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Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual [Paperback]

Solar Energy International
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1, 2004 0865715203 978-0865715202 1

Producing electricity from the sun using photovoltaic (PV) systems has become a major industry worldwide. But designing, installing and maintaining such systems requires knowledge and training, and there have been few easily accessible, comprehensive guides to the subject.

Now, with Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual, a world-class solar energy training and education provider—Solar Energy International (SEI)—has made available the critical information to successfully design, install and maintain PV systems. The book contains an overview of photovoltaic electricity and a detailed description of PV system components, including PV modules, batteries, controllers and inverters. It also includes chapters on sizing photovoltaic systems, analyzing sites and installing PV systems, as well as detailed appendices on PV system maintenance, troubleshooting and solar insolation data for over 300 sites around the world. Used worldwide as the textbook in SEI’s PV Design & Installation workshops, topics covered include:

The basics of solar electricity
PV applications and system components
Solar site analysis and mounting
Stand-alone and PV/generator hybrid system sizing
Utility-interactive PV systems
Component specification, system costs and economics
Case studies and safety issues

Photovoltaics guarantees that those wanting to learn the skills of tapping the sun’s energy can do so with confidence.

Solar Energy International (SEI) has the nonprofit mission to respond to the need for renewable energy education. Based in Carbondale, Colorado, and active around the world, SEI is a link between people and renewable energy resources, providing information, education and training to people who want to shape a sustainable future. SEI is recognized by the National Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as dedicated independent provider of PV training programs that may be used toward attaining PV certification. Also, SEI is recognized as an Accredited Institution to offer PV training by the Institute for Sustainable Power (ISP).


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

About the Author

Solar Energy International (SEI), from Carbondale, CO, is a non-profit that trains adults and youth in renewable energy and environmental building technologies. Since 1991, SEI has taught thousands of individuals from 12 US states and around the world, pioneering a hands-on approach acknowledged as the benchmark for renewable energy education and training. SEI staff are avid solar enthusiasts with decades of experience in passive solar design & construction, solar hot water, wind and micro-hydro power, solar cooking, and natural house building.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; 1 edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715202
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
143 of 152 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lite in content and heavy in tables. November 26, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am interested in designing and installing a DIY solar panel system for our home, so I purchased this book hoping that it would be packed with useful information for realizing such a project. Unfortunately I found it to be rather "lite" (if you have done any type of electrical wiring beforehand) and not quite up to date. 80 whole pages are wasted with "insolation" tables and "sun charts" covering sample locations around the world .. from Alabama to Afghanistan .. an immense waste of space and trees.

Otherwise, it is a well organized basic textbook with many worksheets, examples and diagrams.

To improve the value of this textbook I recommend that the publisher

1) simply includes a link to the "insolation" tables available elsewhere on the Web,

2) incldues additional and current data on the available component alternatives and a means for evaluating these alternatives in the design process, and

3) raises the assumed level of the audience addressed by this textbook.
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference August 22, 2005
Format:Paperback
After the first few pages I knew that this was a good reference. Being a DIY person I found that this book did an excellent job expaining the theory and gave examples of practical application. Things were explained in laymans terms and all aspects of materials to use and the installation process were covered. At the end of every chapter there are questions to test your understanding of the material. These questions can be easily adopted to designing your own system. If you are considering installing a system yourself make this the first book you buy.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much unnecessary information March 22, 2007
Format:Paperback
As a book writer and a teacher, I was expecting to find step by step instructions on selecting, purchasing and installing pv panels. The book has a lot of charts and graphs that have value only as additional information in an appendix. I am fairly knowledgeable on similar do-it-yourself projects but found this book quite disappointing.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So So Solar May 12, 2007
Format:Paperback
Not a bad book, but it gives itself way too much credit by billing itself as a "Design and Installation Manual". This 315 page book could be condensed into a 50 page useful book entitled "A Basic Introduction to Considerations in Photovoltaic Design and Installation". It's choppy to read, and it has a lot of filler, generalities, and truisms. Expect a lot of this: "The major aspects of installing the photovoltaic array are choosing the most applicable mounting systems and making a proper installation". Some of the electrical theory is questionable. Still, it's the best book I've found, which means there is a great opportunity for a knowledgable PV systems integrator who can write well and put together a comprehensive, well-written text on the subject.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much depth December 26, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The 70 pages of solar data was a definite waste of paper. I just went to the referenced website and downloaded the data plus additional temperature data for my site so I could better estimate panel derating during the summer. The book mentions the need to derate expected panel performance in several places but doesn't provide the data or worksheets to do this. I also found the discussion on wiring dissimilar modules to be misleading and incomplete. My impression of the book is that is was a compilation of notes from several different instructors and probably makes a good textbook/workbook but definitely falls short of being a good stand-alone installation manual. The best design and installation information I have found is free at the Sandia Labs website ([...] This and other websites and resources are listed in the book. I did learn a few things reading the book and I expect the worksheets may come in handy.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better February 27, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a nice overview of the subject, however it lacks specifics. Ie it would be nice if it coverd more about installation and supplies.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Grade school read at best May 12, 2007
Format:Paperback
Am afraid anyone with either a basic electrical or a mechanical background would find this sadly lacking, one with both these backgrounds as well as a strong science backing would see it as little more than a comic book. This book had no depth in any subject matter and wasted thirty percent of it's volume with useless data on cities that one could easily source elsewhere. A one minute look was all that was needed to be sufficiently disappointed. If you are serious about building a PV system look elsewhere, this is NO manual!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average book on subject March 8, 2007
Format:Paperback
This book was a required text for a photovoltaic design class. The book is an adequate introduction to photovoltaics but lacks technical depth as a reference. A large portion of the book is "irradiation tables" which are available from many free sources.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars ... but covers all the topics in a clear and easy to read format
A basic book but covers all the topics in a clear and easy to read format.
Published 5 days ago by Bones
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I have a Degree in Renewable Energy and this book was required for the Solar Energy class. It is easy to read with good explanations. I would recommend to anyone.
Published 21 days ago by daniel rabinovich
5.0 out of 5 stars Covering a lot or material to become a pro
Covering a lot or material to become a pro, all the fundamental. If you are serious this is for you
Published 2 months ago by Jim C
3.0 out of 5 stars This cover pictured may not be the version you are selling?
At this price I think you are perhaps selling the 2004 version with the orange cover and not the book that is pictured in the image. What version are you selling?
Published 3 months ago by Breccia Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great general approach.
On one hand the text does provide a good general description and design. It would likely be too much, but I don't see any of the detail on the components. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dwight P. Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Good product
Very well written. Just technical enough. I would have liked to see Solar Radiation data relevant to Auckland, New Zealand, but I can appreciate you can't supply data for every... Read more
Published 5 months ago by SAM ROGERS
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reference
a very elaborate book specially in the design part. The tables are quite rich and detailed as well as design examples.
Published 5 months ago by Dr. Khaled Mahmoud Sherif
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I like being able to buy second had books for a cheap price. You normally only read the book once. This was in good condition and info is very informative with a lot of pictures.
Published 6 months ago by yomama
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Overview of Photo Voltaics
This is a book that our local Community College uses to teach the principles of photovoltaic installation. Read more
Published 6 months ago by George W. Cohn
2.0 out of 5 stars Book for a caves man.
Material in this book is out dated; Charts are available for free. Writers are just trying to make money from the hard work they did many years back.
Published 7 months ago by George
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