Handy Keychain Mini-Gadgets

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Winter, 2017 I believe when most people think of being prepared, they immediately think in terms of bug-out bags, stored food and water, guns, and generators. However, there can be less...

Power Up Light, Water, Communications in Emergencies

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P.E., C.E.M. April/May/June, 2019 Preparing for any emergency or future disaster is never easy. What should you prepare against; what is the likelihood it will actually happen; how long will it take...

Grid-tied, Grid-connected, Off-grid. What’s the difference?

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #140 • March/April, 2013 Several weeks ago I received a call from a woman in Florida complaining that they just had a power outage lasting several days and her solar...

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...

Solar hot water systems

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Photos by Patrick Redgate Issue #118 • July/August, 2009 With continued shortages of wood for home heating, the Greeks built the North Hill section of Olympus in the 5th century B.C. This...

Our journey to modern off-grid living

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson Issue #177 • July/August/September, 2019 We’ve lived off the grid for decades. Throughout the years, we’ve traveled the path from living a very rustic lifestyle with few amenities to our current off-grid homestead...

Solar charge controllers — myths, hype, and facts

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #153 • May/June, 2015 Most people with a basic understanding of solar power are aware they need a solar module and a storage battery to power an electrical device using...

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...

Power your bug-out bag

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #160 • July/August, 2016 More and more people are starting to see the advantage of having a bug-out bag for each member of their family. Normally these bags are kept...

Solar power trailer Part 2

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #109 • January/February, 2008 In Part I of this article in the November/December 2007 issue, I described the many uses for a solar power system that could be made totally...

A small creek provides plenty of power for this off-grid home

By Scott Gentleman Website Exclusive • November, 2007 For eight years, Tracey and I lived in a solar powered home and for eight cloudy winters, we ran a small Honda generator every week to recharge our...

Solar-powered chicken coop

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #132 • November/December, 2011 Pre-manufactured chicken coop with roof-mounted solar module I am sure many of you have raised large flocks of chickens for years as a normal part of rural...

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...

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...

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...

Energy class: Part 3

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #113 • November/December, 2008 In Part I of this series of articles, we reviewed how home utility costs will be the next energy source expected to have major cost increases...