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,...

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...

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...

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...

For a truly independent energy system, your choices are solar, wind, and water

By Larry Elliott Issue #28 • July/August, 1994 Just as the words "backwoods home" conjure up images of farmhouses, livestock, woodstoves, tractors, and gardens, the words "independent energy" bring to mind a whole new set of...

Build a passive-solar food dehydrator

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #143 • September/October, 2013 The finished passive-solar dehydrator maintained a fairly constant temperature of 150° F throughout most of the day without any repositioning, which shows that this design can...

Millenium Vehicles

By Michael Hackleman Issue #57 • May/June, 1999 A major failing of transportation worldwide is that 99.9% of vehicles on farms, street, and freeways work on one energy source: liquid fuels. In any disaster—small or large,...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Design calculations for no-head, low-head waterwheels

By Rudy Behrens Issue #17 • September/October, 1992 (This is the second of our three-part series on waterwheels. The third installation (Issue No. 18) will deal with overshot wheels. -- Editor.) For those of you who are...

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...