Renewable Energy Made Easy: Free Energy from Solar, Wind, Hydropower, and Other Alternative Energy Sources


Studies have shown that the average North American family will spend more than a quarter of a million dollars on energy in a lifetime. What many other countries, including Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, China, Brazil, and even Iceland, have realized is that there is a better way to power our homes, businesses, and cars by using renewable energy sources.

Recently, the United States has begun to understand the importance of reducing its reliance on coal, natural gas, nuclear ...

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Renewable Energy Made Easy: Free Energy from Solar, Wind, Hydropower, and Other Alternative Energy Sources

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Studies have shown that the average North American family will spend more than a quarter of a million dollars on energy in a lifetime. What many other countries, including Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, China, Brazil, and even Iceland, have realized is that there is a better way to power our homes, businesses, and cars by using renewable energy sources.

Recently, the United States has begun to understand the importance of reducing its reliance on coal, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower plants, which comprise the majority of the nation s electricity, due to increasing oil prices. Some sections of the country, including California, are turning to renewable energy sources. In fact, 12 percent of California s electricity is produced by renewable resources. The potential for the use of renewables is very large and understanding their use and their impact is key.

Renewable Energy Made Easy will provide you with everything you need to know about these alternative energy sources. You will learn about solar power, wind power, water power, biofuels, geothermal energy, ethanol, wave farms, photovoltaic power plants, and hydrogen fuels. You will also become well-versed on the availability, aesthetics, environmental and social considerations, and longevity issues of these so-called soft energy technologies. In addition, you will learn about the current costs and the projected costs in the future, ENERGY STAR® regulations, the newest research and innovations, and the high development potential of renewable energy.

This book will serve as a guide to creating more efficient buildings and an invaluable resource for how to change our preconceived notions about power. This book has taken the complexity and scientific terms out of this topic, making it jargon-free and easy to understand. Ultimately, you will learn how our country can improve energy efficiency, reduce oil dependence, improve energy security, and reduce the health and environmental impact of our current energy system.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 287 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601382405
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/21/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,237,621
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     3
Foreword     12
Reduce, Reuse and Renew     15
The Almost-Perfect Day     15
Problems with Fossil Fuels     16
Renewable Energy - Pros and Cons     17
The Focus of Renewable Energy Made Easy     19
Let There Be Light-the Potential of Solar Power     21
Introduction     21
A History of Solar Energy     21
What is Solar Energy?     24
Windows (Not the Operating System)     25
Solar Collectors     30
Types of Solar Energy     31
Passive Solar     32
Intereseasonal Storage     34
Daylighting     34
Low Temperature Applications     36
Photovoltaic     41
Powering Mr. Fusion - Biomass as an Energy Source     51
Introduction     51
A History of Biomass     52
What is Biomass?     53
The Conversion Process and Its Pros and Cons     53
Methods for Improving Fuel Efficiency     55
Crops     56
Oily Seeds and Biodiesel     57
Biogas     58
Costs     60
Ethanol     62
The Biomass-powered Engine that Could     64
Environmental Issues     66
Getting Wet and Wild with Hydropower     69
Introduction     69
A History of Hydropower     70
Head     72
Turbines     73
How Does a Hydropower System Work?     77
Hydropower Applications     78
The Francis Turbine     79
Effects on Ecosystems     81
Environmental Issues     82
Riding the Winds of Change - Wind Power     85
A History of Wind Power and Windmills     85
Wind Turbines     89
Appropriate Wind Speeds     94
Estimating the Power a Turbine Could Produce     94
Costs of Wind Power     95
Siting Ideal Locations for Wind Turbines     97
Offshore Wind     102
Strengths and Weaknesses of Wind Power     104
Catching a Wave - the Potential of Wave Power     109
Introduction     109
A History of Waves     110
How Wave Energy Works     111
Types of Waves     112
Sea States     114
Under the Sea (State)     116
Capturing a Wave      119
Integrating Wave Energy into Our Everyday Lives     133
The Extreme Economics of Wave Energy     134
Limiting Environmental Impact     137
Rock 'N' Roll - Harvesting Geothermal Energy     141
An Overview of Geothermal Energy     141
Siting Prospective Geothermal Energy Locations     141
Geothermal Plants     142
Uses for Geothermal Energy     144
Problems with Geothermal Energy     144
High Points of Geothermal Energy     146
Getting Your Hands Dirty - Case Studies     149
Glossary     259
Additional Terms     269
Bibliography     279
Author Biography     283
Index     285
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 25, 2009

    good book to get the basics!

    Energy and the environment are topics of such importance today that it is easy to feel like a fool when you don't know even the basics. Renewable Energy Made Easy lives up to its name, making the subject easy to handle by dividing the book up into manageable sections. For me, I found the text a little simplistic at first. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse makes me feel like I am in fifth grade again. However, after the beginning he gets into a lot of interesting information about the actual technology making these changes in energy possible.

    I wanted to see more diagrams/pictures of all the technology that the author talked about. I did enjoy, though, the case studies towards the end of the book that helped to give a clearer picture of how these technologies will be used by companies today. While the author is, of course, pro alternative energy, I didn't feel like he glossed over the many difficulties of making alternative energy work effectively and integrating it into our economy.

    This is definitely a good book for those looking to get a basic grasp of renewable energy and especially for people looking for an in to more complicated material.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    Great Resource

    While scanning the table of contents of this book words like biomass and photovoltaic jump out. On first glance, these unknown words may turn some casual readers off. Fortunately, the author is knowledgeable enough and writes with such accessibility that these words quickly go from becoming unfamiliar to familiar. The author lives up to the title and does make renewable energy "easy".
    The author not only informs readers about the different types of renewable energy (solar, hydro, wind, biomass and geothermal), which he delves into in separate chapters and illuminates each completely, he also spends time on what people can do to help bring these types of renewable energy into their everyday lives. With this book you can learn how to build your own solar battery charger or how to create your own hydrogen among other interesting lessons.
    This book is a great resource for anyone interested in renewable energy, from the lay person interested in making a difference in the environment, to the student needing a detailed understanding of renewable energy.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Renewable Energy couldn't be easier!

    The world is turning green. Not literally green, but the way of thinking green and it is slowly and surely taking over the world. With myself being the curious type and not wanting to be left behind, I thought it would be a good idea to read up about it. Renewable Energy looked like a good option, and I have to say I wasn't disappointed.

    For it's said to be an easy read, I found some of it quite hard to follow, not that the writing was hard to follow, but that the terms that were used weren't fully explained. What could have helped this book a lot would have been the inclusion of some photos or some diagrams of what was being described and maybe some step-by-step guides on how to build or install some of the equipment mentioned in the book.

    After reading this book I feel a lot more clued up about renewable energy and the options the world has once it runs out of fossil fuels. I think this book would be an excellent resource for anyone wanting to make renewable energy part of their career or a college student doing a project on renewable energy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2008

    Common Sense and Straightforward Energy Conversation

    Renewable Energy Made Easy - really is that easy! If you've ever felt lost in an energy conversation, or, if you watch the news but don't quite understand what's going on, then this is the book for you. It breaks down some of the hardest concepts regarding energy, consumption, and makes the case for solar, wind, and water 'hydropower' and tells in it an easy-to-read, user friendly format. There's even a glossary at end. I liked how the book covers renewable energy from a global and local standpoint - even with ideas for the home! I finished this book in one sitting, it's that easy to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2008

    An Entertaining and Educational Overview on Alternative Energy

    Renewable Energy Made Easy is an ideal reference text for anyone who is determined to increase their knowledge regarding the creation of a greener society, both locally and globally, beyond that of merely, 'reduce, reuse, and recycle.' Following an introductory description of the currently strained ecological conditions regarding the severe mass-dependence on existing fossil fuels and the various global complications and consequences resulting from this widespread dependence, author David Craddock presents a well-written, succinct overview of available alternative energy sources that could be utilized to offset the assorted damage and depletion of fossil fuels. Within this extremely informative and interesting text, assorted alternative energy sources are defined and the advantages and disadvantages of each are equally debated, and further discussion is given to the examination of the dangerous tolls taken collectively on the planet and its inhabitants by the continued severe overuse of fossil fuels. The issues associated with the alternative and renewable energies include those related to financial expense, resource development and availability, as well as public acceptance, while the obvious economic, political, and environmental issues continue to adversely affect the supply and demand trends and usage of fossil fuels. With the research of alternative and renewable energies, comparable solutions are offered, including acceptable combinations of resources, to offset any possible problems with their planned execution and usage. Finally, actual case studies of the previously discussed forms of alternative energy are given in a presentation of examples to provide for the practical application of the knowledge gained from this text. These DIY green energy projects, ranging from simple experiments to major green construction projects, allow the reader to become proactive in demonstrating their serious enthusiasm and commitment to the subject of renewable energy, after having been inspired by the knowledge gained from this book. Without hesitation, I rate Renewable Energy Made Easy 5 stars. Throughout its pages, the extremely relevent content of this book is logically presented and explanatory while remaining interesting, educational, and entertaining. It proves an invaluable resource on the various forms of alternative energies on multiple levels, with a well written text that remains easily understood, without being pretentious, nor patronizing to its reader. Its text is additionally complemented by the inclusion of expansive resources to enable further research and action. This inspirational book will appeal to a broad audience, from students to average concerned citizens to professionals already working within the field of alternative energy research and development. Renewable Energy Made Easy truly gives hope for the achievement of a green, sustainable future, as it creates a sense of urgency to work collectively towards this realistic endeavor.

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