Solar Energy Websites, Articles & Scientific Research Reports
- ATTRA: Solar Energy and Directory of Energy Alternatives by state see Delaware for KW Solar Solutions, Inc. ATTRA is the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Development Programs & services.
- DOE: Solar Energy Applications for Farms and Ranches. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), provides information on space and water heating, greenhouse heating, electricity, crop and grain drying.
- NREL: Solar Renewable Energy from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) hosts webpages for (PV) Photovoltaic Systems Reliability (Fact Sheet) and Overview of Opportunities for Co-Location of Solar Energy Technologies and Vegetation.
- FarmEnergy.org, sponsored by the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) provides information on the Energy Title programs of the Federal Farm Bill and energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that benefit farmers, ranchers and rural communities. It hosts a “Clean Energy Guide” to Solar.
- Up with the Sun: Solar Energy and Agriculture is a dedicated solar energy and agriculture webpage hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Understanding Solar Technology
- Solar Energy Research. A primer on solar technologies from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
- Solar Energy Technologies Program. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
- Renewable Energy Technology Characterizations: Overview of Solar Thermal Technologies provides information about parabolic troughs, power towers and dish/engine systems. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis (PBA).
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
- Solar Photovoltaic Technology. A Solar Innovation Infographic overview from National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
- A Consumer’s Guide: Get Your Power from the Sun. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
- Small Solar Electric Systems. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) includes information on:
- Steps to follow when planning to power your home with solar energy
- Considering a Small Solar Electric System
- Small Solar Electric System Components
- Installing and Maintaining a Small Solar Electric System
- Local Solar: What Do Leading Solar Communities Have in Common? It May Not be the Characteristics You Expect National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Top Five Large-Scale Solar Myths State, Local, and Tribal Governments NREL.
- Electricity when and where you need it: From the Sun. Publication on Photovoltaics for Farms and Ranches, with sections on pumping water, power for buildings, around the ranch, and working with the sun. (28 page, 6 MB PDF). National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
- Toolbox: Photovoltaics. This toolbox set includes info on interconnection process, electrical codes, funding opportunities, fact sheets, economics. RENEW Wisconsin, produced/assembled by Niels Wolter of Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC) and WisconSUN.
- 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 Hot Water Introduction. An overview from National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
- Solar Hot Water System Types Typical methods of heating household water by means of the sun are discussed and diagrammed, including pumped (both direct and indirect), thermosiphon and integral collector storage. Florida Solar Energy Center.
- A Consumer’s Guide: Heat Your Water with the Sun. (20 page, 603 KB PDF) U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
- Solar Water Heaters. Basic information about solar water heating for the home. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
- 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
- A solar-heated grain dryer for the tropics A solar-heated grain dryer for the tropics page, available from Iowa State University.
- Solar Heat for Grain Drying -Selection, Performance, Management. Purdue University Cooperative Extension.
Solar Water Pumping
- Solar Powered Livestock Watering Systems. 14 Page guide includes: how a system works and configurations; selecting, installing and maintaining a system. University of Tennessee, Agricultural Extension Service, PB 1640.
- Solar Powered Livestock Watering Systems Introduction to solar-powered livestock watering systems, including discussions of cost, components, and terminology, as well as suggestions for designing and installing these systems. ATTRA.
- Guide to Solar Powered Water Pumping Systems in New York State. (29 page, 1.5 MB PDF). New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).
- Phase one of solar pump project well underway. University of Wyoming.
- Is solar energy a cost-effective alternative energy source for pumping water in rural areas? 1993 Case Studies in Wyoming.
- Groundwater Pumping Systems for Livestock Watering the Mississippi State University Extension Service..
- Determining the Optimum Solar Water Pumping System for
Domestic Use, Livestock Watering or Irrigation USDA-Agricultural Research Service Conservation and Production Research Lab Bushland, TX 79012
- Renewable Energy and Manure Management Research Publications. Directory includes The use of animal manure and other organic-based livestock wastes as feedstocks for waste-to-energy production has the potential to convert the livestock waste treatment from a liability into a profit center that can generate annual revenues and diversify farm income. Compiled by Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA.
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
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency DSIRE
- Solar Powering America Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
- Borrower’s Guide to Financing Solar Energy Systems. (44 page, .5MB PDF) U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
- Solar Energy Technologies Office Overview and Funding Programs The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO)
- A Guide to Agriculture and Rural Development Funding Opportunities and Incentives How to Navigate the Funding Process U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
- USDA Rural Development Programs & Services
- As a new farmer, what funding opportunities are available to me? ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program ATTRA is a program developed and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).
- Funding Resources for Farmers (Loans/Grants) Beginning Farmers Beginning Farmers offers information on how to start a farm, planning a new farm, funding resources and finding land to start your farm on.
A Guide to Agriculture and Rural Development Funding Opportunities and Incentives How to Navigate the Funding Process U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
Solar Collectors and Equipment
- Solar Rating and Certification Corporation provides information about ratings, certification, and labeling for solar collectors and for complete solar water heating systems.
Government and Association Solar Sites
- DSIRE. State-by-state listing sponsored by DSIRE of state, local, utility, and federal incentives, tax credits, local audits, net metering regulations, and available rebates that promote renewable energy. Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Energy (DSIRE) is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Solar Energy Technologies Program, U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.
- U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides Independent Statistics & Analysis by Sources & Uses, Topics and Geography.
- NREL Solar Research. National Renewable Energy Lab.
- NASEO: National Association of State Energy Officials
- Florida Solar Energy Center provides research, testing & certification and provides educational programs.
- Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is the national trade association of solar energy industry. Site includes information about solar energy, policies, state issues, news, research, technology & products, events and education.
- American Solar Energy Society (ASES), an association of solar professionals and advocates, is the U.S. section of the International Solar Energy Society. They publish Solar Today magazine, present the ASES National Solar Conference and organize the National Solar Tour.
- Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is a trade group representing utilities in the solar energy arena.
Industry Resources and Data about Solar Energy
- US Solar Industry Data Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
- 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