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Sunshine to Dollars

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1603220002
ISBN-10: 1603220003
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 76 pages
  • Publisher: Knowledge Publications (October 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603220003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603220002
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luther N. Collier on January 14, 2010
Sunshine to Dollars is a practical guide to do-it-yourself solar energy. Harris tends to steer the reader away from the big-bucks low-return solar power that gets hyped in the media (and tell you why). He takes the reader into simple, practical technologies that cost next to nothing to implement. He even tells the reader how to get glass and PV panels for nothing or dirt cheap to build these projects. I know it is the truth because I got most of my solar PV panels for $2-10 each.

I don't think most of us would make regular use of a solar oven at home, but what about after hurricanes or an earthquake like in Haiti. With what he shows you, you could show up at a disaster zone with some duct tape and a few sacks of flour and feed refugees and relief workers alike. That's something we don't think about unless we've been there. I have and I appreciate the author's efforts toward disaster relief and preparedness.

Harris takes you through projects that worked out and those that didn't. Yes, you do have to consider what the building inspector thinks about your project. And your neighbors. He has been there and done that.

The book comes from a company called Knowledge Publications and this is exactly that: a knowledge publication. Get this book and learn its lessons. You will save money on your energy bill. You'll amaze your friends and neighbors. You might even find yourself comfy while your neighbors are freezing during a power outage.

One reviewer complained about the form of the book. It looked fine to me. Yes, there are a few typos and grammatical imperfections, but this is a book for people who are ready to get their hands dirty, not ivory-tower academics!
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The section on free solar panels sounds plausible. I'm giving it a try next week. I'll have to keep checking, too.

This book discusses no nonsense approaches to collecting the radiation given off by the sun. People should read this book. It is a quick, easy read but I'm sure you will be referring to it again. There are quick and simple ways to cut heating bills. The methods discussed are so easy someone with basic skills could put something together to create heat. The section on baking bread using a solar oven is one that I had forgotten. Thanks Steven for the reminder. When I was 14, I once cooked a small roast using this technique. I remember using a polished tin, folding oven. The tin-foil approach is cheaper and will work fine.

Some of the topics that interested me the most are, solar hot water heaters, ice making and air-conditioning, heat exchangers for hot water and cooling. There is much more in this book. It is cheap enough that you can't go wrong. Buy it!!!

It only makes good sense to have a book of some simple solutions made from everyday devices. This is a must have.
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Everything that has been said so far I can agree with and the proportional responses is about right... The first book did seem like a garage edition if you kept it closed. Once opened any of the ideas contained should easily reward the reader if even attempted half heartedly. This book seems like a gold mine for DIY renovations so invoations can be added to a home. The window passive heater units alone saved my central Ga apt 3 times what I paid in the first winter. Think of it as a solar lab handout more than a book. The education and ideas are why you keep it around not the cover. Admittedly, a perfect-bound edition would be much more convienent than the spiral.

Bottom line: This is a non-fiction work that doesn't need elaborate aethetics to make it a great buy. If you buy this sort of book for it's looks, then you may have missed the point.
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I bought this bought a few years ago. I don't know if it was the "first incarnation" or the second. It did indeed appear to be self-published and printed and bound by the lot at Kinko's was exactly what went through my mind at the time. So what?

I admit, the source of cheap-to-free PV panels was one that I had always assumed to be unavailable. I don't have anywhere to put any up or aside; but I'm not surprised that Luther found them available for so little.

I recently moved to an area with more than it's share of eco-hippies. I think I'm going to try to form a partnership with some local NGO that has a building and see if we can run a workshop teaching kids and young adults about solar energy. Repairing, repurposing, and reintroducing into service some damaged panels would be a good lead-in. (Please excuse my use of these fashionable buzzwords . . . YUCK!) I could tell them about solar hot air, solar hot water and give them a couple of "homework" assignments that would yield amazing results for less than a $1.00.

Not having the book in front of me as I write this, I can think of three or four specific and separate things in it that are each worth $20. Just knowing about them is easily worth $20; actually putting them into practice will likely save you a lot more than that.

Some of the ideas in the book and common sense. All of them are simple. I can think of one that I still haven't seen on the internet.

When I bought the book, it was a spiral-bound "Kinko's special" and the author can be abrasive. But for the sake of Amazoners, the review shouldn't be about whether or not the author is always likeable. The content is the thing and the content in this one was worth $20. (I seem to remember that I actually paid more than that.
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