This is a simple post. Here are our favorite solar and geothermal resources we’ve run into (or created!) over the past couple years that are really useful resources for understanding the technology, basic design, policy and sales of solar and geothermal systems. Tell us what we’ve missed.

List of resources collected from around the internet about geothermal and solar

  • On Grid Solar Solar Sales Presentations. On Grid provides some great presentations, videos and articles that Andy Black has published on solar economics, understanding rate schedules and how policy impacts solar. See an interview with Mr. Black to learn how he things most solar companies could improve.
  • Geothermal Survival Kit. The geothermal survival kit was published in collaboration between HeatSpring and Kevin Rafferty, one of our instructors. The goal of the survival kit was to answer basic questions about the technology for our geothermal training courses and to homeowners interested in the technology. It’s been downloaded by a few thousand people.
  • AEE Solar Presentation. AEE Solar is a national distributor of solar products and provides some great content about launch and growing your solar business.
  • DSIRE. Everyone knows about DSIRE, but if you don’t, you need to. DSIRE is the most complete and up to date resource for all government incentives in every states, city in the country.
  • Free Webinar: How to Make Money in Renewable Energy. Similar to our Geothermal Survival Kit, this free course is made to address a lot of similar questions that we receive from entrepreneurs, sales people, engineers and tradesman about how to get into and make money in renewable energy.
  • System Advisor Model (SAM). Created by NREL, SAM provides the best free tool for designing and sizing all types of solar (solar thermal, solar pv, CSP) projects and is a tool that can be used in analyzing the performance and economics of various systems. If you don’t want to spend money on software or are just working on your first few jobs, check out SAM.
  • PV Watts. PV Watts was the first solar production software made available and still works well for residential systems, as long as you are estimating your de-ratings correctly. Typically, it’s not advised to use it over 100kw system but is very useful for residential systems.
  • RETScreen. RETScreen is a clean energy project analysis tool and is very robust. It was developed by the Canadian government and can be used to analyze all types of distributed generation production. The software is fairly complex and be intimidating to a new user. The benefit to RET Screen over SAM is that is can also be used for geothermal heat pump analysis.
  • Evacuated tubes VS Flat Pate Monitor. The debate in the solar thermal industry between evacuated tubes and flat plates can be intense at times, but someone decided to test both side by side and stream the result to the internet. See the full review of evacuated tubes vs flat plates here.