Books  Environmental Studies  Energy 

Stand-alone Solar Electric Systems: The Earthscan Handbook for Planning, Design and Installation

Handbook / Manual

Series: Earthscan Expert Series

By: Mark Hankins

176 pages, figures, illustrations, index


Hardback | Apr 2010 | #179655 | ISBN-13: 9781844077137
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £34.95 $46/€39 approx

About this book

One of the best ways to get power to remote, off-grid locations, whether in developed or developing countries, is through the use of solar electric systems. This practical guide describes how to plan, design and install solar electric systems in a manner that is hands-on, graphic and technically complete.

Highly illustrated chapters cover: solar energy basics; components of solar electric systems (modules, batteries, regulators, inverters and appliances); installation practice; details on planning and servicing systems; water pumping; refrigeration; grid-interconnect; and, village electrification.

Substantially updated from the bestselling 1995 edition and containing extensive new material, this is the must-have guide for electric technicians and designers, development workers and anyone who wants to install their own off-grid system.

'Earthscan bill these volumes as expert handbooks and they do not disappoint. They will save you from making costly mistakes and are well worth the cover price.' Permaculture Magazine 'This series is pitched at just the right level for specialists - detailed, well illustrated, full of information yet readable. You can buy similar books cheaper but you won't get the level of detail or the clarity of explanation and illustrations. Permaculture Magazine 'A truly comprehensive and detailed user guide.' Sun Connect 'Mark Hankins has done it again. Like his prior publications, this book is a practical, useful and easy-to-read design guide for anyone interested in off-grid solar electric systems.' Arne Jacobson, Associate Professor, Environmental Resources Engineering Co-Director, Schatz Energy Research Center, Humboldt State University, USA 'One watt-peak in a German grid-connected system saves the equivalent of 5 litres of oil used in a thermal power station. One watt-peak in a stand-alone system in Africa saves more than 50 litres of oil from kerosene lamps. This is the right book at the right time.' Professor Peter Adelmann, University of Applied Science, Germany, and Founder of Phocos AG 'Mark Hankins's name is synonymous with "solar" in Africa. Mark has been a solar visionary, technical expert and project engineer since 1980, providing the continent with 30 years of unparalleled expertise in the planet's only reliable and safe energy source.' Neville Williams, Founder, Solar Electric Light Fund and Co-Founder, SELCO-India 'If you were heading off to set up housekeeping on your own tiny island or to a remote Peace Corps assignment, this would be the book to pack along.' Solar Today, November 2010. 'offers a lot more than the typical introduction to stand-alone solar electric systems found in other books... but at the same time it manages to still be very readable and accessible. All topics are covered accurately and in more than adequate detail which make this book a must have... The chapter on batteries is particularly good as this is a subject which is not often covered well, and the later chapters on planning and installing solar systems together with the large installation case studies are also outstanding.'


Fundamentals of Solar Energy;
Solar Energy Principles;
An Overview of Solar Electric Technology;
Solar Cell Modules;
Batteries for PV Systems;
Charge Controllers and Load Management;
Lamps and Appliances;
Wiring and Fittings;
Planning a Solar Electric System;
Installing a Solar Electric System;
Maintaining and Servicing Solar Electric Systems;
Larger PV Systems:
Installing Systems of 200 Wp or more.

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Mark Hankins has over 20 years' experience of designing photovoltaic systems, managing projects and teaching solar electricity in Africa. He also managed a Nairobi-based renewable energy consulting company for over 10 years, and has written extensively on the subject.

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