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on October 30, 2013
Much of this book is spot on. Excellent info on shading. The book totally over looks new battery technology. Lifepo4 chemistry batteries (lithium iron phosphate) can have over 4 times the charge cycle life of lead acid batteries. Also the book does not mention smart chargers that desulfate and maintain lead acids to a degree. For example the technology used by the tesla tracker solar charger, made by the folks at tesla chargers dot com. This charger does a "toping charge" gently bringing lead acid batteries to a slightly over charged state to fully remove the sulfates from the lead plate. If you plan to have a lead acid based system, the Solar Electricity Handbook will tell you very little on how to get the maximum life to your batteries. That could cost you a fortune! As mentioned at the beginning lithium iron phosphate batteries are an option too! These batteries differ from lithium ion batteries. They are made from a naturally mined mineral, have a longer cycle life and are not reactive like pure lithium. Meaning there even more safe than regular lithium technology.

Solar Electricity Handbook is good for the shelves but is lacking a 360 degree view of the evolving solar market place.
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on December 9, 2012
some general good info but aboslutely nothing and i mean nothing how to wire or put all the componets of a system together
if you are looking for how to the actual system this book is not for you, nothing about amps, voltage of battery bank panels and these interconnecting devices, just broad general info like point units south!!
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on April 30, 2014
Very, very basic ! No thing I didn't know.
"Photovoltaic Design & Installation for Dummies" has a lot more useful info.
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on January 28, 2014
I think this book does a really good job explaining the basics and all the components of a solar electric system. As mentioned in other reviews it's obvious by some of the word choices and the locations mentioned, the author is a brit. But that's cool and it gives the text a nice flavor. Each chapter ends in a bullet point summary of what was covered in the chapter as a review which is nice.

I do think that he gets a little into the "green" economic crap with "carbon zero" type stuff that, for me, went in one ear and out the other. I want to install a PV system because its cool, not for some almost religious political cause. But that agenda is not too obvious and it's easy to overlook.

Other than that, the info seems very current and thorough.

I got this for my Kindle, but wish I'd have gotten it in print. Novels and "stories" read very well on Kindle, but this type of book, where you would like to scribble notes in the margins and flip back and forth would be much better in print!
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on March 30, 2015
The book has just right information regarding solar electricity- its fundamental and how to size and install a system. Anyone with a little technical background can understand and follow the book easily. It illustrates real world solar electric design. Its online tools are very helpful. And if you provide your electricity needs, the online tool size the system for you. I would recommend this book anyone who is interested in solar elctricity.
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on September 3, 2014
I felt like the book skimmed the surface of the information I was looking for. I would have liked to have had more detail on tying to the grid and how the transfer of power between the system and the grid works. More specific equipment information would be helpful. It has given me information from which I now need to take and do more research of the equipment needed.

There are so many variables to a system that it's hard to cover every aspect.
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on June 6, 2014
I knew a little about solar power, but this book really gave me a full understanding of the types of systems, how to size to meet your needs, and all the components. I borrowed this book on my Kindle, and liked it so much that I bought the paperback.
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on September 6, 2015
Very good for people getting into the solar electricity world. Whether you have a deep understanding of electricity or you have basic knowledge, this book will guide you towards the right system for you.

The calculations are given in an easy to understand way and just make sense to the reader.

Everything you need to know to get started and build an effective system is right there.
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on July 28, 2014
European primary focus but U.S. conversion information which is not going to slow you down beyond some of the strange names or wording.

KEEP IN MIND THAT like computers and phones TODAY'S $700 no contract phone that will do everything but put it's self on the charger; TOMORROW'S SOLAR ELECTRIC stuff will be cheaper better and more available. In 1965 you could have sold your $9 Casio F91W watch for Millions to the person who has everything but a super multifunction time piece that is small and easy to operate CONSIDER THE SNOB VALUE.

All solar books are like refrigerated salad dressing. There is an expiration date and it is the day the words are put into the draft. There will be no up to date book available EVER.
When I needed an education I looked at colleges basic engineering coursed and quickly discovered that they were many years behind technology. SO I went to work for a company that designed stuff using components right out of the super secret components suppliers newest stuff. This was 11 years of taking manufacturers courses and it never ends. 600 million years of paleontology study is overwritten each year. You can read paleontology books 3 years old but they will be proven more wrong daily in Montana China and South America.
This book will help you in BASIC THINKING AND RATIONALE. as well as provide you with direction toward the future.
Knowing the function of each element and the function of electricity when it comes to handling it is critical to understanding what is and what is not.
MOST of the folks who master the simply explained elements of this book will know more than the sales person selling the equipment and the elements are simple to understand. There are some short comings explained below but for the most part this is the book to buy in 2014.
Knowing the limitations of the components as well described here is important and pretty well covered in this book
NORMALLY I only buy hardcover books but as you will see with this book 2015 will be a totally new game played with new rules and new toys. Buy the paper back like this one as next years one will be different in hundreds of ways that are important. Maybe not as well done so this is the place to start if you are looking at this seriously as considering spending money.
For my money the effort is reducing consumption using things like COOL WHITE LED BARE ELEMENT BULBS is what I did and discovered that there is a way to get two for one function with them . Usable 0.1 watt or full on 4 watt light energy your eyes can use.
Setting up a secondary solar system separate from the electric company using a smaller system and using commercial power for the heavy lifting is the way I want to go until the big numbers get sorted out or until my rich uncle forces me to do it "their way".
The Electric companies who's main expense is infrastructure are scrambling to make up for the loss of revenue by directing new rules and even reverse metering to refund your power at wholesale prices while you pay retail prices for KWHs.
ONE THING not totally clearly explained in the book is that electricity is a 4 dimensioned energy
When I entered the aerospace industry the first thing I learned is that engineering technical writers fail to realize the folks using their documents do not know everything they do. When I got my chance I went to the functional test mechanics to see their approach and this changed everything. In nineteenth century Britain the second language taught was not French, It was German. If you went to Germany you had to know the language to survive. Like comparing apples to rocks.
VOLTAGE efficiency usually increases with higher voltage and higher frequency of AC current.
AMPERAGE is the amount of electrons passing by a particular point
RESISTANCE AND REACTANCE Is loss where resistance that exists in all conductors that goes up in heat or refusal to pass current in the case of reactance loss.
Reactance in a coil of single conductor wire is like a tension spring and at a resonant frequency can actually stop the flow of energy.
TIME. is where you get into the hours factor but also is involved in the AMOUNT of heat emitted by resistance OVER TIME. (resistance loss goes up in heat) Keep the power flowing and the loss of energy is not likely to become greater; just the cost you pay.
A current surge on a 70% too light wire for 1/10 second will not be noticed most of the time but long term will cause trouble. Big trouble.
These 4 things are related to success and failure.
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on November 24, 2014
Really good read. I work in the industry and still Leant some new things and ways of explaining projects. Highly recommend for anyone wanting to do a DIY or having solar installed by a professional.
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