Sustainable Energy - without the hot air

Sustainable Energy - without the hot air

epub versions - further information

Ivor Hewitt and Hansen Yee have kindly made an epub version (free) which works in Bookle on an Mac, iBooks on the iPad, Aldiko on the Android (though not all the epub3 features display correctly), Gitden on the Android (though Gitden has some strange bugs as of Wed 17/4/13), firefox browser with EPUBreader plugin, and other epub-readers.

Tips to the reader:

  1. Hansen recommends, in iBooks, reading this book in scroll mode rather than in page mode.
  2. This epub version of Sustainable Energy validates as ePub3. It has been tested mainly on the iPad (using iBooks). Bookle on the Mac handles it ok. Firefox has trouble with some equations. Performance on other ebook readers is an unknown.
    The only real problem concerns the implementation of equations. In this file, almost all the equations have been written in Maths Markup Language (MathML). There can be difficulties because Bookle (for certain) and iBooks (possibly) use the open source WebKit layout engine to render the html, and WebKit does not currently implement all features of MathML. In particular, there are problems with aligning and numbering equations. The equations in this file do align and are numbered, but the implementation has been somewhat makeshift. Behaviour in (coming?) versions of the readers may be slightly strange without the file being modified.
  3. If your epub reader can't cope with "epub3" (eg if the MathML equations don't come out right) then you may wish to use an older epub2 version in which all the equations are rendered as images.

Ivor Hewitt made the original epub version; a local copy is preserved on my website.

Hansen Yee made many enhancements, described in the message below.

Thank you both!!

I am pleased you want the file which I have attached. It is probably in a good enough state to go to the Apple store (if it is free, Apple bears the cost of distributing it - they can afford it).

Some additional information follows concerning (1) the changes made, (2) some limitations of the file and (3) further things that could be done. Whoever looks after the electronic side of things for you, if it is not yourself, may be interested in this material.

CHANGES MADE from original epub version:

1. Reorganised into chapters and Part sections added.

2. Some typos fixed, many associated with hyphens at the ends of lines in the printed version.

3. I have corrected the errata where possible. In some cases I have added a note indicating the erratum instead.

4. I have replaced page references in the body of the text with chapter references and a link to the relevant location.

5. I have added a "About the author" chapter plucked from the pdf file.

5. A small number of the figures have been edited to make them a bit more legible. Some figures have been replaced using better quality stuff downloaded from the SusEn web page.

6. There has been a massive change to the original style file (for the better, I hope, I am not an IT professional). The original seems to have been made with a software package called Calibre which is not renowned for the quality of its products.

7. The file now validates as ePub3 and most of the equations have been replaced with mathml code, but see comments below. It includes a ncx file for compatibility with ePub2, but, of course, the equations would not display.


1. I set out to make a file suitable for the iPad. It has been tested on the iPad, in Bookle (an epub reader app on the Mac), and in Firefox. Firefox won't display all equations properly.

2. The big problem is the mathml. Bookle uses the open source Webkit (I know that for certain because I have been in touch with its creator). On the iPad, iBooks also uses Webkit (99% sure of that, it behaves in very similar fashion to Bookle). Firefox does not use Webkit. Webkit does not yet implement many of the mathml suggestions. In particular, it does not handle alignment properly. I had a devil of a time getting equations to align at the = sign, and some of the methods I used were a bit messy. Presumably, things will improve with time - I think ePub3 is going to be widely adopted and mathml may assume its proper place in the scheme of things. You will see that equation numbers display on the left. If and when iBooks implements mathml properly, they may magically start appearing to the right, but some re-editing will probably then be required.


1. Although I was tempted, I did not edit the page references in the notes at the ends of the chapters. In some cases, it was not clear to me exactly where to link from in the body of the chapter, and, in any case, I was a little reluctant to fool around too energetically with somebody else's work. These page references are a bit of an anomaly. If you are happy about it, I would be happy to spend a bit of time remedying the situation.

2. The situation with links to the internet is a bit odd in the book. There was no material in the original file (as there is in the pdf file). I am not sure what the best thing to do would be. Perhaps insert the full URL (after all, it is an ebook), but possibly many are out of date.

3. There was no reference chapter in the original. I considered adding it from the pdf file (the ex-academic in me feels it is a real pity not to include it), but I have no OCR software and I baulked at the work required. But it would be good to give full credit.

I am pleased you are interested in having the file. If you want any changes made, and I can help, please let me know. Knowing you are interested raises my motivation level somewhat. If you pass the file on any ebook handlers, let them know I would be very interested in feedback. I occasionally wonder how a pro would view my efforts.


Hansen [hansenyee AT gmail DOT com]

Site last modified Sat 29 Aug 2015 10:36:45 BST