Solar Electricity Handbook - 2015 Edition





Solar Electricity Handbook
Solar Electricity Handbook - 2015 Edition by Michael Boxwell.

Now in its ninth edition, the book assumes no previous knowledge of solar electric systems. The book explains how solar panels work and how they can be used. It explains the advantages of solar energy and the drawbacks that you need to take into account when designing a solar power system.

As well as explaining the underlying principles, it provides a step-by-step guide so that you can successfully design and install a photovoltaic solar system from scratch. Unlike many guides, The Solar Electricity Handbook explains the principles behind the technology, allowing the reader to design solar energy systems with confidence. The book has been used all around the world, designing systems as diverse as providing entire African villages with electricity, powering vending machines, building grid-tied systems for housing, building a one-off solar electric car and creating lighting for an allotment shed.

Accompanying the book is a website that provides solar calculators and online tools to help simplify the solar design process, including a unique database of sunlight values for every major town and city in every country in the world that has been created specifically for this book in conjunction with NASA.

Readers can also get in touch with the author directly to ask questions and get further support with their solar projects.

Get it here: Solar Electricity Handbook - 2015 Edition.

Hawaiian Islands’ Solar Installations Doubled in 2010

It was a year of unprecedented growth in Hawaii as the number of installed, customer-cited solar arrays on Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui County more than doubled from 2009 to 2010.

According to the Hawaiian Electric Co., the number of solar arrays grew to 3,967 at the end of 2010, compared to 1,916 at the end of 2009.

“Interest in solar power has steadily increased in recent years, but it really took off in 2010,” Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president, said in a press release announcing the solar growth.

Hawaiian Electric said the systems it counted included net-metered systems and those under standard interconnection agreements with the utility.

“Interest in net energy metering started to increase in 2008, when crude oil prices spiked at $147 a barrel,” the company said...... Continue reading.


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Wind Power Without Blades

"Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving. The designers came up with the idea for the planned city Masdar, a 2.3-square-mile, automobile-free area being built outside of Abu Dhabi. Atelier DNA’s “Windstalk” project came in second in the Land Art Generator competition a contest sponsored by Madsar to identify the best work of art that generates renewable energy from a pool of international submissions......" Click here for photos and more information.



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New Solar Technologies Announced

Artificial Leaves Act As Solar Cells

New Artificial Leaves Act as Solar Cells, Imitating Nature A North Carolina State University researcher and his team has proved that "artificial leaves", which are water-gel-based solar mechanisms, can create electricity just like solar cells. In addition, they are much greener than silicon-based solar cells and could be less expensive.

Dr. Orlin Velev, lead author of the study and Invista Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State, created artificial leaves with the idea of using solar cells to imitate nature more closely.

Velev accomplished this by infusing water-based gel with light-sensitive molecules, and pairing it with electrodes coated by materials such as graphite or carbon nanotubes. The sun's rays then excite the light-sensitive molecules, creating electricity. This closely resembles nature because plant molecules get excited in order to synthesize sugars needed to grow.

Also, in order to draw in solar energy the way nature does, natural products like chlorophyll can be used in the artificial leaves to replace synthetic light-sensitive molecules to create the same reaction. The water-gel matrix in these new leaves allows for both natural products like chlorophyll and synthetic light-sensitive molecules to be used interchangeably......


New Energy Technologies Aims to Turn Windows Into Solar Panels A Maryland-based firm has developed a technology that it says can turn windows into solar panels. New Energy Technologies says that its new SolarWindow product can be directly sprayed on to windows at room temperature to turn them into solar energy generators.

Currently in the prototype stage, it has been demonstrated powering LED lights and the blades of a small model helicopter from the energy generated, say executives.

The product adheres to glass while keeping it transparent, according to the company, which says that it can generate electrical current and voltage from artificial light in addition to sunlight. This makes it suitable for generating electricity from the fluorescent lights found in offices......

Solar Power in the News

Blythe Solar Farm


California Licenses Worlds Biggest Solar Thermal Plant - California regulators have licensed what is for the moment the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, a 1,000-megawatt complex called the Blythe Solar Power Project to be built in the Mojave Desert.

By contrast, a total of 481 megawatts of new solar capacity was installed in the United States last year, mostly from thousands of rooftop solar arrays, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group......

Kohl's Installs Solar Power at Pennsylvania Stores Seven Kohl's stores in Pennsylvania will be equipped with solar panels by next year, the Wisconsin-based department-store chain says.

Construction on the Pennsylvania solar arrays began in August and should continue until March 2011. The Pennsylvania stores join dozens of others across the country that have already gone solar. The latest Kohl's store to adopt solar power switched on its array this week, in fact.

That outlet, in Mays Landing, New Jersey, is Kohl's 100th solar-powered facility. Solar store No. 100 came just three years after Kohl's began relying on solar power as part of a major energy-efficiency initiative. Kohl's estimates that its efficiency program has cut its energy bills by $50 million......

Green Careers: Clean Energy - Solar Power

Green Careers: Clean Energy - Solar Power Directed by Michael Dieffenbach. In this program, we'll view the entire range of jobs needed to make solar power a reality from research and development, design and marketing, and financial analysis to construction and project management. Engineers, analysts and managers share with us both how they work in this emerging green industry and how they found the opportunity to be part of the clean energy solution.

Jobs profiled in this program include: Research & Development Engineer, Design Engineer, Marketing Manager, Financial Analyst, Construction Manager, and Project Manager

Part of the Green Careers series that cover eight new and growing industries giving young people a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to work in a variety of jobs in each sector. In on-the-job profiles, we meet entrepreneurs, scientists, field biologists, engineers, managers and interns. Also included is information on the educational requirements for entering various fields. By becoming stewards of our environment, young people who choose a green career can help solve the greatest problems of our time while finding work that matches their personal interests and values. Deepbrook Productions for Phoenix Learning Group, Inc.
More information here - Order here.

Researchers Develop a Way to Funnel Solar Energy

Solar NanotubeResearchers Develop a Way to Funnel Solar Energy (PhysOrg.com) -- Using carbon nanotubes (hollow tubes of carbon atoms), MIT chemical engineers have found a way to concentrate solar energy 100 times more than a regular photovoltaic cell. Such nanotubes could form antennas that capture and focus light energy, potentially allowing much smaller and more powerful solar arrays.

"Instead of having your whole roof be a photovoltaic cell, you could have little spots that were tiny photovoltaic cells, with antennas that would drive photons into them," says Michael Strano, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and leader of the research team. Read more



A Complete Guide to the Installation of Off-Grid PV Solar Power Systems


A Complete Guide to the Installation of Off-Grid PV Solar Power Systems by Bob Nagey. This DVD set is a 4 hour, 16 chapter comprehensive course on the installation of Off-Grid photovoltaic solar power electric systems. It is designed to take the complete beginner to full competency. The course is taught by Bob Nagy who is the teacher in over 40 videos on high-tech subjects. Bob's bio includes 20 years at the University of Texas, ABC TV, and NASA. His clear and friendly style bring the concepts across so that they are easily understandable. Every idea is demonstrated and shown in actual use. You will learn:

- How solar panels make electricity
- How to use a Multi-Tester
- Basic Electronics
- How to solder correctly
- Everything about Batteries
- Charge Controllers
- Inverters
- Panel mounting and fabrication
- Sun tracking
- System estimation
- Tax incentives
- System Maintenance

Bob will walk you through each decision you'll have to make when designing a system. You'll also examine several systems to see exactly how they were done. There is as well a bonus chapter on lowering your current energy use by 30%-40% so you can use a smaller solar system and save money.

This is equal to what you would get in a semester-long intensive solar power course at a university. That said, it is geared to the total beginner and if you can handle small tools, you can become an expert solar power installer. Invest a small amount so that you'll have one of the most in-demand skills in the coming years. Even if you are only installing your own small system, you will need to know what is in this video course.

You will see a lot of very colorful websites offering solar informational videos out there. Most are just quickly produced over-views of the subject. If you are committed to learning everything about how solar is really done, this is the course. It is a fully comprehensive series at a very low price. More information here - Order here.