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The Renewable Energy Handbook: A Guide to Rural Independence, Off-Grid and Sustainable Living

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As oil prices continue to rise, many people are starting to think about how to unhook from the electricity grid. The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses completely on off-grid, sustainable living and rural energy independence. Author/engineer William H. Kemp, who is a leading expert in small- and mid-scale renewable energy technologies, designed and built his own off-grid ho As oil prices continue to rise, many people are starting to think about how to unhook from the electricity grid. The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses completely on off-grid, sustainable living and rural energy independence. Author/engineer William H. Kemp, who is a leading expert in small- and mid-scale renewable energy technologies, designed and built his own off-grid home. The result is a house that has all the standard middle-class creature comforts while using less than five times the total fossil-fuel energy of the average North American house. The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses on the unique requirements of off-grid living and contains chapters on energy conservation; heating and cooling; backup power; domestic water heating; wireless communications; photovoltaic, wind, and microhydro energy generation; battery selection; and inverters. Since its release in 2003, The Renewable Energy Handbook has been a top-selling technology book and is recognized as the best book in its field. The book is augmented with hundreds of illustrations, line drawings, photographs, and appendices.


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As oil prices continue to rise, many people are starting to think about how to unhook from the electricity grid. The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses completely on off-grid, sustainable living and rural energy independence. Author/engineer William H. Kemp, who is a leading expert in small- and mid-scale renewable energy technologies, designed and built his own off-grid ho As oil prices continue to rise, many people are starting to think about how to unhook from the electricity grid. The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses completely on off-grid, sustainable living and rural energy independence. Author/engineer William H. Kemp, who is a leading expert in small- and mid-scale renewable energy technologies, designed and built his own off-grid home. The result is a house that has all the standard middle-class creature comforts while using less than five times the total fossil-fuel energy of the average North American house. The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses on the unique requirements of off-grid living and contains chapters on energy conservation; heating and cooling; backup power; domestic water heating; wireless communications; photovoltaic, wind, and microhydro energy generation; battery selection; and inverters. Since its release in 2003, The Renewable Energy Handbook has been a top-selling technology book and is recognized as the best book in its field. The book is augmented with hundreds of illustrations, line drawings, photographs, and appendices.

30 review for The Renewable Energy Handbook: A Guide to Rural Independence, Off-Grid and Sustainable Living

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alistair

    As dry as you'd expect. This manages to take the spin off all the "green" hoo haa and put things firmly on the ground. The basics of what is financially practical are well described from the smallest scale projects to those that require a significant cash input including those that require pie-in-the-sky show-home type investments. A great reference to put things in perspective and focus on what you can do as a home owner in *your* situation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aurel Mihai

    The title does not lie. This book gives a good idea of what you can do to take yourself off the grid, from home design to heating and electricity. If reading for leisure or if looking to hire a contractor to do the work, it's probably enough to stop here. If looking to do some of the things described in this book yourself, I'd probably read into them further, though the book does make a valiant attempt to cover some things in great detail, like erecting your own wind turbine tower and making bio The title does not lie. This book gives a good idea of what you can do to take yourself off the grid, from home design to heating and electricity. If reading for leisure or if looking to hire a contractor to do the work, it's probably enough to stop here. If looking to do some of the things described in this book yourself, I'd probably read into them further, though the book does make a valiant attempt to cover some things in great detail, like erecting your own wind turbine tower and making biodiesel. For what it is, it is a fantastic guide. I ding it one star because it seems a bit out of date at the moment. I believe I have read about some newer technology out there than what is discussed in the book, at least in terms of power generation. That said, much of the more general advice is timeless and even the technology discussed in the book probably won't be completely overshadowed for at least another 20 years. Another minor issue I have with the book is that it delves too deeply into a few topics. I think that some of those could have been dropped in favor of expanding some other chapters, like sewage and communications. Still, a great introduction to this fascinating and useful topic.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    Useful book to keep on reserve for any environmentally conscious home owner. Especially useful if considering to live off-grid or implement some form of personal energy production. Will also give you many tips to increase overall energy efficiency in your home, which in itself could easily pay for the book. The pictures in the book are very dated and the text is somewhat repetitive but interesting never-the-less. Some sections are completely copy and pasted a different chapters in the book, if n Useful book to keep on reserve for any environmentally conscious home owner. Especially useful if considering to live off-grid or implement some form of personal energy production. Will also give you many tips to increase overall energy efficiency in your home, which in itself could easily pay for the book. The pictures in the book are very dated and the text is somewhat repetitive but interesting never-the-less. Some sections are completely copy and pasted a different chapters in the book, if not for this I would rate it 4 stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    This book gives a good, practical look at most of the renewable energy choices available today. It made me realize that there is a lot more that I could do to be energy efficient, without buying solar panels and a wind turbine.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Great good. A lot of useful stuff in there. I happen to have a much more positive feeling for Geo thermal heating than this book, but it shoots straight. Always nice to find useful unbiased books.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Weaver

    An excellent reference guide that offers practical steps & advice on where to start Off-the-Grid, non-federally regulated and sustainable living. A Must read for all homeowners who want to take control and not worry about increasing energy prices. An excellent reference guide that offers practical steps & advice on where to start Off-the-Grid, non-federally regulated and sustainable living. A Must read for all homeowners who want to take control and not worry about increasing energy prices.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Terribly practical. Why did I read this again? :-)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert Selzler

    Decent starter for the not-so tech savvy amongst us.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hani Boeck

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hodgson

  11. 5 out of 5

    Krishnendu Das

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aohtee

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sadil

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eric Scammell

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ames

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brace

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  20. 4 out of 5

    GLGHS

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carly Johnstone

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fred

  25. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Perry

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Rensford

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicci Ovendale

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dw Reed

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Milburn

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jaq

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