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One of Bill Gates's Favorite Books of 2016 A revelatory look at our national power grid--how it developed, its current flaws, and how it must be completely reimagined for our fast-approaching energy future. America's electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It's not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources--solar, wind, and other alternatives--the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to reimagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It's a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way. Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America's energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. The grid, she argues, is an essentially American artifact, one which developed with us: a product of bold expansion, the occasional foolhardy vision, some genius technologies, and constant improvisation. Most of all, her focus is on how Americans are changing the grid right now, sometimes with gumption and big dreams and sometimes with legislation or the brandishing of guns. The Grid tells--entertainingly, perceptively--the story of what has been called "the largest machine in the world": its fascinating history, its problematic present, and its potential role in a brighter, cleaner future.

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Genre: Science
Author: Gretchen Bakke
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release: 2016-07-26
File: 384 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781620401248

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Ten grids that changed the world: the emergence and evolution of the most prominent visual structure in Western culture.

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Genre: Art
Author: Hannah Higgins
Publisher: MIT Press
Release: 2009
File: 300 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780262512404

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The history of the grid, the world's largest interconnected power machine that is North America's electricity infrastructure. The North American power grid has been called the world's largest machine. The grid connects nearly every living soul on the continent; Americans rely utterly on the miracle of electrification. In this book, Julie Cohn tells the history of the grid, from early linkages in the 1890s through the grid's maturity as a networked infrastructure in the 1980s. She focuses on the strategies and technologies used to control power on the grid—in fact made up of four major networks of interconnected power systems—paying particular attention to the work of engineers and system operators who handled the everyday operations. To do so, she consulted sources that range from the pages of historical trade journals to corporate archives to the papers of her father, Nathan Cohn, who worked in the industry from 1927 to 1989—roughly the period of key power control innovations across North America. Cohn investigates major challenges and major breakthroughs but also the hidden aspects of our electricity infrastructure, both technical and human. She describes the origins of the grid and the growth of interconnection; emerging control issues, including difficulties in matching generation and demand on linked systems; collaboration and competition against the backdrop of economic depression and government infrastructure investment; the effects of World War II on electrification; postwar plans for a coast-to-coast grid; the northeast blackout of 1965 and the East-West closure of 1967; and renewed efforts at achieving stability and reliability after those two events.

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Genre: Technology & Engineering
Author: Julie A Cohn
Publisher: MIT Press
Release: 2018-02-02
File: 336 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780262343794

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Off-grid isn’t a state of mind. It isn’t about someone being out of touch, about a place that is hard to get to, or about a weekend spent offline. Off-grid is the property of a building (generally a home but sometimes even a whole town) that is disconnected from the electricity and the natural gas grid. To live off-grid, therefore, means having to radically re-invent domestic life as we know it, and this is what this book is about: individuals and families who have chosen to live in that dramatically innovative, but also quite old, way of life. This ethnography explores the day-to-day lives of people in each of Canada’s provinces and territories living off the grid. Vannini and Taggart demonstrate how a variety of people, all with different environmental constraints, live away from contemporary civilization. The authors also raise important questions about our social future and whether off-grid living creates an environmentally and culturally sustainable lifestyle practice. These homes are experimental labs for our collective future, an intimate look into unusual contemporary domestic lives, and a call to the rest of us leading ordinary lives to examine what we take for granted. This book is ideal for courses on the environment and sustainability as well as introduction to sociology and introduction to cultural anthropology courses.

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Genre: Social Science
Author: Phillip Vannini
Publisher: Routledge
Release: 2014-10-30
File: 234 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781135010492

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The electrical grid goes everywhere-it's the largest and most complex machine ever made. Yet the system is built in such a way that the bigger it gets, the more inevitable its collapse. Named the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century by the National Academy of Engineering, the electrical grid is the largest industrial investment in the history of humankind. It reaches into your home, snakes its way to your bedroom, and climbs right up into the lamp next to your pillow. At times, it almost seems alive, like some enormous circulatory system that pumps life to big cities and the most remote rural areas. Constructed of intricately interdependent components, the grid operates on a rapidly shrinking margin for error. Things can-and do-go wrong in this system, no matter how many preventive steps we take. Just look at the colossal 2003 blackout, when 50 million Americans lost power due to a simple error at a power plant in Ohio; or the one a month later, which blacked out 57 million Italians. And these two combined don't even compare to the 2001 outage in India, which affected 226 million people. The Grid is the first history of the electrical grid intended for general readers, and it comes at a time when we badly need such a guide. As we get more and more dependent on electricity to perform even the most mundane daily tasks, the grid's inevitable shortcomings will take a toll on populations around the globe. At a moment when energy issues loom large on the nation's agenda and our hunger for electricity grows, The Grid is as timely as it is compelling.

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Genre: Science
Author: Phillip F. Schewe
Publisher: National Academies Press
Release: 2007-02-20
File: 318 Pages
ISBN-13: 0309133890

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An in-depth look at the strategies employed in sustainable home design.

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Genre: Architecture
Author: Lori Ryker
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Release: 2009-09
File: Pages
ISBN-13: 1423614135

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Off the Grid confronts the ecological and cultural problems associated with the way we get and use energy, and explains how it is possible to live in a beautifully designed home using much less--no matter where your home is located. Our homes are connected by a nearly invisible grid of infrastructure that binds us together. It is a system of electrical poles, wire, substations, hydroelectric dams, telecommunication towers, and water extraction and sewage systems. From within this system we work, play, and raise families. We have also created one of the greatest environmental challenges known to modern civilization. The signs of our impact upon the world can be recognized in the reports of environmental changes occurring across the earth, and they can also be seen in the growing failures of the energy grids across the world as the current system is stressed beyond its capacity. Technologies that can be used to live off the grid (geothermal energy use, wind turbines, photovoltaic arrays, micro hydropower, rainwater collection and reclamation, and more) are explained as author Lori Ryker shows how to choose and incorporate these sources according to geography and climate. Off the Grid beautifully illustrates that this is not just a concept for rural living; examples of homes that are -off the grid- to varying degrees are found in New York City; Ontario, Canada; Stuttgart, Germany; Belmont, California; Pipe Creek, Texas; Clyde Park, Montana; Twin Lakes, Minnesota; Laytonville, California; Venice, California; and New South Wales, Australia. Off the Grid shows how we can take responsibility for our future choices and conveniences now, and proves that off-the-grid living is a concept that can be easily understood and adopted by everyone, regardless of where you live or how much money you make. Lori Ryker grew up in Texas and has lived and worked in a variety of locations, including Boston, New York City, Portland, and Basel, Switzerland. She now resides in Livingston, Montana, where she teaches in the School of Architecture at Montana State University and is a partner, along with Brett W. Nave, of Ryker/Nave Design. Their work has been published in The House You Build, and Western Interiors and Design. Ryker holds a MArch from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Ph.D. from Texas A & M University. She is the author of Mockbee Coker: Thought and Process.

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Genre: Architecture
Author: Lori Ryker
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Release: 2005
File: 160 Pages
ISBN-13: 1586855166

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"The Grid" is an emerging infrastructure that will fundamentally change the way people think about and use computing. The editors reveal the revolutionary impact of large-scale resource sharing and virtualization within science and industry, and the intimate relationships between organization and resource sharing structures.

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Genre: Computers
Author: Ian Foster
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Release: 2004
File: 748 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781558609334

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A look inside the subculture of off-grid living, taking readers across the ideological spectrum and across America Written by a leading authority on living off the grid, this is a fascinating and timely look at one of the fastest growing movements in America. In researching the stories that would become Off the Grid, Nick Rosen traveled from one end of the United States to the other, spending time with all kinds of individuals and families striving to live their lives the way they want to-free from dependence on municipal power and amenities, and free from the inherent dependence on the government and its far-reaching arms. While the people profiled may not have a lot in common in terms of their daily lives or their personal background, what they do share is an understanding of how unique their lives are, and how much effort and determination is required to maintain the lifestyle in the face of modern America's push toward connectivity and development.

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Genre: Social Science
Author: Nick Rosen
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 2010-07-27
File: 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781101456392

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This clever how-to handbook is the first step to living off the grid.

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Genre: House & Home
Author: David Black
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release: 2008-11-17
File: 288 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781602393165

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