Below are a few examples of background information sources, including: encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and other introductory books.
Some reports (technical and otherwise) and articles (especially review articles in journals and articles from news sources, trade magazines, etc.) are also great sources of background information.
Note: Not all handbooks are created equal. Some are well-written, time-trusted works that are integral to a field of study (e.g. Perry's Handbook for Chemical Engineers). Some are merely a collection of articles thrown together in book format.
Other Introductory Books
Below please find a list of example Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) you can use to search the ASA library catalog by Subject:
Biomass energy; Coal-fired power plants; Distributed resources (Electric utilities); Electric power; Electric power distribution; Electric power failures; Electric power-plants; Electric power production; Electric power systems; Electric power transmission; Electric utilities; Energy conservation; Energy consumption; Energy development; Energy industries; Energy policy; Energy storage; Hydroelectric power plants; Interconnected electric utility systems; Nuclear energy; Nuclear power plants; Photovoltaic power generation; Photovoltaic power systems; Power (Mechanics); Power (Mechanics) > Mathematical models; Power resources; Power supply; Renewable energy sources; Sea-power; Solar energy; Solar power plants; Water-power; Wind power; Wind power plants; Wind turbines
Whether looking for books, keywords or research topics, a quick 5-10 minute browse of a print library collection can still be very useful.
You can find books at the E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library using the below, example Dewey Classification numbers: