Buying the right emergency radio

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #98 • March/April, 2006 In our last issue I addressed how to select the best battery-powered lighting for your emergency needs. Recent examples of poor emergency response during the Katrina...

Walden Pond, the solar version: Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #99 • May/June, 2006 I have been writing solar power articles for many years on every possible application. This has included everything from simple solar chargers for cell phones to...

Need more gas mileage?

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #96 • November/December, 2005 The news is full of glowing stories about new hybrid cars getting over 60 miles-per-gallon, and you are wondering what to do with that old gas...

Flashlight! Flashlight! Who’s got the flashlight?

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #97 • January/February, 2006 If the standard procedure for turning on your flashlight includes pounding 10 times on a table top, removing, then reinserting the same old batteries, and finally...

Grid-tie solar-powered farm

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #94 • July/August, 2005 Photo 1: One of two Fronius 3-kW grid-tie inverters. Note the DC-rated safety disconnect and all high voltage wiring installed in metal conduit. Most of my past...

The care and feeding of solar batteries

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #95 • September/October, 2005 I have been receiving many questions from readers and visitors to the BHM web site concerning deep discharge solar batteries. These questions include: How do they...

Build a simple solar-powered outdoor light

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #92 • March/April, 2005 Figure 1. Pole-mounted street light showing a front view of the solar light In our last issue, I discussed how to use solar energy to power a...

Add solar power to your truck camper

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #93 • May/June, 2005 The recreational vehicle (RV) world is having a major comeback with the influx of baby-boomers. Today's travel trailers, 5th wheels, and motor coaches now include everything...

Build your own solar-powered water pumping station

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #91 • January/February, 2005 In the last issue, there was an excellent article by Dorothy Ainsworth on water pumping using mechanical windmills. In this issue I will address another form...

Solar Power 101 — Solar arrays

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #90 • November/December, 2004 This article is the fourth and final part of our beginner's course in solar electricity. Simultaneously we have instituted a Home Energy Information (www.homeenergy.info) section on...

Solar Power 101: Inverters

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #89 • September/October, 2004 This article is the third in a series of our beginner's course in solar electricity. Simultaneously we have instituted a Home Energy Information (www.homeenergy.info) section on...

Solar Power 101 — Batteries: Part 2

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #88 • July/August, 2004 This article is the second in a series of what will be a beginner's course in solar electricty. Simultaneously we have instituted a Home Energy Information...

Solar Power 101 — Batteries: Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #87 • May/June, 2004 This article is the first in a series of what will be a beginner's course in solar electricty. Simultaneously we have instituted a Home Energy Information...

Keep those gadgets working after the power goes out

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #84 • November/December, 2004 The recent 2003 northeast electric grid failure taught the residents of many large cities what most rural residents learned years ago: Lights, air conditioners, televisions, stereos,...

Battery powered weekend retreat

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #83 • September/October, 2003 Blake McKinney owned several acres of beautiful deep forest wilderness along a fast-moving year-round fishing stream that was perfect for a planned weekend retreat. Mr. McKinney,...

Standby battery charging techniques can ensure engine startups

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #83 • September/October, 2003 Those of us living beyond the suburbs own various sizes and types of yard and garden machinery. From the mandatory riding lawnmower for those weekend warriors...