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A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology Hardcover – June, 1980
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From the Publisher
This product is not a traditionally bound book. Many ProQuest UMI products are black-and-white reproductions of original publications produced through the Books On Demand ® program. Alternately, this product may be a photocopy of a dissertation or it may be a collection reproduced on microfiche or microfilm if it is intended for library purchase. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
A must have for those who are in any sort of engineering field.
I found a passive solar home for sale. I made an offer and lost out to another buyer. But that started me doing a lot of research. Our library had a lot of books that were written in response to the "energy crisis" in the 70's as well as a number that were strongly influenced by the counter culture and those wanting to drop their dependance on an economy based on a large central based system of power suppliers.
I read almost all the books they had. This book was among them. It is the one book I would most want. It is not a "how to" book. It was a look at things that showed that there was really nothing new under the sun. Simple put solar energy and energy conservation flourished when traditional energy was high or even not available and sunlight was plentiful.
The fastest way to get everybody to become reinterested in solar energy: Let energy prices quadruple. The higher energy prices get, the easier it becomes to justify the technology.
Final note: the deal the other buyer had for the house fell through and we were able to buy it. Of course it was in Michigan and one of the books I read was a case study of solar homes in Michigan. It noted what I was to find out - passive solar homes in a place that is overcast most of the winter do not perform that well. It was still a great house and had wood heat and because of the passive part of the design the house was full of light all day long. And it was extremely well insulated. Our monthly energy bill was never more than $30. When the sun did shine we could let the fire go out and the house would stay around 65-70F, with nothing but the sun.
This book is so well researched and is literally a "soup to nuts" description of solar architecture and technology over the ages. I received it on a Wednesday afternoon and had read the entire book in under 24 hours. It was jam-packed with useful background information and practical applications, and I simply could not put it down.
Its writing goes into the right amount of depth to enable readers to be able to build on the experience of others before them rather than just `reinventing the same wheel',
For example, Perlin and Butti write about how the Greeks and the Romans used crushed rock and rubble to store heat in the floors of their rooms. They then describe how Dr. George Löf of the University of Colorado used a crushed rock heat storage system in a slightly different way in the 1940's to improve the performance of his experimental solar heating system. I recently heard that the thermal solar power generation company Ausra is now also experimenting with crushed rock heat storage systems for its solar thermal power plants and may be taking out patents on these. This book really brings these vital issues to the fore, puts them back into our consciousnesses and allows us to truly build on the wisdom of the past as well as of the present.
The energy issues facing the world today have a strong resonance with those of the 1970's and early 1980's, the time from when this book was written. This book is the best source of information on producing simple energy saving solutions which will make a quick and effective difference in the world that I have found to date!
However, nearly 30 years have passed since it was first written, and some of the challenges we face have changed. This book would be even more helpful to people today if a revised version could be published as soon as possible.