Consider a donation

Learn how to design and build a photovoltaic system

• A small home in a financially rich country
• A few homes in a financially poor country
School rooms and community spaces
Zombie-apocalypse equipment
• Laptop and cellphone chargers
• A tiny home or van life

Glamping and backpacking equipment
Emergency supply, e.g., powering an oxygen machine during a power outage
Isolated loads like electric gates, pumps, greenhouse fans, backup generators, and telecommunications equipment

What You Will Learn

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.

You’ll get real-world diagrams like this:

Three systems: one with no battery, one with a battery and DC loads, one with the works!


What People Are Saying

“Wonderful Insight!”

To Catch the Sun is a precious collection of story and knowledge that is both practically accessible, and intellectually rich. Lonny sets the framework for the technical knowledge by sharing his journey in practice, often with humbling lessons learned along the way. This open and very relatable honesty is an opportunity for readers to learn critical lessons that are often only learned via personal relationship and experience. The ‘Solar Stories’ clearly share the intimate human aspect of this work, and the vital importance of taking the time to profoundly listen, observe and, if you are not a part of the community of solar application, serve the work so that your involvement is no longer needed in the end. The technical knowledge, especially from Joshua’s lab, that follows the stories is laid out to give the reader a remarkable depth of understanding in relatively few pages. To Catch the Sun is a unique gift for those seeking autonomous solar power for their families and communities!

Dr. PennElys Droz

“A Must Read!”

This book offers something to everyone from the “solar curious” to the experienced solar designer. You don’t need an engineering degree to understand the book—it is approachable by anyone that has a willingness to learn. The book expertly blends technical, economic, theoretical, practical, and ethical solar power topics in an easy-to read, engaging, and even entertaining way. The book covers all major components of grid-tied and off-grid systems, including solar panels, charge controllers, batteries, and inverters. It gives the reader the information they need to know to design solar systems for their home, cabin, RV, or elsewhere. It describes common mistakes to avoid, different design approaches, and demystifies many of the sometimes confusing concepts of solar power. Chapter 2 is must-read for anyone who is considering implementing solar power in at-risk, energy-impoverished communities locally or abroad.

Dr. Henry Louie

Solar Project

Who is it For?

This book is for anyone looking to build solar projects and knowledge, such as:

  • Students and teachers. Especially high school and undergraduate university levels in science, math, engineering, environmental and social justice, and technical fields.
  • Community organizers and builders looking to build solar projects.
  • Entrepreneurs and inventors looking to build solar products.
  • Families looking to learn together!
Check Out Our Project Gallery

Order a Paperback Version of The Book

Receive a beautiful paperback copy of your own! This second book in the To Catch The series builds upon learnings from the first book. The first book was To Catch the Rain, on Rainwater Harvesting.

Find at Your Local Bookstore
Order On Amazon