Understanding Solar Energy
Solar energy is free and it is located everywhere where the sun is shining. However, harnessing the energy of sun in order to convert it to electricity or heat is not an easy task. You need to use the right equipment as well as design basics in order to harness the energy of the sun effectively.There are many benefits of using solar energy to heat up or power your home. One of the most important benefits of using this renewable energy is that you can help save the environment. This green energy can also help you reduce the cost of your energy bill by as much as half. However, if you opt for solar energy to power your house, you need to educate yourself about the many options that you have. Thus, this book will serve as your guide.
With this book, you can learn the following:
- Learn about the benefits of using solar energy in Chapter 1. Moreover, the same chapter will also give you insightful ideas on how you can finance as well as get incentives for using solar power energy.
- This book also teaches you on the things that you need to consider before deciding to adopt this system to your house. Installing solar power systems have several requirements thus it is crucial to know what these requirements are in order to make the most out of solar power energy.
- Chapter 3 also discusses the different types of solar power systems that you can opt for. The chapter gives in-depth discussion on photovoltaic, concentrated and passive solar power systems.
Adopting solar power energy is very crucial for green homes and buildings.
- The thing is, this book would appear to have been written by someone without access to a thesaurus. The phrase “the thing is” is used over and over again ad nauseum throughout the whole booklet (it’s not long enough to qualify as a proper book). Where I stopped reading was when the author wrote, “the thing is…. Having said that…. Having said that….” all within the space of a three sentence paragraph! What I did read was littered with grammatical errors, many of which led to sentences that could not be deciphered.
As one reviewer noted, I too noticed that the author advises that the solar panels should be oriented North-East. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, specifically here in the United States, this is incorrect. Proper placement would be South-SouthWest. I am inclined to give the author the benefit of the doubt here slightly, however. The way the book was written, I’m not sure that the author is from/in the Northern Hemisphere, much less the United States. If that is the case, then North-NorthEast would be the proper alignment in the Southern Hemisphere. Since this book would appear to be aimed at an audience in the United States, however, either the direction should be corrected or the location should be noted.
As far as details go, this book gives the barest of minimum information regarding solar energy. For example, it lists the equipment that you’ll need, but it does not go into any detail as far as how to choose the specific components nor the advantages or disadvantages of differing types of each component. It talks about the different types of financing, purchasing and leasing options but, for example when discussing “Solar Lease” and “Purchase Power Agreements” – where you essential rent the equipment from the power company and pay them for what you use – the author doesn’t bother to explain how or why this would be any different (or better) than just paying the power company for electricity the old fashioned way.
I do get the impression that the author cares more about pushing solar energy from a “green” perspective as opposed to a self-reliance issue or preparedness or even an economical viewpoint. That’s all fine and good, but in this push for a “greener” world the author forgoes any technical discussion.
In closing, I would agree with half of the title of this book. It is definitely aimed at the basest of beginners, but it is a far cry from a “complete guide”. I would recommend you save your money on this book and put it towards your solar system. You can find everything in this book – and more – for free on the internet.
- As I read this book, I was distracted by a large number of grammatical errors and unusual word choices, which lead me to believe that this was written by someone who has not mastered English, and did not care enough to hire an editor.
The subject was addressed in a superficial manner that included few specific descriptions. A specific description was included to explain the proper directional positioning of roof solar panels. According to the book panels should be installed facing east and north to obtain optimal charging of the panels. This is incorrect. Southern exposure and secondarily, western exposures are optimal sites for photovoltaic panel installation.
Another glaring error was a statement that bi-directional meters must be purchased so you pay only for energy use that exceeds what your system generates. This used to be the case, however, the smart meters used by most utility companies do not run in this way. Instead, you pay for an estimated electrical usage each month, and your utility company settles the account annually. Our utility company will pay us $ .03/ KWh for energy we generate that is over our usage, but we pay $.16/ KWh for we buy from the utility company when our use exceeds the amount our system has generated.
An important consideration for many home owners are local, state and federal solar incentives, other than grants.. These programs were not mentioned.
In summary, this book failed to adequately address the subject of the book, was awkwardly written, and contained major factual errors. This is my rationale for giving it two stars, the equivalent of a barely passing “D” grade.