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Small Scale Solar Book – To Catch the Sun

Small Scale Solar Book Introduction - "To Catch the Sun"

This is a book for people looking to build a better future together, that includes:

  • Inspiring stories: Real life accounts of building solar power in communities.
  • Technical details: Straightforward descriptions of solar components and diagrams of systems, replete with real examples (many from the systems described in the stories).
  • Math and science: Easy-to-follow math that allows readers to size small photovoltaic systems for all types of environments and uses.


Get it here!


A solution to one of the world’s biggest problems… is small.
So small that anyone with access to the  right information and resources can help.
Small-scale solar systems have the potential to positively impact billions of lives.
The secret is anyone can build one–we want to teach you how.
My name is Lonny Grafman, and I have the great pleasure of working with people like you to make epic stuff all around the world.
It’s our goal to make small-scale solar more accessible to everyone. We need your help.
As you know, the problems we’re facing are myriad and at times overwhelming.
So many of these problems relate to energy insecurity and climate change.
That’s why we’re creating this book.
To Catch the Sun will include stories of inspiring communities coming together
to harness the power of the sun and the detailed instructions you need to build these systems yourself.
Along with diagrams, definition, science, and math,
To Catch the Sun will also include stories of my own embarrassing failures,
so you can learn from my mistakes.
Maybe you want to build a solar 🌣 schoolroom, 🌣 animal shelter, 🌣 remote data collector, 🌣 greenhouse fan, 🌣 irrigation pump, 🌣 vaccine refrigerator,
or just have a fly outdoor sound system.
Maybe you’re ready for that #vanlife, preparing for power outages,
or planning for the zombie apocalypse.
Or maybe you just want to support individuals and communities
increasing their resilience by harnessing the power of the sun and their own creativity
then this book is for you. Three years ago, I asked for your help bringing more
rainwater catchment knowledge to the world through a book called To Catch the Rain
You really showed up. We doubled our Kickstarter target and brought thousands of paperbacks
and digital copies to dozens of countries. Your support helped build so many rainwater projects,
such as an orphanage in Haiti where Frantz’s students use rainwater to grow and sell produce,
or a school in Northern California growing acres of food for their assisted lunch program,
permaculture demonstration centers in Kenya,
and rebuilding farms in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
I also had the pleasure of presenting the book in countries like Thailand, El Salvador, the United States,
and even got to swap books  with Rajendra Singh the waterman of India.
For this book to have a big impact, we need your help. Your support will help us finish the book,
provide layout to make it a gorgeous addition to your bookshelf, and translate the book into Spanish
making this information accessible to 500 million more people. This time around I have an amazing
co-author Dr. Joshua Pearce–a prolific professor of open source technologies and photovoltaics.
We know that in order to have a big change,  you need a lot of people doing small things.
By supporting this book, you help create a world
where everyday people can literally take the power into their own hands.
So further your practivism, by spreading the word, buying this book,
and implementing the knowledge in it to provide cleaner energy for your community.
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