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The Passive Solar House
The Complete Guide to Heating and Cooling Your Home

by James Kachadorian

For the past ten years The Passive Solar House has offered proven techniques for building homes that heat and cool themselves, using readily available materials and methods familiar to all building contractors and many do-it-yourself homeowners.

True to this innovative, straightforward approach, the new edition of this best-selling guide includes CSOL passive solar design software, making it easier than ever to heat your home with the power of the sun. Since The Passive Solar House was first published, passive solar construction expert James Kachadorian has perfected user-friendly, PC-compatible software to supplement the design process explained in the book by allowing homeowners/designers to enter the specifications of their design and see how changing a variable will affect its energy efficiency.

This is the building book for a world of climbing energy costs. Applicable to diverse regions, climates, budgets, and styles of architecture, Kachadorian’s techniques translate the essentials of timeless solar design into practical wisdom for today’s solar builders. Profiles of successful passive solar design, construction, and retrofit projects from readers of the first edition provide inspiration to first-time homebuilders and renovators alike.


Practical Photovoltaics
Electricity from Solar Cells

by Richard J. Komp

Practical Photovoltaics, the now-classic reference on solar electricity, offers a unique combination of technical discussion and practical advice. Physicist, lecturer, and solar-home dweller Richard Komp explains the "how" and the "how-to" of PV, while providing valuable information on the industry, new developments, and the future. The book is a comprehensive guide to the theory and reality of solar electricity, as well as a detailed installation and maintenance manual. A well-illustrated appendix offers step-by-step instructions for constructing your own solar module, a creative approach to demystifying the technology.


The Straw Bale House

by Athena Swentzell Steen, Bill Steen, David Bainbridge and David Eisenberg

Imagine building a house with superior seismic stability, fire resistance, and thermal insulation, using an annually renewable resource, for half the cost of a comparable conventional home. Welcome to the straw bale house! Whether you build an entire house or something more modest-a home office or studio, a retreat cabin or guest cottage-plastered straw bale construction is an exceptionally durable and inexpensive option. What's more, it's fun, because the technique is easy to learn and easy to do yourself. And the resulting living spaces are unusually quiet and comfortable. The Straw Bale House describes the many benefits of building with straw bales:

  • super insulation, with R-values as high as R-50
  • good indoor air quality and noise reduction
  • a speedy construction process
  • construction costs as low as $10-per-square-foot
  • use of natural and abundant renewable resources
  • better solution than burning agricultural waste straw, which creates tons of air pollutants


Wind Energy Basics
A Guide to Small and Micro Wind Systems

by Paul Gipe

The wind power industry has been transformed in the 1990s by dramatic breakthroughs in efficiency, economy, and adaptability. Wind Energy Basics is the most up-to-date source available of information about small wind systems. The book includes the unique "standard small wind turbine rating" developed by the author, which is designed to help readers wade through conflicting performance claims by manufacturers in the U.S. and overseas. Also included is detailed information on planning, siting, and installing a wind system, and on integrating wind power with solar for more cost-effective and reliable off-the-grid applications.

In addition, Gipe provides a discussion of "net metering" and intertie possibilities, explaining how homeowners in many states can now sell their excess electricity back to the utility company.

Wind Energy Basics is an excellent introduction to wind power for educational programs concerned with state-of-the-art renewable energy options, and will be indispensable for those considering today's generation of quiet, efficient, and reliable "micro" wind turbines.

Wind Energy Basics describes a new class of small wind turbines, dubbed micro turbines, which are so small that they can be purchased for less than $1000 and carried in your hands.

The debut of micro wind turbines brings the technology within reach of almost everyone. These inexpensive machines, when coupled with readily available photovoltaic panels (solar cells), have revolutionized living in remote homes off-the-utility grid. And the increasing popularity of micro wind turbines has opened up new applications previously considered off-limits to wind energy, such as charging electric fences and powering remote telephone call boxes, once the sole domain of solar cells.


Who Owns the Sun?
People, Politics, and the Struggle for a Solar Economy

by Daniel M. Berman and John T. O'Connor

America's most powerful corporations, utilities, and environmental organizations are in league with government to protect a dirty little secret: Solar power is a better way of meeting this nation's (or, for that matter, any other's) future electrical needs. But even though we already have the technology to turn sunlight into clean, reliable power, they want to keep us in the dark.

  • Energy corporations manipulate congress, and handsomely reward congressional advocates, to keep people hooked on fossil fuels and delay solar development.
  • The utility industry is poised to slap a meter on the sun once fossil fuels are depleted.
  • Corporations have found ways to collaborate with (and silence) former environmental adversaries.
This book contains documented proof of how utilities are crippling—and attempting to own—solar energy.


Sliding Home:
A Complete Guide to Driving Your Diesel on Straight Vegetable Oil

By Ray Holan, 238 pages, spiral bound

Sliding Home introduces you to the advantages of a diesel vehicle. It shows you how to: select a diesel to fit your needs, add a hybrid fuel system so it can run on recycled vegetable oil, and maintain it for years of trouble-free miles.



Fuel From Water:
Energy Independence With Hydrogen

by Michael Peavey

This book has been used in many college courses to explain how Hydrogen can be used to power vehicles and make electricity. Electrolysers and fuel cells are discussed. Many diagrams, photos, and tables give not just the general idea but all the facts and figures. This book is fairly technical but also very readable and anyone with an interest in Hyrdogen power will find this book invaluable.



Growing a New Energy Economy

by Greg Pahl

"Finally, the book we've been looking for. Greg Pahl's new biodiesel book offers a comprehensive review of all things veggie oil powered. From the history of the diesel engine to the development of the biodiesel industry, past current and future. This is the ultimate primer." —Rob Elam, Propel Project