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From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity Hardcover – January 3, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Perlin (A Forest Journey) accessibly recounts the history of photovoltaics (the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity by solar cells) from the early 19th century to the present. In the 19th century scientists speculated, from the excavations of Pompeii, that the Romans had discovered that when clear glass is exposed to the sun, it acts as a solar heat trap. Building on this knowledge and coupling it with experiments using selenium, they created the world's first photoelectric module. This versatile power source continued to be important throughout the years: in the 1950s, solar batteries began to power telephone lines, space projects, navigation aids, and more; today, scientists are developing photovoltaic-powered satellites to provide Internet access to the remotest parts of the world. The story of photovoltaics also includes those individuals such as the priest in Mali whose innovations using solar cells and water brought relief to his drought-stricken country. This is fascinating reading for the layperson and would be suitable for large public, academic, and technical libraries where technology and the history of technology are in demand.AEva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

A fascinating fun-to-read historical account of the unfolding of the photovoltaics (PV) industry. [And] it very clearly explains how PV cells work by tracing the evolution of technologies and manufacturing--right up to the present. By providng this complex information in a story-like fashion, Perlin makes it very understandable and highly interesting. He clearly did his homework. FROM SPACE TO EARTH is well worth the read. -- Environmental Building News, October 1999

FROM SPACE TO EARTH is first-rate history, excellent writing, and great story-telling. No one could have done it better. And no one has been able to bring home to the lay reader the background of the technology that we all believe will be the best hope of the next millennium. John Perlin has made an important contribution on the eve of the 'solar century.' -- Neville Williams of SELCO

John Perlin's new book was a delight to read. [It] is the most exciting, down-to-earth book that I have read on the subject. His insightful prose lets the essence of photovoltaics come alive. This book should be required reading for all persons, at all levels, in the photovoltaics industry! A treasure. -- Photovoltaic News, August 1999 Paul Maycock
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; First Edition edition (January 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937948144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937948149
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,898,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Finally, here is a book about an environmental topic that isn't depressing. In fact, it's so uplifting that you may find yourself pumping your arm and cheering. Perlin keeps it light on the solid-state physics and instead chronicles the social, economical, and political issues surrounding the application of photovoltaics. He explains advances in technology clearly and with no jargon. This book should be highly enjoyable even for those who flunked P-chem.
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Format: Hardcover
Have you ever asked yourself "Who discovered the photovoltaic effect?". Or maybe you are interested in knowing how the PV industry started and who were the early PV pioneers. Well, look no further, because all of this information and much more make up From Space To Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity by John Perlin.
Several years after writing his first book on solar energy, Mr. Perlin uses From Space to Earth to reflect on the challeges the PV industry and it's early pioneers faced in developing, implementing and introducing a new technology to the World. Personal interviews and historical information are utilized to relay the story of PV technology and the people who helped turn it into a thriving industry that helps to meet the electrical needs of people around the globe.
The future of the PV industy is also addressed and the author expresses his opinions on what the future should hold for photovoltaics. From his support for Building Intergrated Photovoltaics (BI-PV) and distributed generation, to the easy to understand reviews of advances in solar-electric cell and module production, the author provides up to date information on where the industry stands and where it is heading.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the application of solar-electricity or solar energy in general.
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Format: Hardcover
From Space To Earth: The Story Of Solar Electricity surveys the fascinating evolution of photovoltaics from its problematic and controversial nineteenth century beginnings to its outstanding technological success in the space program, to the indispensable and versatile role as a power source for contemporary daily life. More than the story of a technology, From Space To Earth is also a chronicle of the individuals who, for the most part unrecognized in the history of science) persevered, took chances, bucked authority, innovated, invented, and crusaded to provide humanity with an infallible power source in the form of solar cells and the safe, clean, renewable energy they provide for everything from satellite communication systems to hot water heaters for the home. Informative and thoroughly "reader friendly", John Perlin's From Space To Earth is highly recommended reading and an important addition to any academic or public library history of science collection.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outdated, but a detailed early history of the struggle for dominance in the solar field. I bought it because I knew one of the people when I was a child. Interesting to see the political maneuvering over power.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought this book was gonna be differnt, but if your into solar power and how it all got started i would read it
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