1st Edition

Solar Energy
Renewable Energy and the Environment

ISBN 9781420075663
Published August 18, 2009 by CRC Press
380 Pages 186 B/W Illustrations

USD $180.00

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Book Description

Drawing on the authors’ extensive research and project implementation around the globe, Solar Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment covers solar energy resources, thermal and photovoltaic systems, and the economics involved in using solar energy. It provides background theory on solar energy as well as useful technical information for implementing solar energy applications.

The book details the strengths, weaknesses, and applications of solar power generation technologies. It discusses the design and implementation of often-overlooked solar technologies, such as solar water pumping, distillation, detoxification, refrigeration, and village power. The text also examines photovoltaic power and how it is best suited for remote-site applications with small to moderate power requirements. Examples, real-world case studies, and lessons learned from technical failures illustrate how to best implement solar energy projects.

The time for clean energy solutions is here. Only through energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies can modern civilization extricate itself from the gathering "perfect energy storm." Focusing on one of the keys to lessen the potentially harmful impacts of the storm, this book discusses how to increase energy production from a clean energy source—the sun.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Solar Energy

The Twenty-First Century’s Perfect Energy Storm

Renewable Energy for Rural Development

Renewable Energy Solutions

Global Solar Resource


Solar Resources


Sun–Earth Geometric Relationship

Equation of Time

Structure of the Sun

Electromagnetic Radiation

Solar Spectral Distribution

Solar Constant

Extraterrestrial Solar Radiation

Terrestrial Solar Radiation

Measurement of Terrestrial Solar Radiation

Terrestrial Insolation on Tilted Collectors



Fundamentals of Engineering: Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer


Conduction Heat Transfer

One-Dimensional Conduction Heat Transfer in a Rectangular Coordinate

Thermal Resistance Circuits

One-Dimensional Conduction Heat Transfer in a Cylindrical Coordinate

Convection Heat Transfer

Radiation Heat Transfer

Introduction to Thermodynamics


Solar Thermal Systems and Applications


Solar Collectors

Tracking Systems

Solar Thermal Systems


Photovoltaic Cells by Jeanette Moore


Crystal Structure

Cell Physics

Energy Bands

More about Electrons and Their Energy

Electrons and Holes

Direct and Indirect Band-Gap Materials



Generation and Recombination

The p–n Junction

Solar Cell Equations



Current Research

Cell Applications



Photovoltaic Conversion Systems

Solar Benefits

Basic Module Electrical Concepts

PV Arrays

PV Array Tilt

PV Balance of Systems

PV System Utility

PV System Safety

PV System Testing Rules



Photovoltaic System Sizing and Design


Solar Resource Sizing Considerations

Solar Trajectory

Solar Energy System Sizing Considerations

Solar Energy System Sizing

Solar Water Pumping System Sizing

Generic Water Pump Sizing Methodology

Electrical Codes for PV System Design

Stand-Alone PV Lighting Design Example



Photovoltaic Applications


Grid-Tied PV

Japanese PV Development and Applications

Future Japanese Trends

Stand-Alone PV Applications

PV for Schools

PV for Protected Areas

PV Water-Pumping

Grounding and Lightning Protection for Solar Water Pumps

Solar Tracking for Solar Water Pumps

Operation and Maintenance of the Systems

The PV Array

PV Water-Pumping Results


Economics by Vaughn Nelson

Solar Energy Is Free, but What Does It Cost?

Economic Feasibility

Economic Factors

Economic Analysis

Life Cycle Cost

Present Value and Levelized Costs

Annualized Cost of Energy


Solar Irrigation Case Study

Water Pumping Example



Institutional Issues



Institutional Considerations


Program Implementation

Institutional Models for Solar Energy Dissemination

Management and Ownership

Tariffs and Payment

Other Critical Issues



Energy Storage


Batteries in PV Systems

Lead-Acid Battery Construction

Lead-Acid Battery Operation

Lead-Acid Battery Characteristics

Battery Problem Areas

Battery Maintenance

Battery Safety Precautions

Determination of Battery Failure

Battery Selection Criteria

Charge Controller Terminology

Charge Controller Algorithms

Charge Controller Selection Criteria



Solar Energy Glossary

Appendix A: Global Insolation at Latitude Tilt for Select Cities

Appendix B: Friction Loss Factors

Appendix C: Present Value Factors


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Robert Foster is a program manager in the College of Engineering at the Southwest Region Solar Experiment Station and the Institute for Energy and the Environment at New Mexico State University. He is currently on assignment in Kabul as the deputy chief of party for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer Program.

Majid Ghassemi is a visiting research scientist in the Institute for Engineering Research and Applications at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech), where he is currently conducting research on energy-efficient wall panels for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Alma Cota is a chemistry professor and solar researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. She previously worked as a photovoltaic research assistant in the Southwest Region Solar Experiment Station at New Mexico State University.