1st Edition

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

ISBN 9781844077137
Published June 4, 2010 by Routledge
248 Pages

USD $71.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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
  • on planning and servicing systems
  • water pumping
  • refrigeration
  • village electrification.

This is the must-have guide for electric technicians and designers, development workers, and anyone who wants to install their own off-grid system.

Table of Contents

1. How To Use This Book: An Overview of Solar Electric Technology  2. Fundamentals of Solar Energy  3. Solar Cell Modules  4. Batteries  5. Charge Controllers, Inverters and Load Management  6. Lamps and Appliances  7. Wiring and Fittings  8. Planning an Off-Grid Solar Electric System  9. Installing Solar Electric Systems  10. Managing, Maintaining and Servicing Off-Grid PV Systems  11. Basics of Large Off-Grid Systems

View More



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.


'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.'REUK.co.uk

'This is the best stand-alone PV book, specifically developed from developing countries' perspectives'Mani G. Tamizh

Support Material