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Solar Power in Building Design, The Engineer’s Complete Design Resource
By Peter Gevorkian; The McGraw-Hill Cos.; October 2007 ISBN: 978-0-07-148563; 476 pages; $99.95

This is a complete guide to designing, implementing and auditing solar-power systems for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. It is the third in a series of books by the author, who believes that the best way to promote the use of solar power as a sustainable energy design is to properly educate key professionals, such as architects, engineers and program managers, whose opinions direct project development. The earlier books introduced architects, engineers and scientists to a number of renewable energy technologies and their uses.

Filled with case studies and illustrations, the latest book covers new solar technologies, design implementation techniques, energy conservation, the economics of solar-power systems and passive solar heating. It also provides complete details on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and includes rebate procedures and forms.

Gevorkian delves into the physics of solar cells and the history of the photoelectric phenomenon. He explores the three main categories of solar cell technologies: monocrystalline (single-crystal construction), polycrystalline (semicrystalline), and amorphous silicon thin film. Each has unique physical, chemical, manufacturing and performance characteristics, says the author.

The book also discusses storage-battery technology. One surprising anecdote is the 1936 discovery of an ancient storage battery in the 2,000-year-old ruins of a village near Baghdad. The 6-in.-high clay jar had a copper-enveloped iron rod, soldered copper fittings and an asphalt-like stopper. When filled with vinegar, it produced 1.1V of electric potential, which ancient Sumerians used for electroplating gold and silver on cheaper metals.



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