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Energy general

In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity that is often understood as the ability of a physical system to do work on other physical systems. However, this must be understood as an overly simplified definition, as the laws of thermodynamics demonstrate that not all energy can perform work.

Depending on the boundaries of the physical system in question, energy as understood in the above definition may sometimes be better described by concepts such as exergy, emergy and thermodynamic free energy. Therefore, in the words of Richard Feynman, "It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is. We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount."However, it is clear that energy is always an indispensable prerequisite for performing work, and the concept has great importance in natural science.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed according to the law of conservation of energy. However thermodynamic free energy can be destroyed. When matter (ordinary material particles) is changed into energy (such as energy of motion, or into radiation), the mass of the system does not change through the transformation process.

Although the total energy of a system does not change with time, its value is measured with respect to its frame of reference. For example, a seated passenger in a moving airplane has zero kinetic energy relative to the airplane's frame of reference, but non-zero kinetic energy relative to the Earth's frame of reference because of the relative velocities.

Energy may be stored in systems without being present as matter, such as when a mass has been moved through a field it interacts with and the energy to accomplish this is stored as a new position in the field. This type of energy is referred to as potential energy. A simple example of an object increasing its potential energy is the work needed to lift it in a gravity field onto a support.

Any form of energy may be transformed into another form. For example, all types of potential energy are converted into kinetic energy when the objects are given freedom to move to different position as for example, when an object falls off a support under the influence of gravity. The new potential energy with respect to the gravitational field is lower; the difference being due to the kinetic energy transformed to heat energy when the object hit the ground. In all such energy transformation processes, the total energy remains the same, and a transfer of energy from one system to another results in a loss from one to compensate for any gain to another. This is the principle of the conservation of energy.

 

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Handbook of Homemade Power - Mother Earth News
SKU: hhp/230/450
Binding: Paperback 374

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.

£14.00
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Handbook of Homemade Power - Mother Earth News
SKU: hhp/234/734
Binding: Paperback 374

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.

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Einstein's Theory of Relativity
SKU: etr/ebook/000
Binding: Zip file

The present book is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. The work presumes a standard of education corresponding to that of a university matriculation examination, and, despite the shortness of the book, a fair amount of patience and force of will on the part of the reader. The author has spared himself no pains in his endeavor to present the main ideas in the simplest and most intelligible form, and on the whole, in the sequence and connection in which they actually originated. In the interest of clearness, it appeared to me inevitable that I should repeat myself frequently, without paying the slightest attention to the elegance of the presentation. I adhered scrupulously to the precept of that brilliant theoretical physicist L. Boltzmann, according to whom matters of elegance ought to be left to the tailor and to the cobbler. I make no pretence of having withheld from the reader difficulties which are inherent to the subject. On the other hand, I have purposely treated the empirical physical foundations of the theory in a "step-motherly" fashion, so that readers unfamiliar with physics may not feel like the wanderer who was unable to see the forest for the trees. May the book bring some one a few happy hours of suggestive thought!

December, 1916
A. EINSTEIN

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Power Estimator for Buildings and Caravans
SKU: pefbac/ebook/000
Binding: Zip file of 3 pdfs

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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The Tesla Disc Turbine
SKU: 0000/150/394
Binding: Paperback: 40 pages

Slightly amended second edition. Nikola Tesla is famous for the Tesla Coil, but another of his inventions is the subject of this book and had nothing to do with electricity, other than as a possible means of generating it. This was his Disc Turbine for which a British Patent, which also covered a compressor variant, was granted in 1910. Unlike a conventional turbine, in which the rotor consists of bladed segments, in Tesla’s machine these were replaced by discs, working on the concept of flowing media being converted to rotary motion by friction working on the discs. Tesla claimed that a very small, but extremely powerful machine was possible using this principle - his aim was to produce a 25 hp machine that would fit inside a bowler hat. Here W. Cairns describes in detail the concept, and the history, of the original engines. He then proposes a number of uses for such turbines, including car and light aircraft use, all of which illustrate the extraordinary versatility of Tesla’s engine. Finally he provides the design and building instructions for a small Tesla turbine which any model engineer should be able to build. Not only does a Tesla Turbine provide a very high power to size ratio, it can be used as a compressor or pump. Tesla used steam on his test machines, and the model featured here would probably be run on compressed air, but the gas turbine principle can also be used; this really is a remarkably versatile machine. This versatility means that ninety four years after the original Patents were granted there are signs of re-awakened interest in Tesla’s machine, as many of the original problems can be overcome with modern materials. What is really exciting is that any revival can be boosted by individual experimenters- here is the place to start! High quality. 34 A4 format pages. Numerous drawings and sketches, including 6 pages of drawings specifically for a small Tesla turbine you can build.

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Energy Works! Home Energy Systems
SKU: SKU3273d4ea2ea82bc9029197c0aab28
Rare Australian book by Keith Smith. Three sections - Sunworks, Windworks and Waterworks. Make your own electricity, run lights, radio, television, tools and household appliances.
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Natural Energy in Your Home
SKU: SKUe87beacca8347e2058bb6ee2baad4
An early - 1997 - look at natural energy. Chapters include - Farewell to fossil fuels. Solar energy. The solar house. Solar units you can build. Building a solar house. Power from the wind, etc.

This Austalian book is part of the Summit Series. Well illustrated.

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Fuel Cell Handbook - ebook
SKU: fc/ebook/000
Binding: pdf - ebook, download. 268 pages

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy of a reaction directly into electrical energy. The basic physical structure or building block of a fuel cell consists of an electrolyte layer in contact with a porous anode and cathode on either side.

This 268 page ebook is an excellent source of information.

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Batteries - simple guide to batteries - free ebook
SKU: bsg/ebook/000/00
Binding: ebook - pdf

As many small-scale methods of electricity generation are available only intermittently, some form of electricity storage or battery is needed if people want to have electricity available at all times.

There are a wide range of batteries available, and the aim of this Technical Brief is to give an introduction to the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of batteries. The central point is that there is no such thing as a universal battery; a single type of battery cannot cover all applications.

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Handbook of Homemade Power - Mother Earth News
SKU: hhp/230/000
Binding: Paperback 374

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.

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Ground Source Heat Pumps - leaflet
SKU: gshp/ebook/000

Energy Saving Trust on Ground Source Heat Pumps

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The Future of Energy Use
SKU: 150108/462/575
Binding: Paperback: 256 pages

An analysis of the use of different forms of energy and its environmental and social impacts. Giving an overview of the development of different forms of energy provision and patterns of supply and demand, this book shows how enduse applies to energy industries, how the environment and social costs of energy use have to be introduced into energy planning and accounting and the crucial role of efficiency. Case studies will include the transport and building sectors of industrial economies, the use of stoves and woodfuel and agroforestry planning in developing countries. It will then examine the different forms of energy - conventional, nuclear and renewable - concluding by setting out different energy futures and the policy requirements for sustainable futures.

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Blueprint for a Green Planet
SKU: 160108/640/599
Binding: Paperback: 192 pages

John Seymour is the author of over 40 books, including The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency, The Forgotten Arts and Crafts, and has made numerous movies and radio programs devoted to rural matters, self-sufficiency, and the environment.

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Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future
SKU: 280208/1500/575
The prospect of producing clean, sustainable power in substantial quantities from renewable energy sources is arousing renewed interest world-wide. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the principal renewable energy sources; solar thermal, biomass, tidal, wave, photovoltaic, hydro, wind, geothermal. With the aid of 370 detailed illustrations and 50 tables of data, it explains the physical and technological principles underlying each source and examines its environmental impact and future prospects.

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Science of Energy: A Cultural History of Energy Physics in Victorian Britain
SKU: tsoe/546/000
Between Isaac Newton in the 17th century and Albert Einstein in the 20th century, few innovations in science have had such wide-ranging effects as "energy". Traditional accounts of the energy concept have tended to emphasize its "discovery", an inevitable product of the advancement of science in the 19th century. By contrast, this new history places the "construction" of the concept firmly in its social, economic and political context.
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green electricity factsheet - ebook
SKU: lili/ge/0

It is obtaining the electricity that you use from environmentally-friendly sources. The electricity you use in your home is probably from the National Grid. There are ways of being 'off-grid', for example using a generator, solar pv, wind, hydro, or micro-chp, together with batteries. But the vast majority of people in the UK are connected to the National Grid. And most of the electricity put into the National Grid is 'brown' - from power stations using fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) or nuclear. But now some companies are feeding the National Grid using renewables, for example large wind turbines or hydro-electricity. This is 'green' electricity. Also included in the 'green' category is electricity from companies that use your money to research and build new renewable generation capacity, or to offset carbon by investing in projects to absorb or reduce carbon emissions in some other way.

Two more things that you need to know: Firstly, there are two types of companies involved in providing green electricity – suppliers and generators. Some companies have no electricity generating capacity, but supply the public with electricity that they have purchased from generating companies. Other companies (e.g. Ecotricity) are both suppliers and generators. Ecotricity operate around 25 Megawatts of wind turbine capacity, and also sell direct to the public. Secondly, if you switch to a green electricity supplier, you won't then be able to trace your electricity back to a wind turbine. It simply means that the more people switch, the greater the proportion of green electricity in the National Grid.

what are the benefits?

This is not about home-scale micro-generation from renewables. This is about your contribution to large-scale renewable energy developments, like wind farms, large hydro-electric power schemes, and also wave and tidal power.

There is some opposition to large renewable energy projects, notably wind farms, and we respect people's opinions about the effects of wind turbines on the landscape. We wouldn't want turbines on every hillside, but we think that ultimately, ecology (which after all, supports human life on this planet) is more important than the view. And anything that mitigates the problems below has to be explored. It's too important not to. If you switch to green electricity, you are helping develop large-scale renewable energy projects, which help counter the problems associated with the alternatives - which are:

climate change
There is no 'debate' any more. 99.9% of scientists recognise that climate change is happening, it's dangerous, and it's man-made. The media promote the idea of a debate to sell papers and put bums on seats. There is a direct link between CO2 in the atmosphere and average global temperatures, and CO2 has gone up by about a third since the industrial revolution (and is rising rapidly). You may think this means warmer summers and milder winters (good), but it also means more deserts, melting ice-caps and large-scale coastal flooding, more hurricanes, environmental destruction, famine, and the deaths of millions of people (very bad).

peak oil
Oil is a finite resource, and its use is increasing dramatically. This can only mean one thing – it's not going to be around for much longer. 'Peak' oil means the point of maximum production, after which prices increase and production tails off to (eventually) tiny amounts as we try and find the last drops from currently uneconomical fields. As most of our food (especially in the West) depends on oil for fertilizers, machinery and transport, unless we have alternative energy supplies, or you produce your own food (and manage to hang on to it), you're going to go very hungry.

nuclear power
There's not enough uranium left for nuclear power to take over from fossil fuels for more than a couple of decades. Fast breeder reactors could increase that, but they're not safe; and it's not at all sure that nuclear fusion (what happens inside the sun) can ever be harnessed, or at least in the near future. And there's the question of devastating accidents, and nuclear waste, which is highly dangerous for tens of thousands of years (and we're still discovering Roman ruins from a couple of thousand years ago!). And yet nuclear continues to receive billions in taxpayer subsidies while renewables receive next to nothing.

Who knows, there may be an invention around the corner that will solve these problems, but it's not looking likely, and it's too much of a risk to do nothing.

what can I do?

You can switch to a green electricity supplier – today. It is probably the easiest and quickest way to have a significant effect in helping to reduce the damage to the ecology of our planet.

The green electricity market is constantly changing as new players enter, new generating capacity is built, and prices change. Also, because suppliers are in direct competition with each other for your custom, there is a huge amount of marketing information out there, which can be daunting and confusing. Fortunately, there are websites to help you keep up with the changes, and to compare green electricity suppliers. As mentioned, there are different kinds of green electricity, so price isn't everything. Having said that, you can compare the tariffs of green electricity suppliers in your area by visiting Green Prices.

So, once you have checked out some of these websites and decided which supplier is the one for you, as regards their activities and the price of their electricity, simply go to their website and switch online, or give them a call. It can be done immediately, with no interruption to your supply.

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Alternative Energy Sourcebook - 1992
SKU: aes/1070/400
This book is described as a comprehensive guide to energy sensible technologies. Although 1992 it is packed full of great information. It has over 500 large format pages packed with information on how to set up renewable energy systems, sizing equipment and sources.
£6.25
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Living Off the Grid Guide - ebook
SKU: agua/lotg/7030
Binding: Zip file containing pdfs

Live self-sufficient & lower monthly utility bills from an average $500 to $0.00 per month, even sell energy back to the power companies earning an additional $500+ per month... As much electricity you can create they will buy.

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

- The guide facilitates different methods in constructing:


Solar Systems
Wind Generator Systems
Solar cooking
Solar Water Heating
Personal Water supplies
Free Personal Trash disposal
Free Utilities
Free entertainment
Free Phone service
Selling Extra Energy back
Free Energy

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

£2.99
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How to Build a Free Green Home - ebook
SKU: agua/htbafgh/7030

Live self-sufficient & BUILD YOUR OWN 5,000 sq. ft. HOUSE for less then $10k total in as little as 3 months + FREE SOLAR PANELS.

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HOW IT WORKS  

- The methods are extremely simple, making the process possible for anyone, everyone, ANYWHERE.- The Homes are “GREEN” homes, & meet every city/state ordinance/building code
- Typical tools, hardware & supplies are used, making access to parts available.
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NOTE: Costs per House is an approximate $10,000 in Supplies, plans can be adapted to bigger homes, receiving the same extreme savings. Compare that to purchase price of existing homes at a ridiculous $500,000+ range, not to mention closing costs, loan fees & monthly payments.

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Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy
SKU: bswr/ebook/000
Binding: pdf - ebook, download. 513 pages17 pages.

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

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Barack Obama - NEW ENERGY FOR AMERICA
SKU: nefa/ebook/000
Binding: pdf

Barack Obama's new energy for America document. A comprehensive energy plan.

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Sustainable Energy — without the hot air
SKU: ssewotha/ebook/000/000
Binding: ebook - pdf, 382 pages

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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Energy and Chemistry
SKU: eac/428/300
Binding: Softback 368 pages

Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry 1981. This book's 368 pages looks at chemistry in all of the major areas of energy and power generation including - coal, gas, nuclear, electricity generation, emissions, energy storage, feedstock, insulation and the environment. Well illustrated this is an excellent reference text book in near fine condition.

Papers have been taken from the proceedings of a symposium organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry as part of its annual Chemical Congress held and the University of Guildford.

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The Renewable Energy Handbook: A Guide to Rural Independence, Off-Grid and Sustainable Living
SKU: reh/924/432
As oil prices continue to rise, many people are starting to think about how to unhook from the electricity grid. The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses completely on off-grid, sustainable living and rural energy independence.

Author/engineer William H. Kemp, who is a leading expert in small- and mid-scale renewable energy technologies, designed and built his own off-grid home. The result is a house that has all the standard “middle-class” creature comforts while using less than five times the total fossil-fuel energy of the average North American house.

The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses on the unique requirements of off-grid living and contains chapters on energy conservation; heating and cooling; backup power; domestic water heating; wireless communications; photovoltaic, wind, and microhydro energy generation; battery selection; and inverters.

Since its release in 2003, The Renewable Energy Handbook has been a top-selling technology book and is recognized as the best book in its field.

The book is augmented with hundreds of illustrations, line drawings, photographs, and appendices.

About the Author
William Kemp is VP Engineering of Powerbase Automation Systems Inc. and a consulting electronics/software designer who develops control systems for low environmental impact hydroelectric utilities worldwide. He is also an author, sustainable living and clean energy advocate working in renewable energy heating, energy efficiency, photovoltaic, micro-hydro and wind electric systems.

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The Energy Debate
SKU: eb/232/000
The generation and use of energy probably has the largest environmental impact of all human activities. But the depletion of fossil fuels, the increasing cost of petrol and global warming have raised serious questions about our energy consumption. This book discusses the viability of alternatives to fossil fuels: nuclear, hydro, wind, tidal, wave, biomass and solar energy. A chapter is also devoted to energy efficiency in the home. The information comes from a wide variety of sources and includes government reports and statistics, newspaper reports, features, magazine articles and surveys, literature from lobby groups and charitable organisations.
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Empirical Methods in Short-Term Climate Prediction
SKU: emstcp/sand/522/899
Binding: Hardcover: 240 pages

This clear and accessible text describes the methods underlying short-term climate prediction at time scales of 2 weeks to a year. Although a difficult range to forecast accurately, there have been several important advances in the last ten years, most notably in understanding ocean-atmosphere interaction (El Nino for example), the release of global coverage data sets, and in prediction methods themselves. With an emphasis on the empirical approach, the text covers in detail empirical wave propagation, teleconnections, empirical orthogonal functions, and constructed analogue. It also provides a detailed description of nearly all methods used operationally in long-lead seasonal forecasts, with new examples and illustrations. The challenges of making a real time forecast are discussed, including protocol, format, and perceptions about users. Based where possible on global data sets, illustrations are not limited to the Northern Hemisphere, but include several examples from the Southern Hemisphere. Includes foreword by Professor Edward Lorenz (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

£19.50
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Handbook of Homemade Power - Mother Earth News
SKU: hhp/244/816
Binding: Paperback 374

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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Energy Revolution 2012 - Greenpeace International
SKU: er2012/gp/ebook/000
Binding: PDF -340 pages

The world’s energy system has bestowed great benefits on society, but it has also come with high price tag: climate change, which is occurring due to a build of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by human activity; military and economic conflict due to uneven distribution of fossil resources; and millions of premature deaths and illness due to the air and water pollution inherent in fossil fuel production and consumption.
 

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Renewable Electricity and the Grid
SKU: reg/ebook/000/000
Binding: pdf - 216 pages
In all national electricity supply systems, the power demand varies over the course of a day; there is a rise and fall every 24 hours, with usually a night- time minimum and a daily maximum. In order to assess the contribution that renewable or other sources of energy can make to electricity supply, the distinction between energy and power has to be kept clearly in mind. Whereas the commercial operation of each generation plant is measured against total energy delivered, in the UK the central grid control operated by the National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (National Grid), acting in its role as Great Britain System Operator (GBSO), has to ensure that the power generated (the rate of delivery of energy) balances the power demand at all times, otherwise the system fails.
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Wind and Solar Electricity: A DIY Guide
SKU: wase/320/598
Binding: Paperback 214 pages
The author has been providing his own electricity from the sun and the wind for many years and in the first edition of wind and solar electricity he shared his knowledge and experience to explain how his readers could do the same. Subsequent developments in the associated technology and UK government incentives have led him to make substantial revisions and additions to the original text, including new illustrations and photographs, for this second edition. He provides practical, hands-on advice on all aspects of setting up and keeping a home-generation system running and the text reflects his own recent experience.
£7.07
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