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Photovoltaic Design and Installation For Dummies [Paperback]

Ryan Mayfield
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 7, 2010 047059893X 978-0470598931 1
The fun and easy way to get a grip on photovoltaic design and installation

Designing and installing solar panel systems is a trend that continues to grow. With 'green collar' jobs on the rise and homeowners looking for earth-friendly ways to stretch their dollars and lesson their carbon imprint, understanding photovoltaic design and installation is on the rise.

Photovoltaic Design & Installation For Dummies gives you a comprehensive overview of the history, physics, design, installation, and operation of home-scale solar-panel systems. You'll also get an introduction to the foundational mathematic and electrical concepts you need to understand and work with photovoltaic systems.

  • Covers all aspects of home-scale solar-power systems
  • Viable resource for professionals, students, and technical laymen
  • Can be used to study for the NABCEP exam

Whether you're a building professional looking to expand your business and skills to meet the growing demand for solar power installation or are seeking a career in this rapidly expanding field, Photovoltaic Design & Installation For Dummies has you covered!

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Photovoltaic Design and Installation For Dummies + Solar Electricity Handbook - 2014 Edition: A Simple Practical Guide to Solar Energy - Designing and Installing Photovoltaic Solar Electric Systems
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Get a grip on photovoltaic design and installation

Are you looking to secure a job in the exciting field of photo-voltaic design and installation? This hands-on, friendly guide covers the workings of residential and small commercial-sized photovoltaic systems and gives you the essentials you need to safely install a system from start to finish.

  • Shed some light on PV systems — get the scoop on electricity basics and how the sun-earth relationship affects where a PV system will (or won't) work

  • Dig into the nitty-gritty of components — understand the technologies used in all types of PV systems, from modules and batteries to charge controllers, inverters, and more

  • Know that size matters — discover how to properly size a grid-direct system, a battery-based system, wiring, and safety devices

  • Safety first — follow helpful guidance for staying safe anytime you work on a PV system, from general construction and battery safety to working on ladders and roofs

  • Break ground — learn how to assemble mechanical parts and integrate electrical elements to put together your PV system

Open the book and find:

  • Advice on figuring out which system type is right for you

  • Plain-English explanations of electricity basics

  • How to properly select a site for a PV system

  • The lowdown on PV modules, batteries, and other system components

  • Guidance for sizing the most common PV systems, as well as wiring and safety devices

  • Pointers for permitting, commissioning, inspection, and maintenance

Learn to:

  • Design and install photovoltaic systems

  • Follow processes for permitting, commissioning, and inspection

  • Grasp electrical concepts in plain English

  • Expand your skill set for "green collar" jobs

About the Author

Ryan Mayfield is President of Renewable Energy Associates, a consulting firm providing design, support, and educational services for commercial photovoltaic systems. He is also Photovoltaic Systems Technical Editor for SolarPro magazine, where he also regularly contributes feature articles.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047059893X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470598931
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm coming at this as a homeowner and generally handy person who's up for a bit of a challenge, wanting to install my own PV system on the roof of my Southern California home. There seem to be a lot of books on solar power that are just kind of informational and theoretical and don't really to tell you how to actually plan & install a system in a hands-on practical way. This is one of the few that actually aims to do that.

Looking at a finished PV system sitting on someone's roof, it is kind of deceptively simple. And the nuts and bolts of installation are not that hard, if you can do electrical work, it's not that different from any other kind of electrical equipment installation. BUT. The planning and understanding the components is really quite a challenge. The equipment has very unique properties. You have to analyze your electrical needs, survey the site and it's solar potential, understand the impact of the daily and seasonal workings of the sun and weather, figure out if you want batteries and how much battery power you need, and understand the main components, the solar panels themselves, the charge controller, the inverter, and the circuits and safety provisions. Sizing all the components. Permitting and nuts and bolts hardware installation. The book covers all of this, for the most part, in an organized, disciplined, and reasonably thorough manner.

In fact, the book seems to have even higher goals than mine, which is just to plan, install, and manage my own home system. This book is also overtly aimed at those interested in becoming a professional PV installer. You'd be pretty well grounded in that goal having thoroughly absorbed this book, along with some experience actually installing some systems, I think.

Is it perfect? No.
Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and Thorough Treatment of PV Systems October 19, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the best of the half dozen books I have read about solar electricity generation. All the other books I have read teach you about solar systems in general but don't give you enough of the nitty gritty nuts and bolts details to actually put one together. This book literally tells you what nuts and bolts are needed.

After having read the book I'm more excited about the info in the book than the prospect of actually being a PV installer. The trade sounds like a challenging if not overwhelming combination of electrician, electrical & electronic engineer, roofer and contractor.

All signs indicate that PV has a bright future hardy har so for those who wish to get into the trade this is an excellent place to start and probably all the book learning you'll need.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book for Beginers June 27, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A must for all Solar PV enthusiasts, takes you back to basics when lost. Lot of stuff for NABCEP entry level exam, tI think this book will suffice and also using it with NEC2008 will be helpful in Part II prep of NABCEP.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solar April 29, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a great introductory book for someone thinking about taking on a small to medium size solar project, or for someone wanting to install PV on their own home. The book starts from fundamentals and does not assume any prior knowledge. A great book for someone wanting to know the fundamentals of PV.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for me June 8, 2011
By lilian
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this as a gift for my brother but after reading it, i was thrilled at how much information in it. My 18 yrs old brother just installed his using the guidelines in the book
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for the do it your self person August 30, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really helpful books giving specific and concrete information are surprisingly hard to find. This book provides an abundance of specific information to a person installing their own solar equipment. Written in plain English it covers most of what you need to know from the solar panels to the inverter and every component in-between. A most helpful organization of information clearly separates grid-tied and off-grid information. Site information, planning, component by component equipment, wiring, safety devices, permitting, inspection, maintenance and more. Having read a half dozen books looking for guidance in off-grid solar, this book provides ten times more helpful information than any other book I've purchased. Only "con" is that being a visual guy I'd love to see drawings or photos included with the descriptions. Sadly, there are few.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book December 14, 2011
By bonney
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a good book for beginners and novices who needs accurate info. on solar power,can be used as a reference for those ot us who are experts in the field.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Dummies Books August 8, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This series of books is awsome! I can't afford to attend school right now but that doesn't mean I can't learn about what I am passionate about. Shipping was speedy and the price was right! =)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Published 2 days ago by oscar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 days ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars ★★★TOP SELLER/SHIPPER!!!! THANKS FOR THE GREAT SERVICE!!!!★★★
Excellent reading. Out of 5 books I was hoping to get some answers from. This book was the only one that offered what i wanted.
Published 22 days ago by Foo
5.0 out of 5 stars All the info for beginners in this book
Easy to understand book with easy guidelines about PV, perfect tool if you're looking to start understanding the PV installation
Published 2 months ago by Marlene Pettit
5.0 out of 5 stars extremely helpful
it makes the understanding of the set-up and usage very easy to follow. We have property in Downeast Maine and are "off the grid".
Published 3 months ago by Ruth A Savage
4.0 out of 5 stars Good even for the layman
I bought this book because I wanted to know something about solar electric power before hiring a contractor. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Booray Hawkins
5.0 out of 5 stars instructive
It works beautifully. Arrived on time as promised as expected it is wellwritten and it is easy to understand, is as described.
Published 5 months ago by Legend
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and easy to read
It covered the installation I am going to be attempting soon and provided a lot of info that I needed and wanted to make it successful. Great book!
Published 5 months ago by Jerry Arnold
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
It had a lot of information for the price if u r interested in solar this is a good start
Published 5 months ago by gus
Published 5 months ago by ñañon
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