Announcing the Second Edition of Off Grid Solar Book

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I am delighted to announce that the second edition of my book Off Grid Solar is available now on Ingram Book Group. It is available and distributed to 39,000+ retailers (including Barnes & Noble and your local independent bookstore), libraries, schools, and universities.

The first edition was published at the end of 2016. In the past three years I have been working with more battery systems and building more complex energy storage systems. I have more in-depth knowledge solar and battery projects now and this knowledge was transferred into this next edition.

Support your local independent bookstore!

If it is not in stock, request Off Grid Solar by Joseph O'Connor, then they can order copies from their regular channels such as Ingram Book Group. Click here to find an independent bookstore new you!

What's new in this edition?

I've added about 25 more pages to the original book. There are new sections based on topics requested from my readers, such as:

  • Updated and new graphs and figures

  • More details on batteries

    • Improved pricing comparisons between Lead Acid and Lithium-Ion

    • Included new Battery Chemistries such as Zinc-Air and LTO

    • More details about choosing between NMC and LFP including the problems with Cobalt

    • More details about all types of BMS and their components

    • A new section on "Second life" or repurposing used battery cells

  • New Microgrid section

  • Expanded on Inverter details including efficiency differences, low power modes, and inverter active loads

  • Expanded on Generators including auto transfer switches

  • Improved Structural Design with more roof types

  • Improved Building and Electrical Code Compliance

  • Fixed typos and errors (sorry about that!)

    • Temp coefficient calculation for open circuit voltage

    • Battery voltage expectations for sealed vs. flooded

Off Grid Solar Book, Second Edition
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How to Build a Lithium-Ion Battery System for less than $400 per kWh

I have seen a lot of people on the internet repurposing old laptop batteries and batteries from electric vehicles. This is a great way to acquire low cost, high quality batteries, but it does require a lot of work to disassemble, test, and sort them. I think this will become a common method in the future because a battery that doesn’t work well for an electric vehicle might still be a good fit for a battery energy storage system (BESS), since the charge and discharge rates are so much lower in a BESS compared to an EV. Typically a BESS uses much lower power compared to an EV that needs to accelerate quickly.

What is Alex Honnold's reading? My book!

Alex Honnold

In a recent Outside Magazine article, Alex Honnold, the free solo climber, was asked about his current reading list. I was so excited to learn that he's reading Off Grid Solar! Apparently he wants to add solar to his van and he got his hands on my book! 

My wife and I just saw his new National Geographic film Free Solo about his El Capitan ascent, it is a really epic story and highly recommended. 

OGS Store is UP!

The Off Grid Solar store is live and we have an amazing deal on battery inverters. See this YouTube post to learn more!

Are you a maker that's eager to be energy independent? An inquisitive builder who wants to know how solar energy can power your life? This handbook describes how to use solar technology completely detached from the grid.

Puerto Rico & Hurricane Maria

From Praytell films:

The U.S. Federal Government was slow and reluctant to send appropriate resources to aid the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Before the storm, Puerto Rico’s archaic power plant was already in decline as well.

One month after Maria, only 20% of the island has electrical power restored, and the grid is not expected to be completely restored for six more months. Solar energy is the only smart, sustainable, long-term solution to Puerto Rico’s power problem. To help John and a team of volunteers build a large-scale community solar power charging station, click below.

To encourage the U.S. government to support Puerto Rico’s shift to solar energy, call your senators and ask them to support legislation that combats climate change and subsidizes solar.

To donate, please visit the Solar Gazebo Community Center in Puerto Rico