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Solar Water Heating--Revised & Expanded Edition: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) Paperback – July 1, 2010
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Beginning with a review of the history of solar water and space heating systems from prehistory to the present, Solar Water Heating presents an introduction to modern solar energy systems, energy conservation and energy economics. Drawing on the authors' experiences as designers and installers of these systems, the book goes on to cover:
- Types of solar collectors, solar water and space heating systems and solar pool heating systems, including their advantages and disadvantages
- System components, their installation, operation, and maintenance
- System sizing and siting
- Choosing the appropriate system.
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Top Customer Reviews
For a handyman with good plumbing skills, or a homeowner wanting to learn about solar water heating, this is the best book available.
After a history of solar water heating in the US, the book describes various systems that use the sun to heat and store water. Climate, freeze conditions, water quality and amount of sunlight available are some of the factors considered in choosing a system, and the book describes them all. Individual components are detailed in a logical, straightforward way. It's obvious the authors have extensive practical knowledge. The writing style is informal and easy to read.
Besides all the solar water heating information, this book also has a good section on radiant floor heating, detailing the use of PEX tubing to heat a concrete slab.
The book uses a lot of drawings to demonstrate how things work. More actual photographs of systems and components would have been helpful. I also wish the authors would have included brand names and sources for equipment. The industry still suffers from the stigma of poorly designed systems of the 1970's and 80's. Some reassurances from the authors regarding which component manufacturers are good would have been nice.
For the past five years, I've lived with a solar water heating system I bought as a package and installed myself. I've been happy with all the "free" hot water it's provided. If this book had been available when planning my system I would have had a much better idea of what I was doing. Having all the components matched and sized with specific instructions gave me a lot of confidence during installation.Read more ›
I was a little frustrated having read the first chapter only to find out that several systems described in detail the author would never recommend using. I was thinking to myself why did I waste time reading about those. But that's where the comprehensive part comes in. And by knowing why the author doesn't recommend those systems you get to participate in the joy of knowing everything there is to know about solar water heating.
I especially enjoyed the cost analysis of the hot water systems vs. gas and electric, as well as the discussion of using solar heated water to provide whole house heating.
What is really missing for me is the information needed to design a sophisticated system. For example, they mention early in the book that some controllers can be accessed on a network. I expected to later find some description of these, or a source for them, or even just a brand name mentioned. None of that is in the book.
In summary, I would highly recommend this book to someone new to the idea of solar water heating. It would probably also be good for a professional in heating or plumbing who wants to add some new business. If you are like me, and have already read and thought about this topic, what this book adds is a little disappointing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
husband very interested in alternative energy and enjoyed this book.Published 3 months ago by truthsayer
Pretty much covers it. Very well written even if you have little experience with any aspect of solar heating systems.Published 9 months ago by Seth Nelson
Excellent book covers everything about water heating and how to apply it to your house. Very informative educational and practical. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Andreas Michaelides