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Solar PVs

Photovoltaic cells (PVs) are a very different technology from solar water heating, and use light to generate electricity. They are particularly well suited to sites where a grid connection would be difficult or expensive or that are only used in the summer. For an independent power supply, solar works well with wind as there is a good balance of both over the year. Solar electricity, like electricity from other renewable energy sources, doesn't produce carbon dioxide or harm the environment.

Although start-up costs are higher than other renewable technologies, PVs have key advantages:

·       there are no moving parts to fix so they are relatively easy to install and maintain

·       they can be sited in urban areas and are not restricted in the way that wind and hydro-power systems are

·       they can replace other roofing materials, for example tiles. The cells are embedded in a flat, waterproof material to form 'modules', which make ideal cladding material for walls and roofs

·       they need not take up any additional land space.

 

It is hoped that efficiency gains will make PVs a very attractive proposition in the next two decades.

Solar panels that produce electricity are expensive to buy and produce only relatively small amounts of electricity. They need to be sited in a good position and may take up a lot of valuable space. However they do have the advantage of producing pollution free energy and the output is greater in the summer, which is often when the wind is not so strong.

Photovoltaic systems use cells to convert solar radiation into electricity. The PV cell consists of one or two layers of a semi conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers, causing electricity to flow. The greater the intensity of the light the greater the flow of electricity.

PV systems generate no climate changing gases, saving approximately 325kg of carbon dioxide per year for each kW peak installed (Kilowatt (kW) peak - PV cells are referred to in terms of the amount of energy they generate in full sun light). PV arrays now come in a variety of shapes and colours, ranging from grey 'solar tiles' that look like roof tiles, to panels and transparent cells that you can use on conservatories and glass to provide shading as well as generating electricity. As well as enabling you to generate free electricity they can provide an interesting alternative to conventional roof tiles!

You can use PV systems for a building with a roof or wall that faces within 90 degrees of south, as long as no other buildings or large trees overshadow it. If the roof surface is in shadow for parts of the day, the output of the system decreases. Another consideration is that the roof also be strong enough to hold the significant weight of the panels, especially if the panel is going to be placed on top of existing tiles. A trained and experienced installer should always carry out solar PV installations.

Prices for PV systems vary, depending on the size of the system to be installed, type of PV cell used and the nature of the actual building on which the PV is mounted. The size of the system is dictated by the amount of electricity required to be supplied.

For the average domestic system, costs can be around £4,000- £9,000 per kwp installed with most domestic systems usually between 1.5 and 2 kwp. Solar tiles cost more than conventional panels and panels that are integrated into a roof are more expensive than those that sit on top. If you intend to have major roof repairs carried out it may be worth exploring PV tiles as they can offset the cost of roof tiles.

Grid connected systems require very little maintenance, generally limited to ensuring that the panels are kept relatively clean and that shade from trees has not become a problem. The wiring and components of the system should however be checked regularly by a qualified technician.

Some local authorities in the UK for example require planning permission to allow you to fit a PV system, especially in conservation areas or on listed buildings. Always check with your local authority about planning issues before you have a system installed. Obtaining retrospective planning permission can be difficult and costly!p>

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Solar power - questions answered
SKU: spqa/ebook/000

This ebook tackles some of the basic questions about solar power. 

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Who owns the sun? People politics and the struggle for the solar economy
SKU: wots/518/0000
WHO OWNS THE SUN?
PEOPLE, POLITICS, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR A SOLAR ECONOMY

by
Daniel M. Berman & John T. O’Connor

Environmental activists Berman and O'Connor offer a scathing explanation of why solar technology has played such an insignificant role in meeting America's energy needs.

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Heat Your Home for Free! - ebook
SKU: men/hyhff/6040

Heat Your Home for Free is a collection of classic articles from MOTHER EARTH NEWS that shows how simple solar systems can heat your home, garage, shop, barn, commercial building — just about any structure with a south-facing wall. The heat comes from solar energy, and it’s free. Best of all, this book shows how you can design, build and install solar heating systems yourself! We’ve compiled our best articles on do-it-yourself solar heating, from the early days of the magazine right up to the present.

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Profiles in Power: The Antinuclear Movement and the Dawn of the Solar Age
SKU: pip/460/000

The antinuclear movement and the dawn of the solar age.

There is an inscription inside the book to Senator Bob Graham, dated 1997.

As the 21st century approaches, global warming and the shortage of petroleum will become inescapable reality is the end of the industrial world's oil binge, will lead to a scramble for 20 nonpolluting energy sources and the nuclear power industry will attempt repackage itself as a clean, efficient and viable energy provider. The energy and its dangers linked nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism, which have become a critical concern of the post-Cold War era of rogue nations necessitate an ever present antinuclear vigilance.

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Power Estimator for Buildings and Caravans
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This donlaod contains three files that will help you estimator your power requirements for your house, boat or caravan. There are two Wxcel spreadsheets and one pdf file. To get the most form this you need Excel howver you can use the information to make manual calculations.

Included are the power requirements for typicall applainces. The power estimator could be used to calculate your solar, wind, or another generator requirements. The documents are in the public domain.

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Solar PV your guide to generating electricity - free ebook
SKU: spvggefb/ebook/000
This is a free pdf document from The Energy Saving Trust.

Most electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels. This releases carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere which contributes to climate change. A Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system is one which converts light directly into electricity on your roof with no waste and no emissions. This electricity is used throughout your home in the same way as the electricity you currently buy from your energy supplier. Harnessing the sun’s energy and converting it into electricity will reduce your fuel bills and at the same time reduce your daily impact on the environment.

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Background information to the intallers guide to the installation of small scale PV
SKU: biigspv/ebook/0000
BRE, EA Technology, Halcrows, and Sundog were commissioned by Future Energy Solutions (then ETSU) on behalf of the DTI to produce an installers guide for the installation of small scale PV. The aims of the guide are to:

- Investigate the key issues, especially including safety, associated with the installation of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

- Describe design and installation solutions that are acceptable to the building services industry and the relevant regulatory authorities.

- Translate these solutions into practical and authoritative installation guidelines with a particular emphasis on the domestic BIPV sector.

This document contains some of the background information which was used by the writers to produce the guide, named “Photovoltaics in Buildings: Guide to the installation of PV systems” (DTI/Pub URN 02/788). The guide itself contains the considered recommendations of the group after consultation with people in the industry. As such it constitutes the definitive material, not this report. Sometimes the information in this report is not conclusive and may at times present apparently conflicting pieces of information. Nevertheless decisions had to be made in the course of producing the guide which are sometimes based on caution or lack of substantiated background material. This report should be read in conjunction with the guide itself and may present the reader with some useful background information, but will not always be sufficient to fully explain the decisions in the guide. The guide was produced with the assistance of a Steering Committee to review progress from time to time. They consisted of the: ECA - The Electrical Contractor Association, who wish to see clear guidance targeted at their members for their own interest. HSE- The Health and Safety Executive had valuable input to the guide, as well as approving the health and safety aspects. NHBC- The National House Building Council, who publish codes of practice for the building trades and have a strong interest in technical standards from an insurance point of view. PV-UK – The British Photovoltaic Association, who has an obvious interest and have stated there is a need for such a guide. The guide concentrates on the electrical aspects of the installation, as the guide is for installers rather than designers, and it was assumed that the installer is more likely to be an electrician than from any other trade. There was to have been a section on the construction aspects but, because of the huge range of possible mounting methods, only one of which would be relevant for any particular installation, the section had to be either very large or had be pared down to a simple list. In the end it was decided to leave these things to the designer, but make the installer aware of them in the checklist. Generally suppliers can provide comprehensive installation advice as it relates to their particular product.

Some of the source documents, particularly Engineering recommendation G77 and part 712 of IEC60364, are in draft form. Where this is the case, the version at February 2002 should be considered as the version under discussion.

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Solar Energy and Building - S V Szokoley
SKU: 081210/950/675

This is a very nice large, hardcover book, in slightly used condition. Book is called Solar Energy and Building. Contains chapters on; Context and principles. It is an ex library book with the usual stickers.

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Indirect, Through-Pass, Solar Food Dryer - ebook
SKU: ITPSFD/ebook/000/000

Drying is our oldest method of food preservation. For several thousand years people have been preserving dates, figs, apricots, grapes, herbs, potatoes, corn, milk, meat, and fish by drying. Until canning was developed at the end of the 18th century, drying was virtually the only method of food preservation. It is still the most widely used method. Drying is an excellent way to preserve food and solar food dryers are an appropriate food preservation technology for a sustainable world.

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Solar Tools of the Trade - ebook
SKU: stott/ebook/000

Thinking about installing a solar-electric system? Having the right tools will allow you to get the job done quickly, done right, or done at all. If you have some electrical wiring experience or you’re the type of person who undertakes household building projects, you likely have a pretty well-equipped shop or tool shed. In addition to standard hand tools like insulated screwdrivers, a socket set, and box and open-end wrenches, you’ll need some specialised tools to install a solar-electric system. Many of the tools that the pros use are described in this 5 page ebook (pdf document. Once you have them, and learn to use them properly, a safe and professional installation becomes a possibility. Quality tools, like quality anything, aren’t cheap, so plan to spend some money gearing up for your installation.

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Hay Box Cooker plan - ebook
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Simple four page ebook (pdf) document explaining how to cook with a hay box.

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Build your own Active solar hot water heater - ebook
SKU: byoashh/ebook/000

This very well illustrated plan(photos) will guide you though making a solar water heater using parts form an old fridge. Easy for beginners - just hand tools required.

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solar electricity factsheet = ebook
SKU: lili/es/0

It is the generation of electricity from the power of the sun, via photovoltaic (pv) cells. It is different from solar water heating, where water passes through panels to be heated directly, and no electricity is generated. Photovoltaic cells are made from silicon; when particles of sunlight (photons) fall on the cells, they dislodge the outer electrons of their atoms, and push them along to the next atom; a chain of moving electrons is produced, and if a wire is attached to the panels, these electrons can be pushed down it to supply a useable electric current. This current is measured in amps, and to give some idea of the scale involved, one amp of current involves the movement of 6 million million million electrons per second

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Solar hot water factsheet - ebook
SKU: lili/shw/0
A domestic solar hot water system is one which absorbs the sun’s energy and transfers it to a storage cylinder. It is different from photovoltaics; solar hot water panels do not produce electricity, they heat water directly.
In the UK it will not be the sole provider of hot water; it will complement a conventional system using gas, oil, electricity or solid fuel, but it will pre-heat water so that bills are drastically reduced. During summer months the system can provide all the hot water needed by a household.
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Solarize Your Home - ebook, Mother Earth News
SKU: men/syh/6040
This book presents all sorts of options to utilize solar energy in your home. Learn the basic principles of solar heating, solar hot water and solar electricity. From do-it-yourself to more complex projects, this e-book covers the spectrum of solar energy. Plus a bonus article on solar water distillers!

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How to Build Your Own Solar Panel Ebook
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Live self-sufficient & lower monthly fuel bills from upward of $600 to $0.00 by using the FREE ENERGY from the SUN to power your house.

You’re buying 3 SOLAR CELL / Panel How to Build Guides set in an Easy to Read Beginners level format (process made simple). (The resources, tips & tricks I provide were tested myself here on the Ranch.)

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THE PLANS CAN BE USED IN ANY REGION, ANY TEMPERATURES & ADAPTED TO BE ANY SIZE.

HOW IT WORKS?
- The methods are extremely simple, making the process possible for anyone, everyone, ANYWHERE.- There are 3 projects, facilitating different methods in constructing your own Solar Cells & Panels.
- Typical tools, hardware & supplies are used, making access to parts available.
- Solar panels can be easily installed on the roof, side or back yard of any house.
- Costs per Solar Cell average around $8 in parts. Compare that to bought units at a ridiculous $800+.
The cells you’ll be constructing ARE ACTUAL SOLAR CELLS that catch the suns energy & turn it into usable electricity for the home. HOWEVER they are VERY low amp cells, & it would be necessary to combine MANY together to form a panel large enough to harness an adequate amount of energy for home use.

Live self-sufficient & lower monthly utility bills, even sell energy back to the power companies... Any electricity you can harness they will buy.

You’re buying 3 SOLAR CELL / Panel How to Build Guides set in an Easy to Read Beginners level format (process made simple).

The guide even includes links to purchase parts & supplies, FREE unlimited online consultation & helpful hints to get you harnessing the FREE ENERGY from the sun & a SOLAR PANEL on your home in as little as 1 day.

THE PLANS CAN BE USED IN ANY REGION, ANY TEMPERATURES & ADAPTED TO BE ANY SIZE.


- The methods are extremely simple, making the process possible for anyone, everyone, ANYWHERE.- There are 3 projects, facilitating different methods in constructing your own Solar Cells & Panels.
- Typical tools, hardware & supplies are used, making access to parts available.
- Solar panels can be easily installed on the roof, side or back yard of any house.
- Costs per Solar Cell average around $8 in parts. Compare that to bought units at a ridiculous $800+.

The cells you’ll be constructing ARE ACTUAL SOLAR CELLS that catch the suns energy & turn it into usable electricity for the home. HOWEVER they are VERY low amp cells, & it would be necessary to combine MANY together to form a panel large enough to harness an adequate amount of energy for home use.

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Solar Energy
SKU: se/314/200

Explains how the Sun, which is the ultimate source of all energy on earth, can be used to provide electricity and power.

As the ultimate source of all energy on our planet, the sun provides us indirectly with all power. In this book the reader will learn how the energy of the sun is used increasingly to provide electricity and heat.

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Solar Hot Water Heater Guide - ebook
SKU: agua/ebook/shwhg/7030

You are buying 3 different guides showing you HOW TO BUILD WATER HEATERS, perfect for POOLS, HOT TUBS, HOMES, etc. set in an Easy to Read Beginners level format (process made simple).

SIMPLE, EASY, BASIC. NO MECHANICAL KNOWLEDGE NEEDED

Thee guide even includes links to purchase parts & supplies, FREE unlimited online consultation & helpful hints to get you harnessing the FREE ENERGY from the sun & a HOT WATER in your home in as little as 1 day.

THE PLANS CAN BE USED IN ANY REGION, ANY TEMPERATURES & ADAPTED TO BE ANY SIZE.

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How to Build a Solar Cooker/Oven Guide - ebook
SKU: agua/htbasc/7030

Your buying 2 different guides showing you HOW TO BUILD A SOLAR OVEN for as low as $3, The first set in an Easy to Read 3 step Beginners level format (process made simple) & the other designed for the Average hobbies, So that EVERYONE, ANYONE, EVERYWHERE can enjoy the benefits of Cheaper, Healthier, Cleaner & more Efficient Fuel/Environment. Recipes included.

How It Works  

The methods are extremely simple, making the process possible for anyone, everyone, ANYWHERE.

There are 2 projects, 1 for The Beginner/Hobbyist (“How-to Build Your Own Solar Box Cooker”) & 1 for The Experienced/Professional (“How-to-Build a Satellite Dish Solar Stove”), facilitating different methods in constructing:
1. The Oven
2. The Reflectors
3. The Chamber
4. The Absorbers

Typical tools, hardware & supplies are used, making access to parts available for all.

Solar Box Cookers can easily be transported anywhere & are great for hunting, hiking, camping, boating or day to day home cooking. The Solar Satellite Dish Stove can be set up simply in your back yard, cooking large meals for the whole family.

The Process

- The suns beams are caught.
- Large panels reflect the energy into a chamber.
- The pots inside this chamber absorb the heat, cooking ANY type of food placed inside.
- The chambers keep the food warm for hours after cooking is finished, presenting a nice meal when the time comes.

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Solar Energy and Building - S V Szokoley 2nd edition
SKU: 081206/934/450

This is a very nice large, hardcover book, in excellent condition. Book is called Solar Energy and Building. Contains chapters on; Context and principles.

This is a 'second edition' which is marked as Reprinted 1978. The book is packed with diagrams and calculations.

£6.95
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Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy
SKU: bswr/ebook/000

With shortages of fossil energy, especially oil and natural gas, and heavy biomass energy use occurring in both developed and developing countries, a major focus has developed worldwide on renewable energy systems. Renewable energy systems include wind power, biomass, photovoltaics, hydropower, solar thermal, thermal ponds, and biogas. Currently, a heavy focus is on biofuels made from crops, such as corn, sugarcane, and soybeans, for use as renewable energy sources. Wood and crop residues also are being used as fuel. Though it may seem beneficial to use renewable plant materials for biofuel, the use of crop residues and other biomass for biofuels raises many concerns about major environmental problems, including food shortages and serious destruction of vital soil resources. All renewable energy systems need to be investigated because humankind has only about 40 years of oil and gas reserves remaining. There is a 50 to 100 year supply of coal resources in the ground, but coal will become increasingly difficult to extract and will greatly increase the global warming threat. Serious energy conservation and research on viable renewable energy technologies are needed. This book considers the effectiveness and economics of several renewable energy technologies of current interest, including biofuels, solar and wind

£0.36
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Basic Principles of Passive Solar Design
SKU: bppsd/ebook/000

This is a 37 page document that introduces the principles of passive solar design. With line illustrations.

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The Maintenance and Operation of Solar Heating Systems
SKU: tmoshs/ebook/000

This Maintenance and Operations Manual contains information on the operation, inspection, troubleshooting, repair and maintenance of liquid solar heating systems. That is, solar heating or cooling systems using liquid, rather than air, to gather heat, pumps to move it and tanks of water to store it. The standards and methods presented are intended to accomplish the inspection, maintenance, and repair of liquid solar heating and cooling systems in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

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How to Build a Better Home
SKU: htbabh/ebook/000
Did you know the building decisions you make today will affect the environment and your wallet for years to come? That's why you should consider your home's total environmental and energy-saving potential before you build or buy.

If you’re considering building a solar house or retrofitting an existing home with solar features, you may have started your project by reading a few books or articles about solar homes, only to find yourself overwhelmed by all the information. Many people are surprised when they discover building a solar home isn't as simple as adding some solar panels to the roof, but must be approached from a "whole-building" perspective.

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Sustainable Energy — without the hot air
SKU: ssewotha/ebook/000/000

About the author

David MacKay is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and then obtained his PhD in Computation and Neural Systems at the California Institute of Technology. He returned to Cambridge as a Royal Society research fellow at Darwin College. He is internationally known for his research in machine learning, information theory, and communication systems, including the invention of Dasher, a software interface that enables efficient communication in any language with any muscle. He has taught Physics in Cambridge since 1995. Since 2005, he has devoted much of his time to public teaching about energy. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Climate Change. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 14 May 2009.

About the "free book" license

This is a free book. I didn't write this book to make money. I wrote it because sustainable energy is important. If you would like to have the book for free for your own use, please help yourself to any of the electronic versions on this website. There's pdf and html versions (thanks to William Sigmund!); we are working on other formats.

This is a free book in a second sense: you are free to use all the material in this book, except for the cartoons and the photos with a named photographer, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence. (The cartoons and photos are excepted because the authors have generally given me permission only to include their work, not to share it under a Creative Commons license.) You are especially welcome to use my materials for educational purposes. This website includes links to separate high-quality files for each of the figures in the book.

In response to generous readers...
If you enjoy the free electronic copy of the book and would like to make a financial donation, without buying the paper book for yourself, please may I suggest that you find a library or a school that would like a copy of the book, and buy a paper copy for them? Thank you!

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How to make, use and enjoy solar coookers
SKU: htmaesc/ebook/000

This guidebook is a sum of contributions from educators, engineers, long-time solar cooks and promoters, most of who served as volunteers with Solar Cookers International (SCI). Special thanks to Mark Aalfs, Paul Barth, Elinor Benes, Roger Bernard, Rick Blodgett, Barbara Blum, Bev Blum, Georgianna Borgens, Jay Campbell, Don Coan, Sherry Cole, Ramón Coyle, Maria Gonzalez, Gerri de Graaf, Tom Juring, Barbara Kerr, Barbara Knudson, Beth Luna, Dave Maize, Paul Mellersh, Bob Metcalf, John Murphy, Faustine Odaba, Joe On, Margaret Owino, Ed Pejack, Kevin Porter, Mark Rothman, Louise Seeley, Clark and Eleanor Shimeall, Randy Smith and Kim Victorine. This edition received support from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and the Sacramento Area Earth Day Network. Past editions of this booklet were supported by the American Conservation Association, the Educational Foundation and the W. Alton Jones Foundation. Solar Cookers International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nongovernmental organization spreading solar cooking to benefit people and environments.

File Details: August 24, 2007 4Mb (58 pages)

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Handbook of Homemade Power - Mother Earth News
SKU: hhp/244/816

Bantam 1974 374 p. Includes: illustrations, diagrams, index. 4-1/4" x 7". Alternative energy information, collected and published during the energy crisis of the 1970s. Sections on heating and powering your home with wood, water, wind, solar, and methane.

This book features firsthand reports from people who have found ways to beat the power crisis. This is priceless alternative energy information with many additional tips, facts and ideas that you can put to use now.

£3.99
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Fuel-less Space Engine (Stirling)
SKU: flse/ebook/000/000

Focus sunlight on this  model engine and it runs at full speed. Plans to build a solar powered Stirling engine. With description and drawings.

'Power is ample to drive a midget water pump or spin a display turntable. For indoor exhibits, such as in Science Fairs, a heat lamp can replace the sun. As a mantelpiece model, the engine can be operated on paper matches, alcohol, or fuel tablets.'

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Solar Power For Your Home
SKU: spfyh/ebook/000/000

Easy, inexpensive, do-it-yourself solar energy projects Featuring step-by-step instructions and useful photos and illustrations, this hands-on guide is filled with solar energy solutions you can put to use right away. Solar Power for Your Home shows you how to set up a variety of simple, money-saving solar projects quickly and easily, such as a solar water heater, a solar pool pump, solar lighting, a solar oven--and even a solar-powered lawn mower! Learn all about the different types of solar technologies, including passive solar and photovoltaic, and determine which best suits your projects. You'll get details on assessing current energy use in your home, estimating the costs of solar installations, and calculating your overall savings. Reduce your carbon footprint--and your energy costs--with help from this practical resource

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Thermal, Passive Solar and PV Plans (DOWNLOAD)
SKU: psw/070/0501

This ZIP file contains ebooks including a very detailed ebook on passive solar water heating. Although written in 1981 in contains some very good information and is very well illustrated with diagrams and pictures in black and white. If you are interested in building a solar hot water sustem this is a great read and should help your a great deal.

£0.43
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