Solar Energy Books

solar power your home for dummies bookIf you are new to solar energy and just trying to learn more about the subject, then you may want to consider investing a few bucks and picking up a copy of “Solar Power Your Home For Dummies.” It contains about 350 pages of helpful information, which ranges from a good introduction to solar energy to details on DIY small-medium-sized projects, and using solar energy for your home.

It even has a section buying, selling, and building a solar home and some tips on finding the money to fund your solar projects. Please keep in mind that this is NOT a how-to guide on building solar panels or building a home solar system, but it does contain a lot of good information to help you understand what is involved, what type of system may be suitable for you, and offers some pros and cons to help you with some of the decisions involved.

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photovoltaic design and installation for dummies bookIf you are more interested in the how-to of building solar photovoltaic systems, then “Photovoltaic Design and Installation For Dummies” is probably a better choice than the previous book mentioned.

This book contains 384 pages and allows you to dig into the nitty-gritty of solar components and understand the technologies used in all types of PV systems, from modules and batteries to charge controllers, inverters, and more. Turn the pages to get advice on figuring out which system type is right for you. The plain-English explanations of electricity basics helps make this information easy to digest and understand.

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Passive Solar

solar water heaterPassive Solar or solar thermal collects heat as the sun shines and retains it in materials that store heat, known as thermal mass. This method is commonly used for heating water for homes or for swimming pools. The picture to the left shows a solar water heater that uses this method. Notice, it is mounted on the roof and is designed to collect the sun’s energy. There are many different solar water heater designs on the market today with varying configurations and materials used, but they all have basically the same goal — to capture and retain heat from the sun so that water can be heated.

Passive solar can also be used for heating homes. This article from the Department of Energy goes into quite a bit of detail on the subject,  and provides some design guidelines for passive solar homes.