Earthpeace Book Reviews
Richard Stubbs started off working with a renewable energy company in Wales. He now lives in France and has worked globally for major development agencies training technicians and designing solar power systems.
This book describes how solar photovoltaic power works and the best uses to put it to.
Stubbs is quite candid about when photovoltaic panels may not be the answer for power use (usually based upon comparative financial outlay) and which other systems may be preferable. This book was written in 2006, now we are more aware of the need for ecological power the desire to use renewal power sources will be value added and, for those lucky enough to win a government grant, costs could become comparable.
The manual guides you through the process of designing, specifying and installing your own self-contained solar power system. Included are some handy spreadsheets set up to calculate loads and track data to arrive at your component requirements.
He also considers hybrid systems whereby solar and other energy systems, such as a wind turbine, work side by side. The entire book is 65 pages long and is a very thorough detailed guide to the requirements for installing a solar power system.
The appendices include insolation maps to calculate your average exposure to the sun, battery voltage charts, cable data and voltage drop tables, example wiring diagrams, and example common appliance power ratings.
This is not designed for the complete rookie - there is a lot of technical detail, however, included in the download package is a shorter book which explains the basics in layman's terms. It is recommended that the manual is read through from start to finish before embarking on setting up your own system. It is worthwhile reading it through - his experience of many projects over the world, from Wales to Africa, shines through.
The following link will take you to the site where you can purchase the Solar Power Design Manual