sunrise delayed - a personal history of solar energy (Paperback)
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At the age of 91, the author has written his life story, starting with his escape on a children's transport from Vienna following Kristallnacht. Interweaving his colorful personal and professional life, he tells about his work in solar and renewable energy in the United States, as well as in developing countries, culminating in his election as Pioneer for the World Renewable Energy Conference, an affiliate of the United Nations. He started his life in the U.S. working the night shift in a machine shop while attending college in the daytime and finally graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 1945. The story follows the author's enthusiasm for nuclear energy under the guidance of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, to building a heat transfer laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and his effort to apply his knowledge of heat transfer to design nuclear power plants. He then discusses his gradual acceptance that sustainable energy is socially and technically superior to nuclear power to achieve a sustainable energy future. He also recognized that engineering is only a part of the larger picture which involves the interaction between population, environment, economics, and technology. The glue that binds these factors is an adequate supply of cheap energy which has heretofore come from fossil sources, but must now be replaced by renewable energy technologies. He described his career as Chief of Thermal Research and then Senior Research Fellow at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) and the recognition he received from various professional societies. Kreith shows the path he laid out to work towards a sustainable energy future and the action by state and federal governments to attain this goal. The professional community of engineering recognized his contributions by establishing the ASME Frank Kreith Energy Award. The book ends with a realistic description of a socially and technically viable transition from our fossil era to a renewable and sustainable energy system.
About the Author
Professor Frank Kreith was born on December 15, 1922 in Vienna, Austria and came to the US in 1940. He is an internationally known energy consultant and Professor Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 1945, after graduation from UC Berkeley, he accepted a position at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, where he developed a heat transfer laboratory and conducted research on building heat transfer. He received his MS in Engineering in 1949 from UCLA, and in 1950 was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to Princeton University, followed in 1951 by an appointment to the faculty of the UC Berkeley. From 1953-1959, he was Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University, where he did research on heat transfer in rotating systems and wrote the first edition of Principles of Heat Transfer, now in its seventh edition. In 1959, he joined the University of Colorado as Professor of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering. In 1962, he published a text on the design of solar power plants based on his consulting for the NASA space program. During his time at the University of Colorado, he researched heat transfer in biological systems and renewable energy. In 1964 he was awarded a Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Paris. He served as Chief Scientist and ASME Legislative Fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures from 1988-2001, providing professional advice and assistance to all 50 state legislatures on energy and the environment. Prior to joining NCSL, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Dr. Kreith has been an energy consultant to NATO, the U.S. Agency of International Development, and the UN. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed technical articles and more than 15 books, most notably Principles of Heat Transfer (now in its 7th edition), CRC Handbook of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Principles of Sustainable Energy. Kreith's work has received worldwide recognition, including the Washington Award, Charles Greeley Abbot Award from ASES, the Max Jacob Award from ASME-AIChE, and the Ralph Coats Roe Medal from ASME for "significant contributions...through provision of information to legislators about energy and the environment." In 2004, ASME recognized his lifelong contributions to heat transfer and renewable energy by establishing the Frank Kreith Energy Award