A solar primer — How it works, how it’s made, what it costs

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #72 • November/December, 2001 Buying a solar power system is not like buying a kitchen appliance or power tool. These, unlike a solar system, have published capacity and performance data...

Walden Pond — the solar version: Part 2

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #100 • July/August, 2006 In the last issue I provided the initial steps required to design your remote cabin or retreat for off-grid power. We also reviewed the types of...

Radiant floor heating — Alternative to forced-air heating is solar-powered, too An interview with...

By Michael Hackleman Issue #64 • July/August, 2000 Hydronic, or radiant floor heating is a method of heating a home, shop, or other building with the heat concentrated in the floor. It works by embedding special...

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...

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...

Powering medical equipment during a utility blackout

By Michael Hackleman Issue #70 • July/August, 2001 Most people consider blackouts a nuisance. However, for some folks, a blackout can be paralyzing or even deadly, particularly if a critical piece of medical equipment lacks electricity....

Sunny Solutions for north slope applications

By Michael Hackleman Issue #61 • January/February, 2000   Solar-powered pumps have proved their worth for many installations worldwide, anywhere under the sun. However, in the northern hemisphere, a year-around spring located at the base of a...

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 suitcase

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #150 • November/December, 2014 Completed solar suitcase project From time to time, people call to ask what we have for emergency solar power suitable for a bug-out bag. Naturally, my first...

Use solar landscape lights for emergencies

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #141 • May/June, 2013 Solar-powered landscape lights in dark room. Note different light patterns and brightness. People own all kinds of household items that can be used to make life easier during...

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...

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...

Job site solar power

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #144 • November/December, 2013 Regardless of your favorite brand, standardize all battery-powered tools to use the same battery pack. If you are planning to live off-grid or are building something in a...

Homemade electric power

By Jim Van Sant Issue #131 • September/October, 2011 Ever wonder how you could live off the grid when the sun isn't shining on your solar panels? Our homestead alternative energy system is based on 12 volts...

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,...