Solar Energy Resources & Information

Solar Energy Websites, Articles & Scientific Research Reports

Understanding Solar Technology

Agricultural Applications of Solar

  • Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar. This EREC Brief summarizes agricultural uses of solar power, including crop drying, space/water heating, greenhouse heating, electric production and water pumping. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
  • Solar Energy Applications for Farms and Ranches including space and water heating, greenhouse heating, electricity, crop and grain drying. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
  • Solar Energy in New York State Large and Small Systems for Heat and Power. Website publication includes information on space and water heating, greenhouse heating and solar electric (photovoltaic) systems. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Photovoltaics (PV), Solar Electricity

Passive Solar

  • Passive Solar Introduction. An overview from National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
  • Passive Solar Design provides definition, considerations, commercial status, implementation issues and guidelines. From Sustainable Sources, who provide information and services related to Green Building.
  • Passive Solar Home Design. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Solar Water Heating

Solar Greenhouses

  • Solar Greenhouses discusses and diagrams basic principles of solar greenhouse design, as well as different construction material options. Provides detailed resources and references. ATTRA, National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
  • Greenhouses and Season Extenders has information for growers that makes the most of solar radiation. University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Solar Crop and Grain Drying

Solar Water Pumping

Solar Installation Considerations

Planning, Site and Solar Resource Potential

  • Build It Solar offers free plans, tools and information for renewable energy and conservation projects for Do-It-Yourselfers.
  • National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB) provides hourly solar radiation and meteorological data for U.S. sites for 1961–2005.
  • RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software is a free decision support tool that can be used worldwide to evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various types of Renewable-energy and Energy-efficient Technologies (RETs). Natural Resources Canada.
  • Renewable & Alternative Fuels series presents an integrated picture of solar and other renewable energy resources in each U.S. Census Division. Sources of energy data are provided. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
  • Photovoltaic Module Reliability Workshop 2010 February 18-19, 2010 NREL’s Photovoltiac (PV) Module Reliability Workshop (PVMRW) brings together PV reliability experts to share information, leading to the improvement of PV module reliability. Such improvement reduces the cost of solar electricity and promotes investors. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • NREL’s PVWattsTM calculator determines the energy production and cost savings of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems throughout the world. It allows the user to easily produce estimates of the performance of hypothetical PV installations.
  • NREL’s BLAST: Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool Suite Pairing NREL’s battery degradation model with electrical and thermal performance models, the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool (BLAST) suite is used to assess battery lifespan for behind-the-meter, vehicle, and stationary applications.
  • NREL’s Blast for Behind-the-Meter Applications Lite Tool PV Part Part of the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool (BLAST) Suite, BLAST for Behind-the-Meter Applications Lite (BLAST-BTM Lite) provides a quick, user-friendly tool to size behind-the-meter energy storage devices used on site by utility customers for facility demand charge management. The tool employs simplified battery performance models for computational efficiency, and it includes a built-in algorithm to identify cost-optimal storage configurations.
  • Using a Power Monitor to Control Your Electricty Costs 10.628. Colorado State University Extension.

Financing Your Solar Installation

Solar Collectors and Equipment

Government and Association Solar Sites

Industry Resources and Data about Solar Energy

Solar Policy

  • DSIRE Solar Policy Guide describes policy options adopted by state and local governments to encourage solar deployment, discusses status and trends of individual policies, provides examples of specific programs, and links to additional sources of information.
  • Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed this comprehensive resource to assist local governments and stakeholders in building sustainable local solar markets.

Solar Questions – Ask yours