Solar Engineering References

Solar engineering references -- books, software tools, and websites of use in solar designs.



General Engineering Reference Sites
The Engineering Tool Box


A wide ranging engineering reference site.  Material properties, Fluid Mechanics, Piping, HVAC calcs, ...
Units Conversion
Online Units Conversion

Online calculator to convert units (eg metric to English)
Software Tool Lists
EERE Energy Software Tools Directory

DOE EERE site list of software tools for a wide renewable energy applications.  Some free.
Interactive Evaluation Tools for Small Wind, hydro, water heating, space heating, pool heating...

List of Interactive Evaluation Tools for renewable energy sources.  From the EERE DOE site.
Technical Reference Books,  Publications, and Websites

Technical reference books that I have used and like, or have been highly recommended by others.

Solar Thermal Engineering

Peter Lunde

Covers a wide selection of topics, well written, practical, manageable math.

1980, 600 pages  Out of print, but available used at and the like.

More - Other Homes and Garbage,
Leckie, Masters, Whitehorse, Young,
This is an updated version of the very popular Other Homes and Garbage book.  It covers a very wide range of topics, and provides good analysis and design information.  Written in an easy going style that won't put you to sleep.  A very good book to have around. 
Out of print, but available used.  374 pages.
The Passive Solar Energy Book -- Expanded Professional Edition

Edward Mazria

Covers all the basics, very readable, very little math.

1979, 700 pages Out of print, but available used at and the like.

Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, 2nd Edition

John Duffie and William Beckman

Very complete -- widest coverage of the books listed here. 

1991, 900 pages

CANMET Energy Technology Center -- Buildings Group -- Publications

Outstanding list of publications on solar and renewable energy.  Canada government site.
Solar Air Heating Systems

Steve Kornher with Andy Zaugg

Excerpts from this book


This is a fine book on designing and building solar air collectors and solar air heating systems of many types.  Very good on design, very good on construction.  Covers both active and passive air collectors.  The book is out of print, but available at used  books for less than $10 -- highly recommended.

The link provides extensive excerpts from the book courtesy of Steve and Andy -- Thanks!!

Pumps and Turbines

Arthur Williams

Nice combination of understandable physics and sensible economics.

2003 ITDG Publishing

Design: Solar Heating Of Buildings and Domestic Hot Water

MIL-HNBK 1003/13A (1.6MB pdf)


170 page mil handbook on solar heating -- starts with general descriptions, but goes on to cover solar space heating and water heating in some depth.  Covers both active and passive schemes. And its free!
Manual of Modern Hydronics,
IPEX. WarmRite Floor

Register to Download Hydronics Manual




Very good manual on designing and installing hydronic heating systems.  Does not include any information on solar as a heat source, so look to the other refs listed in the section for that, but solar works well as a heat source for radiant floor heating.
You have to go through a simple registration process before the download.
Active Solar Collectors and Their Application

Ari Rabl

A great engineering reference on solar collectors of almost all types.
EERE Energy Software Tools Directory

DOE EERE site list of software tools for a wide renewable energy applications.  Some free.

Nick Pine

Nick's new blog -- Ask the Renewable Engineer....


More material from Nick:

Here is a somewhat indexed version of Nick's posts on various forums: 

Nick Pine is a long time solar guru,  creative solar thinker, and analyst. 

He has started a new blog with articles of interest to people designing and building renewable energy projects.