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Choosing Solar Electricity: A Guide to Photovoltaic Systems

Handbook / Manual

By: Brian Goss

192 pages, 90 b&w illustrations

Centre for Alternative Technology

Paperback | Mar 2010 | #189292 | ISBN-13: 9781902175591
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £15.99 $21/€18 approx

About this book

Who should read this book? In short, anyone who wants to use solar photovoltaic (PV) to generate electricity and needs to know the pros and cons before talking to a professional PV installer. It is not intended as a comprehensive technical manual for designers and installers, although those considering installation as a business will find it a useful quick introduction to the subject. It doesn't cover design and installation issues exhaustively, but does give you the knowledge to feel confident enough to engage an installer. It also helps you understand how feed-in tariff incentives could make your investment in a solar PV system more than pay for itself.

Working out what you want from solar PV and what solar PV can give you requires a logical step-by-step approach. Going into it without a thorough understanding of your own requirements and the limitations and potential of solar power could cost a great deal of money. Choosing Solar Electricity shows you how to assess your solar resource to see whether or not your site is suitable for solar. It then goes on to describe the various technological options, financial considerations and maintenance issues associated with solar PV. Finishes with a section of useful case studies describing existing PV systems, a glossary of terms and a directory of useful contacts.

With chapters covering funding, planning permission, safety, maintenance and performance monitoring, Goss has produced a publication that is perfect for dipping in and out of as a solar PV project progresses. Greenbuild News "You'll find out just how you can ensure you get a healthy return on the investment of installing solar PV, including getting the most out of the new subsidies." Build It


1. Choosing renewables 2. The solar resource 3. The photovoltaic effect 4. Stand-alone or grid-connected? 5. Stand-alone PV systems 6. Grid-connected PV systems 7. Array mounting systems 8. Approvals - planning permission and building regulations 9. Financing a solar electricity system and feed-in tariffs 10. Finding an installer 11. Safety, installation and handover 12. Performance monitoring 13. Operation and maintenance 14. Case studies Appendix 1. References and further reading Appendix 2. Abbreviations and glossary Appendix 3. About the author Acknowledgements

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Brian Goss, MSc, was formerly the Electrical Engineer at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). He studied Electrical Installation at Chesterfi eld College and Renewable Energy Systems Technology at the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), Loughborough University. Brian teaches on various solar PV courses at CAT, including the City & Guilds Certifi cate in Installing & Testing Domestic Photovoltaic Systems (C&G 2372); the MSc: Renewable Energy and the Built Environment, and also the short course 'Introduction to Solar Electric Systems'. Brian also works as Research Engineer for CREST on a PV systems optimisation project for the IKEA Group. The project will monitor large-scale solar PV arrays in real-world environments to analyse and improve the decision making process used to design solar PV systems. In his spare time, Brian enjoys kayaking, mountaineering, skitouring and cycling.

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