This summer at the MREA Energy Fair, one of my goals was to find the best new manual on residential photovoltaic design out there.
Pickings were actually much slimmer than I had anticipated; you'd think that with the ascent of renewable energies lately there would be a flood of new books on the market. Wrong.
Surprisingly, after asking around, recommendations for this book kept popping up: Solar Power Your Home for Dummies.
Normally, I stay as far away from "For Dummies" books as I possibly can. (The dummy-themed titles always seemed to me to be a bit condescending.) But when one insistent vendor assured me that "no dummies have ever read this book," I acquiesced. And I'm very glad I did.
Rik DeGunther infuses a healthy dose of wit with a mountain of concise, digestable information about the different types of PV systems, practical advice on selection and installation, and a good many helpful charts and illustrations. It's a cut-to-the-chase reference manual for professionals and, at the same time, is written in a way that newbies to solar energy can understand. Companion volumes (which, full disclosure, I have not read) include Alternative Energy for Dummies and Energy Efficient Homes for Dummies.
DeGunther is an engineer, product designer, writer, and apparently has an affinity for loud guitars. In addition to his books - including a golf manual on the mechanics of putting - DeGunther is a weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat newspaper.
I did not include a link to the book on Amazon.com in this post. (You can find it in about 3 seconds.) But in the spirit of sustainability, why not buy locally, and support your neighborhood independent bookstore.