Build your own battery charging station

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #142 • July/August, 2013 Completed charging station after sanding and painting Let me guess — the reason many of you do not use rechargeable batteries is that every time you need...

Energy class: Part 2 — Understanding your electric bill

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #112 • July/August, 2008 In Part 1 of this series of articles, I hopefully made you aware that your home's utility costs should be more of a concern than what...

Prepper power! Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #136 • July/August, 2012 The interesting thing about being a "prepper" is most preppers don't want anybody to know they are one! No doubt many fear they will be ostracized...

How to select the right backup generator

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #82 • July/August, 2003 Now that the threat of terrorist sabotage to our utility infrastructure has been added to our basic concerns about storm related power outages, this may be...

Generators alone are not enough

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #157 • January/February, 2016 When talking to fellow preppers at self-reliance expos across the country, I am always impressed by how many already have long-term food supplies, stored water, medical...

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...

Water: a safe supply when you’re off the grid

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #71 • September/October, 2001 That remote mountain property seemed like a steal until you found out you could not drill a well. Four years ago we were approached by a...

Installing your own small, remote off-grid solar system

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #116 • March/April, 2008 A typical residential-size solar system installation will involve properly sized and installed AC and DC electrical wiring to reduce the risk of electrical fire, a proper...

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...

Hydronic woodstoves

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #105 • May/June, 2007 Do you realize there is an entire field of woodstoves that the general public rarely hears about, even though there are specialty woodstove stores in every...

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...

The return of home emergency shelters takes on a dual-purpose approach

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #74 • March/April, 2002 After September 11, 2001, all of us became much more concerned with protecting our families from biological, nuclear, and terrorist attacks. However, if you followed up...

Grid-down battery devices

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #163 • January/February, 2017 Most of my past articles and my just-released new book titled, Lights On, drive home the importance of having multiple battery-powered devices during an extended power...

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,...

Phantom solar — The crucial invisible system needed before you install solar

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #78 • Are you planning to install a solar photovoltaic system to reduce your utility bills? How would you like it if your first solar electric power system had invisible...

Emergency solar power for $950

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #73 • January/February, 2002 For less than the price of a desktop computer you can have the piece of mind that your lights and small appliances can operate for months...