Dollar Store to the Rescue

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P.E. Summer 2019, Self-Reliance I have talked with emergency responders who have traveled all over the country to volunteer their rescue efforts at disasters like the recent flooding in Texas. While much...

Prepper power! Part 2

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #137 • September/October, 2012 I discussed in Part 1 the many reasons why preppers need to think more long-term about providing reliable electric power. I also mentioned that while it's...

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...

Portable solar power

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #134 • March/April, 2012 Fold-up solar modules now available in many sizes As the cost of solar cells has declined, the industry has started to increase the physical size of individual...

Build Your Own Car Wash

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #133 • January/February, 2012 Completed car wash in operation If someone told me a year ago that I would have a commercial car wash behind my garage, I would have laughed....

Install a mobile, solar powered toilet

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #79 • January/February, 2003 When our solar business started to really increase, I found myself spending more and more time in my truck traveling down the highway to very remote...

Battery-Powered Tools are Changing

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., C.E.M. April/May/June, 2019 Battery-powered tool technology is now undergoing some rapid changes in both the power of the tool motors and the batteries supplying the added power. For many years most battery-powered...

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...

Energy class: Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #111 • May/June, 2008 Each fall when my dad took us to the State Fair, we could always count on this fast-talking salesman standing next to his car with a...

A survival key ring — Your everyday tool for emergency preparedness

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #117 • May/June, 2009 If you saw the movie, "Castaway" starring Tom Hanks, you might remember that his character always carried a small pen knife with him. Early in the...

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...

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...

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...

Solar power for farm and ranch

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P.E. It may be surprising to learn that there are now all kinds of do-it-yourself solar powered devices specifically designed to make farmers and ranchers lives easier and safer. Many of...

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...

Are hydrogen-fueled cars pie-in-the-sky?

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #103 • January/February, 2007 Hydrogen-fueled cars is a topic of much discussion these days. People who want to see the U.S. freed from dependence on foreign oil often assume the...