Got Sun? Go Solar by Rex A. Ewing and Doug Pratt (2nd ed.) doesn’t exactly relate to IT like most topics here on 404 Tech Support but nor have we been strangers to talking about the saving energy and going green motives of the day. This book is an excellent source for that part where the “rubber meets the road” when discussing renewable energy. If you’ve been thinking about the topic of maybe wiring up your house with a wind turbine or maybe some solar panels, Got Sun? is a must read for you.
Got Sun is simple to read but still contains a bevy of information that is hard to find elsewhere. Trust me, I’ve tried. This book provides the real practical information that you need to know to turn the theoretical, great sounding idea in your head into a practical, energy-saving system for your home or business. For example, I will be re-roofing my house soon. I was wondering if there was anything I should do to make a solar installation easier further down the road.
Also interesting to note, Got Sun? is published by PixyJack Press, a 100% solar and wind powered press since 1999.
The topics in Got Sun? Go Solar are covered in these chapters:
- Why Would You Want a Solar / Wind Electric System?
- Is This Stuff Legal…or Safe?
- Riding Herd on Electrons: Electricity and Solar Cell Basics
- You Want Batteries With That?
- Sizing Your Solar / Electric System
- Where Does Everything Go?
- Got Wind?
- Let’s Talk Money and System Performance
- Any Financial Help Out There?
- Permits and Paperwork
- The Nuts and Bolts: What to Look For, What to Avoid
- Who Does the Solar / Wind Electric Installation?
- Using the Sun’s Warmth to Heat Your Home
- Get in Hot Water and Love It
- Geothermal: Capturing the Heat Beneath Your Feet
Along with practical information gleaned from real-life experience, good resources are shared that allow you to plan wisely and take advantage of the years of experience shared between the authors.
Some of those resources (much for my own reference) include:
Clean Power Estimator which calculates net cost and years until paid back amongst other things like carbon output reduction using California-based regional information.
There are a number of recommendations for different mounting systems, including:
Despite the title, Got Sun? also covers small wind power options and resources.
You can find wind maps and rebate information at www.bergey.com.
View the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the US, a thorough document that discusses national and regional wind patterns, seasonal variations, and the methods used to compile the data.
You can find the “wind speed and solar irradiance data for any place on the globe” at http://www.3tier.com/firstlook/ by signing up for an account.
You can find professionals in your area to install PV systems at http://www.findsolar.com/.
You should also check out the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and know what you’re talking about by visiting the Contractor’s License Reference Site.
Got Sun? Go Solar by Rex A. Ewing and Doug Pratt (2nd ed.) was a good read and served as a knowledgeable voice of reason when thinking about implementing renewable energy in the future. The terminology was not overwhelming and explained simply so that the “magic” of photovoltaic systems was easy to understand. I feel like I was able to consult with an experienced professional and get some of their best practice recommendations for the low price of this book.