Recommended product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books to its readers. For nearly 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

2.

SOLAR WATER HEATING

Bob Ramlow and Benjamin Nusz
Paperback

Price: $14.95

This Mother Earth NewsBook for Wiser Living reviews the history of solar water and space heating systems, then presents the basics of solar water heating, including an introduction to modern solar ene…

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This Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living reviews the history of solar water and space heating systems, then presents the basics of solar water heating, including an introduction to modern solar energy systems, energy conservation and energy economics.

Heating water with the sun is almost as old as humankind itself, and it is done all over the world. Yet there are strangely few resources on the topic in North America. Solar Water Heating fills this gap.

Drawing on the author's experience as an installer of these systems, the book goes on to cover: types of solar collectors, solar water and space heating systems and solar pool heating systems, including their advantages and disadvantages, system components, their installation, operation and maintenance, system sizing and siting and choosing the appropriate system.

Since people often get turned off by the up-front cost, the book focuses especially on the financial aspects of solar water or space heating systems, clearly showing that such systems can save significant costs in the long run. Well-illustrated, the book is designed for a wide readership from the curious to the student or professional.

About the Contributor:

Bob Ramlow is the solar thermal consultant for the Wisconsin Focus on Energy Program. The owner of a renewable energy company, he has over 30 years experience with solar energy systems and is a founder and director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA).

Benjamin Nusz currently works as a solar water heating consultant and site assessor in Wisconsin.

3.

POWER FROM THE SUN

Dan Chiras
Other/miscellaneous products

Price: $26.95

Solar panel systems can give you the energy independence you want, and in Power From the Sun, author Dan Chiras gives you accurate and easy-to-understand information about small-scale solar energy sys…

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Solar panel systems can give you the energy independence you want, and in Power From the Sun, author Dan Chiras gives you accurate and easy-to-understand information about small-scale solar energy systems.

Starting with basic information about electricity and solar power, this book includes information about site assessment for optimum use of your solar panel system, types of PV systems, inverters, batteries, generators and maintenance of your solar electric system.

With chapters for every part of a solar panel system, you will be able to understand clearly how and why everything works. The authors have also included a final chapter on permits, insurance and other necessary paperwork for solar panel systems.

Homeowners and businesses will benefit from reading Power From the Sun by better understanding how a solar panel system can save them money in a short time, and how they too can achieve energy independence.

About the author:

Dan Chiras is president of Sustainable Systems Design, Inc., a residential renewable energy and green building consulting firm, and is director of The Evergreen Institute's Center for Renewable Energy and Green Building. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author and has published 25 books, including The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy and Power from the Wind.

Robert Aram, PE, LEED AP, is a renewable energy advocate and consultant. His consulting projects include off-grid farmsteads, highly energy-efficient homes and a solar system for a university sports complex. He has participated in the design and installation of photovoltaic, solar thermal and small wind systems.

Kurt Nelson has been installing solar electric systems through his company SOLutions since the late 1980s. He specializes in off-grid PV and teaches classes for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Recommended Books for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books and products to its readers. For nearly 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

4.

THE PASSIVE SOLAR PRIMER: SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE

DAVID WRIGHT, AIA
Paperback

Price: $29.99

Architect David Wright helped pioneer the concept of passive solar architecture, and his thoughts and experiments have helped shape the evolution of solar design throughout the world. His years of exp…

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Architect David Wright helped pioneer the concept of passive solar architecture, and his thoughts and experiments have helped shape the evolution of solar design throughout the world. His years of exploration are distilled in this comprehensive book, which provides simple graphics and language to illuminate concepts including greenhouse effect, heat storage, surface-to-volume ratio, ventilation and cooling.

Tips, rules-of-thumb, regional characteristics and many other considerations are presented to help readers, from initial site selection to visionary design. Written for architects, designers and others who seek to tap the free resources offered by earth and sun, this invaluable tool will help reduce dependence on outside energy sources. You will be inspired.

5.

TOWARD A ZERO ENERGY HOME

David Johnston/Scott Gibson
Paperback

Price: $13.71

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $27.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A "zero energy" home — a home that produces as much energy as it consumes — is an idea whose time has come. By reduc…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $27.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A "zero energy" home — a home that produces as much energy as it consumes — is an idea whose time has come. By reducing or eliminating utility bills, zero energy homes offer a new direction for housing in America. It is a win-win for the homeowner, for the planet and for a new generation of builders who are building houses that better meet the energy challenges ahead of us all.

With unequaled knowledge and a passion for the subject, authors David Johnston and Scott Gibson explore the design and construction of energy self-sufficient houses from start to finish and feature 12 houses that were built for zero energy living.

About the authors:

A leader in the green building movement, David Johnston is the author of Green From the Ground Up and founder of Green Building and What's Working. His approach to green building has been embraced by building professionals, municipalities, homeowners and sustainability advocates nationwide. Co-author Scott Gibson is a freelance writer and longtime contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding magazine.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

6.

SOLAR ELECTRICITY BASICS

Dan Chiras
Paperback

Price: $12.95

Solar energy is an abundant resource. Once a curiosity, solar electric systems are becoming commonplace. As we transition away from finite and polluting fossil fuels, clean, reliable and affordable r…

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Solar energy is an abundant resource. Once a curiosity, solar electric systems are becoming commonplace. As we transition away from finite and polluting fossil fuels, clean, reliable and affordable renewable technologies such as solar electricity will become the mainstay of our energy supply.

Solar Electricity Basics provides a clear understanding of the sun, solar energy and solar electric systems. It discusses the theoretical, practical and economic aspects of residential solar installations including inverters, batteries and controllers, costs of solar electric systems, financial incentives, system installation and maintenance, permits, covenants, utility interconnection, and buying a system.

Whether your goal is to lower your energy bill through a grid-connected system or to achieve complete energy independence, Solar Electricity Basics is the introduction you need.

7.

SOLAR WATER HEATING (SECOND EDITION)

BOB RAMLOW AND BENJAMIN NUSZ
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Heating water with the sun is a practice almost as old as humankind itself. Solar Water Heating, now completely revised and expanded, is the definitive guide to this clean and cost-effective technolog…

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Heating water with the sun is a practice almost as old as humankind itself. Solar Water Heating, now completely revised and expanded, is the definitive guide to this clean and cost-effective technology.

Beginning with a review of the history of solar water and space heating systems from prehistory to the present, Solar Water Heating presents an introduction to modern solar energy systems, energy conservation and energy economics. Drawing on the authors' experiences as designers and installers of these systems, the book goes on to cover types of solar collectors, solar water and space heating systems, and solar pool heating systems, including their advantages and disadvantages; system components, their installation, operation and maintenance; system sizing and siting, and choosing the appropriate system.

This book focuses on the financial aspects of solar water or space heating systems, clearly showing that such systems generate significant savings in the long run. With many diagrams and illustrations to complement the clearly-written text, this book is designed for a wide readership ranging from the curious homeowner to the serious student or professional.

8.

GREEN SENSE FOR THE HOME: RATING THE REAL PAYOFF

Eric C. Freed and Kevin Daum
Paperback

Price: $12.05

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $21.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

When does a green home project make financial sense? The authors of this book provide the answer to th…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $21.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

When does a green home project make financial sense? The authors of this book provide the answer to this and other questions relating to the cost (and relative value) of environmentally friendly home improvements. Eric Corey Freed and Kevin Daum are experts, respectively, in green building and in financing custom homes. In this information-packed book, they walk readers through 50 green home projects and break them down according to the positive impact they have on the environment, as well as the impact they may have (both positive and negative) on the reader's wallet.

They evaluate a wide array of projects, including insulating pipes, weatherizing doors and windows, composting and recycling trash, installing a solar hot water heater, installing green countertops, upgrading appliances, building with reclaimed materials and installing radiant heat. This unique perspective on going green is a reference that green-leaning homeowners simply cannot do without.

9.

POWER TRIP

Amanda Little
Hardcover

Price: $14.29

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $25.99. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

After covering the environment and energy beat for more than a decade, columnist Amanda Little decide…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $25.99. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

After covering the environment and energy beat for more than a decade, columnist Amanda Little decided that the only way to fully understand America’s energy crisis was to travel into the heart of it. So she embarked on a daring, cross-country power trip to the most extreme and exciting frontiers of our energy landscape.

In Power Trip, we accompany her to a deep-sea oil rig, the cornfields of Kansas, the catacombs of the Pentagon, the Talladega Superspeedway, and inside New York City’s electrical grid. We visit laboratories creating the innovations that will carry us into a clean-energy future. Little also travels back through history to investigate how America developed its unrivaled appetite for fossil fuels. In vivid, fast-paced prose, she illustrates how the same American ingenuity that got us into this mess can get us out of it too.

10.

DIY SOLAR PROJECTS

Eric Smith
Paperback

Price: $21.99

Advances in solar technology have made many DIY-friendly products available to consumers. These include solar water heaters, solar battery charging stations, solar-powered lights, photovoltaic shingle…

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Advances in solar technology have made many DIY-friendly products available to consumers. These include solar water heaters, solar battery charging stations, solar-powered lights, photovoltaic shingles that provide supplementary electricity, solar heat pumps, and solar panel kits that generate primary home electrical service. Among the step-by-step projects is a solar water heating system you can build and install yourself for under $1,000; simple thermosyphon solar heat collectors for barns and outbuildings; and "heat grabbers" that you can fabricate for $50 in materials and position below a south-facing window to provide auxiliary winter heat.

Want to read more? Preview this book: How to Make a Solar Still.

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