Photovoltaics and Domestic Hot Water
A Technical and Economic Guide for Project Planners,
Builders, and Property Owners




  • Provides a fundamental understanding of solar DHW and photovoltaic (PV) systems


  • Uses clear guidelines to evaluate solar DHW and photovoltaic systems' value as a long-term investment versus traditional power and heat generation methods


  • Discusses cost and operating expenses relative to investment and return on capital which will be beneficial to project planners, installers, facility and energy managers, builders, and property owners



Solar Energy, Photovoltaics, and Domestic Hot Water

Please scroll down to view all books and associated video book trailers to date. 

Peer Review Comments   ---


      ---This book very effectively lays out all the pertinent criteria necessary to determine the economic benefits of  installing a solar energy system.


     ---With just this book, a property owner or facility manager could make a sound decision on whether it is economically beneficial  to pursue supplementation with solar DHW and/or PVs for their particular site.


     ---Trade technical colleges, community colleges, and technical institutes could use this book as a primer on the practical application of residential and commercial solar energy.


    ---Anyone trying to determine the technical and economic feasibility of supplementing with solar DHW and/or PVs faces a daunting task.  Most people would not know what information they would need in order to begin their evaluation. This book represents a one-stop-shopping resource for that information.



Editorial Review ---

" ... a technical and economic guide...that provides the information necessary for determining whether either a photovoltaic (PV) or domestic hot water (DHW) system makes economic sense...If you are a builder, or property owner planning on installing solar energy systems, this well-written book is definitely worth purchasing." 

                                                                                                               --IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine

Journey Home: A Novel

Publication Date - February 29th, 2016 


                    Journey Home

A Novel

     This is a story based upon the actual life of a cat found abandoned in a dumpster, left to die, with his leg caught in a trap. Born in a small town on the coast of Maine, an unpretentious cat named 'Patches' encounters life changing experiences during his first two years. His siblings are given away, his father abandons him and his mother without explanation, and he's discarded by an uncaring owner and left homeless without food or shelter. As he wanders the streets to piece his life back together, he discovers new friends like Chester, a relocated cat from New York City, who helps him to find food and shelter, and Buster, a neighborhood stray, who teaches him to fend for himself and that it's okay to always try to do the right thing. 


     Patches learns to survive on scraps of food discarded in a garbage dumpster by Harvey Stunk, a short order cook who owns a diner and dislikes rats because they spoil his food supplies. Patches, nonetheless, forms an uncommon friendship with them, and together they consort to play pranks on Harvey as they find ways to tamper with the food served to customers.  During a violent blizzard late one night, a series of events abruptly changes his life once again after he attempts to save Buster from a fire and then returns to the diner's garbage dumpster to seek shelter and food. As he jumps into the dumpster, his leg is ensnared by the steel jaws of a leg-trap and he feels the sharp, razor-like teeth cut into him.  


     Like a doleful cry from an incessant wind, Patches laments his fear of dying and memories of his past and unanswered questions about his father's abandonment engulf his thoughts. He visualizes an overgrown forest trail and images of gnarled trees captured by time in a forgotten graveyard, and he reflects upon a cryptic conversation he and his father  had when they  once wandered among old weathered stone tablets. 


     Will he discover what has become of his siblings, find a new home, and ever understand his father's message and why he abandoned him? Will he survive the cold darkness and discover once again a path that leads to memories and the understanding he seeks?


     This is a story about Patches’ journey from homelessness to finding a new life. It’s a story about losing his sisters and finding them once again and his experiences as he acquires friends, starting from the sad reality of his abandonment on a late September afternoon and continuing into the bleak months of fall and winter in New England.  His journey defines who he becomes as he learns to survive. The realities of life he experiences translate into many lessons from which we all can learn. This is a story written for young adult to any age level to share – a novel that encourages hope and connects us with each other in order to help us see the complexities faced by others. It is a story of hope, a sense of helplessness and despair, the loss of innocence, and conviction – never giving up, no matter the circumstance.  It imparts an insight to appreciate the meaning of friendship, to always move forward, and to evaluate situations before making judgements. It’s a story that could happen to any one of us as we journey from childhood to adulthooda journey that is relevant to all of us.

Editorial Review ---

"An author tells the fictional life story of a real cat... the settings are vividly described... Patches gets into some bad scrapes... He spends the book going from one predicament to another, just trying to survive, but the ending brings the story full circle.  Throughout the novel, Plante's affection and passion for animals are quite evident and his concern is admirable-- A simple tale of a feline's journey that carefully details the plight of stray animals.... cat lovers should enjoy this work."

                                                                                                 --KIRKUS REVIEWS 

Editorial Review ---

"In a detailed account of misfortunes and joys, Russell H. Plante tells the story of an abandoned kitten that learns the intricacies of survival the hard way. While reading this fast-moving tale, I found myself constantly glancing over my shoulder at my own beloved feline friend. When Patches' human family finds itself in dire economic and personal straits, he is tossed out to fend for himself. As he attempts to survive in the "wild", Patches encounters numerous dogs and other homeless cats, one of which is Chester who takes him under his protective wing of street advice. With Chester's help, Patches manages to survive the cruelties of winter while establishing new kinships with a variety of misplaced pets until a serious accident lands him in a new home with ties to a previous life.


Journey Home: A Cat's Tale by Russell H. Plante is a delightfully narrated story reflective of an age-old theme in animal fiction. Plante's tale tugs at the heartstrings with a believable narrative and realistic descriptions even for the non-animal lover. A strong moral character foundation is evident in the camaraderie between animals and humans. Although Journey Home: A Cat's Tale is reminiscent of existing stories, it differs in the concept that the main character basically endures his trials as a singular entity rather than with a partner. Russell H. Plante has created a story worthy of adult and young adult attention with a strong hint of screen time potential. I recommend this novel to readers of all ages and genders."


                                                                                              -- Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite




Editorial Review ---

"If you are looking for a thought-provoking, touching, deeply sensitive and philosophical read that will draw you in and not release you until the very last page, I urge you to add this deeply touching book to your ever-growing cat library. It is simply beautiful. I had a few tears at the end (happy tears). I also had a few chills. I smiled, I cried, but most of all I was happy that I jumped on the opportunity to read this most beautiful story. It is my wish that you will do the same! It was one of the most touching books I have read in some time."

                                                                            --Reviewed by Caren Gittleman of "Cat Chat with Caren and Cody" 

Editorial Review ---

"This is a fascinating book with a thought-provoking story line that brilliantly portrays life, friendship, and love. Based upon a real life story, readers will experience how difficult the life of a stray animal can be: finding food, shelter, making new friends, surviving and defending one's life; all of it is presented in a very creative and engaging way. This is a quick but engaging read that is filled with many life lessons that will remain with readers long after they put the book away."



                                                                                --Reviewed by LITERARY TITAN   (5 STARS)★★★★★



   Publication Date - December 7, 2018 


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                  THE DITHER BIRD

                                                                 A Novel


This is a story about Maxwell Draper, a physicist who receives foreboding radio transmissions from a deep space satellite caught in the boundless expanse of a black hole - prophetic messages of harmful national events yet to occur. As Maxwell examines the obscurity of the communications, he recognizes people's inattention and unawareness to detrimental trends and unremitting transformations occurring within the country. Upon discussing his concerns with Nelson Quip, a friend from college days, Maxwell learns that Nelson is also witnessing harmful transformations in his hometown of Laslo, Maine - a development that will cause the extinction of a forest and its wildlife. Both come to realize that large organizations can obviate the voice of any one individual, that consequential harmful changes can occur because of people's inattention to destructive policies, and that inveterate lies, misrepresented facts, and the deliberate obfuscation of pertinent information to the general public are common links. Will both fail in their resolve? And how does a wayward satellite caught in deep space transmit information relative to events before they have even occurred? Is the effect of gravity and time dilation a scientific reality, revealing a look into our future?


This provocative, contemporary story is based upon actual national events, unheeded warnings about failing policies, and the associated indifference to inaction. It is a philosophical story about perceived decadence in a transitory period of time for a changing nation, about disturbing outcomes caused by people's inattention to factual news reports, and about scientific speculation versus science fiction and fantasy. What will happen if we remain unaware of the facts in a changing world and continue to ignore the troubling events that surround us on a daily basis? The answer is contained in this story - an outcome that only you can decide. The story is an alarming and eye-opening profile of things to come...

"Award-Winning Finalist in the Fiction: Visionary category of the 2019 Best Book Awards"

" Eric Hoffer 2020 Finalist Montaigne Medal Book Award for most thought-provoking"

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Publication Date - October 23, 2020 


A Sense of Purpose


A Novel


“A Sense of Purpose” is a story suffused with wisdom for all creatures, but especially for people, expressing the essence of life through a cat’s struggles and experiences. This is a story about an orphaned cat named Chester and the profound changes that happen to him starting on the streets of Manhattan and ending in a forest in Maine.  His journey is one of self-discovery, homelessness, survival, and the perseverance to search for a friend who vanishes during the worst blizzard in a decade on the coast of Maine. It is a story of how Chester deals with his every day part of life, how his life affects the lives of others, and how he ultimately comes to understand that no matter what we do in our lives, every living being has a sense of purpose.

Editorial Review ---

"A Sense Of Purpose, along with many other life/character lessons,  inspires us to think about how all that has happened in our lives, the people and animals that we have met along the way, all of them  have shaped us into who we are today. It is a heartfelt, moving and inspiring read. I found myself trying to read faster and faster as the events that unfolded piqued my interest and curiosity, and made me want to hurry and read what was going to happen next. While a few tears were shed, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and deeply sensitive and loving read, one that I had trouble putting down. When I am reading books that I will be reviewing, I often dog-ear pages (yes, I know that is an awful thing to do, but I do it!) that contain excerpts that I might wish to refer back to when I am writing my review. When I finished "A Sense of Purpose" and looked to see what I had folded, the number of pages that I had folded were nearly THE ENTIRE BOOK. That is just an example of how compelling, thought-provoking and moving this book is."


                                                         --Reviewed by Caren Gittleman of "Cat & Dog Chat with Caren" 

Solar Domestic Hot Water by Russell H. Plante
Solar Domestic Hot Water :  A Practical Guide to                      Installation and Understanding


This book was written as a practical guide for the homeowner as well as a textbook for the educational market and explains the function of system components and installation guidelines for solar domestic hot water systems.  It was published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. when the solar industry was in its infancy and contains helpful information relative to solar domestic hot water systems.  Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


                                 © 2021 by Applied Technologies, Inc.

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The Gold Award is bestowed on books that we found to be perfect in their delivery of original content, meticulous development of unique characters in an organic and striking setting, innovative plot that supports a fresh theme, and elegant prose that transforms words into beautifully written books.