Do you want to know more about solar energy… this is the book for you!
Do you want to know the history and politics of solar energy… this is the book for you!
Even as concern over climate change and energy security fuel a boom in solar technology, many still think of solar as a twentieth-century wonder. Few realize that the first photovoltaic array appeared on a New York City rooftop in 1884, or that brilliant engineers in France were using solar power in the 1860s to run steam engines, or that in 1901 an ostrich farmer in Southern California used a single solar engine to irrigate three hundred acres of citrus trees. Fewer still know that during the Renaissance Galileo and his contemporaries planned the construction of sun-focusing mirrors as the ultimate weapon to burn enemy fleets and towns, that Leonardo da Vinci planned to make his fortune by building half-mile-long mirrors to heat water, or that the Bronze Age Chinese used hand-sized solar-concentrating mirrors to light fires the way we use matches and lighters today.
In 1918 there were more than 4000 solar water heaters in California (…and heat conserving rammed earth buildings too! My Grandpa built one!) Full of interesting and thought provoking facts. This is a great new book, it covers questions I didn’t even know I had!! This new book does shine!– the editor
In this definitive history of solar technology, John Perlin tells a story that goes back more than six thousand years to when the Stone Age Chinese built their homes to make maximum use of the sun’s energy in winter. The book profiles the fascinating characters who made the solar revolution possible, revealing a group of unknown pioneers, like Gustav Vorherr, who opened up the first school of solar architecture in the 1820s, as well as solar advocates known for other accomplishments, such as Socrates, who 2,500 years ago gave a detailed discourse on designing passive solar homes.
With thirteen new chapters, LET IT SHINE is a fully revised and expanded edition of A Golden Thread, Perlin’s classic history of solar technology, detailing the past forty years of technological developments driving today’s solar renaissance. This unique and compelling compendium of humankind’s solar ideas tells the fascinating story of how our predecessors throughout time, again and again, have applied the sun to better their lives — and how we can too.
What people are saying:
“LET IT SHINE is the solar bible. Thank you, John Perlin!”
— Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute
“LET IT SHINE shows how today’s renewable revolution builds on the tenacious efforts of countless generations of innovators whose vision we may finally be privileged enough to bring to full flower.” — from the foreword by Amory B. Lovins, cofounder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute
“With remarkable depth, breadth, and precision, John Perlin lays out humankind’s long reliance on the sun before the carbon era and points the way to a healthy, comfortable, productive, resilient solar-powered world. There is more intelligence and common sense in this volume than in all the federal reports on energy of the last quarter-century combined.” — Denis Hayes, former director of the federal Solar Energy Research Institute and founder of the Earth Day Network
“The authoritative background story behind the worldwide solar revolution, LET IT SHINE is a story of human ingenuity and perseverance told with clarity and depth. The next chapter is ours to write.”
— David W. Orr, professor of environmental studies and politics at Oberlin College and author of Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse
About the author:
An international expert on solar energy and forestry, John Perlin has lectured extensively on these topics in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Perlin is the author of A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization as well as From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity. Perlin mentors those involved in realizing photovoltaic, solar hot-water, and energy-efficiency technologies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and coordinates the California Space Grant Consortium as a member of UCSB’s department of physics. www.john-perlin.com
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – August 19, 2013 – Sunplanter, an innovative photovoltaic architecture and design firm, will be debuting its solar technology as part of the US Department of Energy’s 2013 Solar Decathlon Competition. Held this year in Irvine, CA on October 3-13, the highly acclaimed Solar Decathlon program challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are “cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.” Sunplanter has partnered with Santa Clara University’s Radiant House team for the competition, an accomplished Solar Decathlon competitor who placed third in the 2009 event.
Before Radiant House begins its journey to the Solar Decathlon competition site, Santa Clara University is hosting a sendoff ceremony to commemorate Radiant House’s completion and invites the industry to take tours of Radiant House and view demonstrations of Sunplanter technology on Monday, August 19 from 11am – 1pm at 500 El Camino Real in Santa Clara.
“The students easily adopted this new type of solar technology and incorporated it seamlessly into their design for Radiant House, taking the project a big step closer to winning this year. It has been exciting to work with the skilled students and knowledgeable faculty at Santa Clara University to prepare Radiant House for the competition,” said Alain Poivet, founder and CEO of Sunplanter.
Sunplanter completely re-engineers how solar panels interact with buildings by integrating solar PV into the roof and façade of the building by design. Sunplanter’s photovoltaic architecture means that solar is integral to the building, a method that reduces leakage, increases structural integrity, and results in higher efficiencies and enhanced aesthetics. For example, a Sunplanter roof is fully structural, integrating the solar panels, racking and waterproofing system and replacing the carpentry of a typical roof. Sunplanter roofs also feature an improved ventilation system that redirects warm air back into the building for other uses, cooling the panels and improving efficiency, while reducing the building’s heating costs.
Bridging the gap between solar material research and builders, Sunplanter is the innovator of photovoltaic architecture. Founded by architects and engineers and headquartered in San Francisco, Sunplanter is innovating technologies designed to drive the next generation of buildings. For more information visit www.sunplanter.org.
If you want to join the green revolution, consider SOLAR! JobTrain in Menlo Park is continuing their solar classes to meet the high demand. These extensive classes are free and require a commitment of several weeks, 8 hours a day. For more details and to attend an orientation, check the website. Many graduates go to work at SolarCity which is hiring now. The work is hard and rewarding, the training prepares you for the pre-employment written test. There is a lot to learn, but this is a growing industry. Several graduates from the solar classes have given their insights and feedback to make the current classwork and students better and more prepared.
JobTrain is located at 1200 O’Brien Drive in Menlo Park, CA 94025. You can follow them on FaceBook. www.jobtrainworks.org