$mart Power: An Urban Guide to Renewable Energy and Efficiency


Concern over energy supply, costs, and environmental problems are not limited to those prepared to venture into the countryside to an off-grid life. Urban people?now the vast majority in the Western world?share the same fear about what lies ahead. The average North American family will spend over one quarter million after-tax dollars on energy in a lifetime.

$mart Power shows homeowners that using less energy or adopting renewable-energy technologies is not about making drastic ...

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Concern over energy supply, costs, and environmental problems are not limited to those prepared to venture into the countryside to an off-grid life. Urban people—now the vast majority in the Western world—share the same fear about what lies ahead. The average North American family will spend over one quarter million after-tax dollars on energy in a lifetime.

$mart Power shows homeowners that using less energy or adopting renewable-energy technologies is not about making drastic lifestyle sacrifices, nor is it expensive. In fact, energy efficiency often improves lifestyle through lower operating costs, a more comfortable environment, and increased disposable income.

Richly illustrated, chapters include energy efficiency, space heating and cooling, community power, energy efficient transportation, photovoltaics, wind and bio-fuels, batteries, voltage regulation and inverters, solar water heating, and backup power.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780973323313
  • Publisher: Aztext Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William Kemp is VP Engineering of Powerbase Automation Systems Inc. and a consulting electronics/software designer who develops control systems for low environmental impact hydroelectric utilities worldwide. He is also an author, sustainable living and clean energy advocate working in renewable energy heating, energy efficiency, photovoltaic, micro-hydro and wind electric systems.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction 1
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Renewable Energy Eco-nomics 7
1.3 What is Energy? 16
1.4 A Few Words about Energy and Climate Change 31
Chapter 2 Energy Efficiency 35
2.1 New Home Design Considerations 37
2.2 Working with what you already have: Updating an Older Home 49
2.3 Appliance Selection 77
2.4 Energy Efficient Lighting 87
2.5 Water Supply and Conservation 93
2.6 A Kaleidoscope of Energy Eco-nomic Ideas for Renters and Homeowners Alike 102
Chapter 3 Space Heating and Cooling with Renewable Energy 107
3.1 Passive Solar Space Heating 111
3.2 Active Solar Air Heating 115
3.3 Active Solar Water Heating 119
3.4 Solar Pool Heating 141
3.5 Active Solar Space Heating 145
3.6 Earth-Energy with "Geoexchange" 153
3.7 Heating with Renewable Fuels 161
3.8 Space Cooling Systems 179
Chapter 4 Community Power 183
The Case for Community Power 184
Public Outreach 188
Local Dealers 189
Living in the Community 193
Generating Power in the Community 196
Chapter 5 Biofuels 201
5.1 Ethanol-Blended Fuels 205
5.2 Biodiesel as a Source of Green Fuel and Heat 211
Chapter 6 Energy Efficient Transportation 223
Bio and Electric Power 226
Mass Transit 230
Ultra-Low Fuel Vehicles 233
Hybrid Power Systems 234
Large Hybrid Vehicles 239
Purchasing a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle 241
Car Sharing 242
The Future of Automobiles 244
Chapter 7 A Primer for Grid-Connected Electrical Systems 249
Grid-Dependent Systems 249
Grid-Interactive Systems 251
Regulatory Requirements 252
When the Grid Fails 254
The Changing Seasons 259
Phantom Loads 261
Economics 263
Chapter 8 Photovoltaic Electricity Generation 265
What is Watt? 266
PV Cell Construction 267
PV Output Rating Caution 270
PV Module Lifespan 270
PV Module Maintenance 270
PV Module Installation Checklist 271
Calculate Your Energy Requirements 271
Ensure the Site has Clear Access to the Sun 276
Decide Whether to Rack or Track 277
Eliminate Tree Shading 281
Consider Snow and Ice Buildup in Winter 281
Ensure Modules do not Overheat in Hot Weather 281
Decide on the System Voltage 281
Locate the Array as Close to Batteries or Inverter as Possible 283
Chapter 9 The Urban Wind Turbine a.k.a. The Urbine 285
Home-Sized Wind Turbines - The Myth of Pegasus 285
Site Location and Installation 286
Noise and Mechanical Loads 288
Chapter 10 Battery Selection 291
Why Use Batteries 291
Battery Selection 293
How Batteries Work 293
Depth of Discharge 295
Operating Temperature 297
Battery Sizing 298
Hydrogen Gas Production 302
Safe Installation of Batteries 304
Battery and Energy Metering 305
Summary 308
Chapter 11 D.C. Voltage Regulation 309
Series Controller 311
Maximum Power Point Tracking 312
Diversion Charge Controller 315
Voltage Regulator Selection 315
Charging Batteries from the Grid 316
Charging Strategy (all controller configurations) 316
Nighttime 317
Sunrise 317
Absorption or Tapering Charge 318
Float Stage 318
Equalization Mode 319
Diversion Loads 321
Chapter 12 D.C. to A.C. Conversion Using Inverters 325
Inverter A.C. Waveform 328
Grid-interconnection Operation (grid-dependent mode) 320
Grid-interconnection with Battery Backup (grid-interactive mode) 331
Inverter Ratings 333
Sine Wave versus Modified Square Wave Inverter Models 333
Output Voltage 333
Inverter Continuous Capacity 334
Inverter Surge Capacity 335
Inverter Temperature Derating 336
Battery Charging 337
Chapter 13 Fossil-Fueled Backup Power Sources 339
Generator Types 340
Generator Rating 341
Voltage Selection 344
Fuel Type and Economy 345
Gasoline 345
Natural Gas 345
Propane 345
Diesel 345
Biodiesel 345
Generator Noise and Heat 346
Generator Operation 347
Other Considerations 348
Further Notes on Biodiesel Fuel 349
Chapter 14 Putting It All Together Safely 351
A Word or Two about Safety 352
Electrical Codes and Regulatory Issues 352
What Goes Where? 354
Direct Current Wiring Overview 356
AC/DC Disconnection and Over-Current Protection 360
Battery Cables 362
Wiring Color Codes 362
System Grounding 363
Lightning Protection 364
Interconnecting the Parts 366
PV Array 366
Wind Turbine Connection 369
Renewable Source to Battery Feed Cable 369
Over-Current Protection and Disconnection Devices 370
Battery Wiring 371
Battery Voltage Regulation 372
Series Regulator 373
Shunt or Diversion Regulator 373
The Inverter 376
DC Input Connection 376
AC Output Connection 378
The Generator 379
Energy Meters 380
Chapter 15 Living with Renewable Energy 381
Solar Thermal Systems 381
Solar Electric Systems 381
Getting Started 382
Grid-Dependent (non-battery based) Systems 382
Grid-Interactive (battery backup) Systems 383
Up and Running 386
What Else? 388
Chapter 16 Conclusion 391
1 Cross Reference Chart of Various Fuels Energy Ratings 395
2 Typical Power and Electrical Ratings of Appliances and Tools 396
3 Resource Guide 398
4 Magnetic Declination Map for North America 405
5 North America Sun Hours per Day (Worst Month) 406
6 North America Sun Hours per Day (Best Month) 407
7 Electrical Energy Consumption Work Sheet 408
8 North America Average Annual Wind Speed 409
9 Voltage, Current and Distance Charts for 12, 24 and 48 Volt generation Systems 410
10 Wire Sizes versus Current Carrying Capacity 411
Index 412
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