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Essential Reading - Solar Energy

Title: The Solar Electric House
Author: Steven J. Strong
Comments: 276 pages. This book serves a a design manual for home-scale PV power systems. It was written by Steven Strong, a well known and respected pioneer who has designed hundreds of solar electric systems. Contains much information central to system design.

Title: The New Solar Electric Home
Author: Joel Davidson
Comments: 400 pages. The latest revision is updated to over 400 pages in straight forward readable style with the latest invasions in PV technology.

Title: The Independent Home
Author: Michael Potts
Comments: 300 pages. Across America modern homesteaders are harvesting their own power from the sun, wind and water, without giving up twentieth-century conveniences. Author Michael Potts traveled from Hawaii to Vermont to interview the pioneers of this new, solar lifestyle.

Essential Reading - Passive Solar

Title: The Passive Solar House
Author: James Kachadorian
Comments: 210 pages. This book offers a technique for building homes that heat and cool themselves in a wide range of different climates, using ordinary building materials available anywhere and with methods familiar to all building contractors and many do-it-yourselfers.

Title: The Evolution of an Independent Home
Author: Paul Jeffrey Fowler
Comments: 254 pages. This is the story of how one man used local resources, ingenuity, imagination, and patience to create a homestead powered by the sun.

Essential Reading - Wind Energy

Title: Wind Energy Basics
Author: Paul Gipe
Comments: 170 pages. Paul Gipe, one of the world's leading experts on wind power has now created an introductory guide to wind energy systems. This book gives an overview of the burgeoning use of wind energy around the globe, describing and analyzing the most affordable small wind generators, including the new generation of highly practical micro turbines. Wind Energy Basics includes detailed information on planning, purchasing, siting, and installing a wind system, and on integrating wind power with solar photovoltaics for more cost-effective and reliable off-the-grid applications.

Title: Wind Power for Home and Business
Author: Paul Gipe
Comments: The author examines wind and wind power. "Topics covered include wind system applications, measurements, and economics; estimating power output; evaluation of alternative wind system designs (e.g., blades, rotor controls, generators, and towers); and siting. The author also discusses connecting to a utility; stand-alone hybrid systems; how to buy, install, and operate a system;and practical safety."

Essential Reading - Hydro Electric

Title: The Residential Hyrdro Power Book
Author: Keith Ritter
Comments: If you are interested in learning about how you might be able to take advantage of hydro power, Keith's book is very in-depth. He gives you various ways to measure verticle drop and flow. He also discusses various forms of generators and sizing for various hydro conditions. The book also contains a number of worksheets for computing the requirements necessary to size a system.


Title: All About Hydraulic Ram Pumps
Author: Don Wilson
Comments: 40 pages. Here's the plans for building your own ram pump. Don's book gives you a detailed description of how to do it.

Editor's Note: Although I am not promoting the following sites, there are a few good resources for books such as these. You may want to visit the following publisher's sites for ordering alternative house building books:

Jade Mountain
Sunelco