Solar Success – how to ensure it every time


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Updated July 2017

This book explains how to design and build home and property systems that ensures affordable solar success first and every time.

Solar Success stresses the need to reduce what one uses unnecessarily. This should be done before thinking about generating more. This can be achieved by three associated and cheap approaches:

  • Reducing energy usage by doing things differently
  • Reducing energy by using more energy-efficient appliances
  • Change the supply of energy to non-fossil fuels through appropriate technology

The solar energy required is there. It is 7000 times more energy than the world currently uses.
It makes every sense to use it. Countries worldwide increasingly do.


Solar is also affordable. Australia’s solar take up is high in rural areas that lack grid-connection. Sales of grid-connect systems are now booming as electricity cost escalates. This is despite low rebates for energy fed back.

Solar Success – minimise usage first

Solar Success highlights that your planned solar capacity should be based on what electricity usage should be. Not what it is right now. It shows how to reduce that usage easily and at little cost. The book has many examples of savings of 50% or more.

You need to do this yourself. Suppliers may advise replacing light globes by LEDs. Few, however, do more than this, it is not their role. Where rebates apply, they must base recommendations on current usage. Not what it might be later on. This can result in systems larger and costlier than necessary.

Knowing what is practicable solar-wise enables readers to evaluate that offered. And to have an educated say in the decisions. If you plan to design and install a (stand-alone) system yourself, Solar Success shows how. And also to avoid traps.

However you finance it, and no matter where/how you live, follow the guidelines. By doing so, you will have an economic system. It will supply clean and reliable power for years to come.

Solar Success – a guide to follow

Solar Success is intended as a guide to follow. It is not a mass of things to remember. As with Solar That Really Works (for cabins and RVs) and CaravanMotorhome Electrics it is widely used as a trade text. Nevertheless, that is not its main intent.

The first part of the book is about slashing existing usage. It shows how, without prejudicing convenience. Most topics are first covered generally. Then as hands-on installation.

I use mostly plain English, but sometimes need technical terms to avoid confusion. All such terms are thus defined. Where possible I avoid using conventional electrical symbols. They are meaningless to most readers. I refer to mains (grid) power as 230 volts because that is the norm in most of Australia. Many other parts of the world use 220/230 volts. North America uses 110 and 220 volts.

Walking the walk 

We really do walk the walk!

Our original self-designed and self-installed system on our 10-acre property in the Kimberley exemplifies what is set out in this book’. The entire home and property are 100% solar. Furthermore, that solar has worked superbly for the better part of a now 17 years. Even the 31,000 litre swimming pool runs from solar.

Our current all solar house overlooking Pittwater (Sydney) uses less than half that typical for its size. We retain grid power (as a ‘virtual battery’) but use next to none.

Our previously owned vehicles: a 1971 WVW Kombi, an OKA, a Nissan 4.2 litre TD Patrol Tvan camper trailer – all likewise had solar-powered appliances.

Solar Success and Solar That Really Works sells worldwide. the save buyers many times their cost.

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