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...

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...

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....

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...

Add solar power to your truck camper

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #93 • May/June, 2005 The recreational vehicle (RV) world is having a major comeback with the influx of baby-boomers. Today's travel trailers, 5th wheels, and motor coaches now include everything...

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...

Design calculations for overshot waterwheels

By Rudy Behrens Issue #18 • November/December, 1992 (For good background information for this article, the reader should read "Waterpower for personal use" in Issue No. 16 and "Design calculations for overshot waterwheels" in Issue No....

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...

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...

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...

Solar Food Drying

By Marcella Shaffer Issue #58 • July/August, 1999 The oldest known method of food preservation is drying food using the heat from the sun. Unfortunately it has become the least used as freezers and pressure canners...

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...

Solar power trailer Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #108 • November/December, 2007 Many of us like to go camping, but as we age it's much easier if we have a bathroom, kitchen, refrigerator, microwave oven, television, DVD player,...

Power Up

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P. E., C.E.M. Spring, 2019 During any emergency or related power outage, the most important electronic device you need to keep operating is your cell phone, at least as long as cellular...

Solar-powered water purifiers

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #146 • March/April, 2014 Most of us can stay alive up to a month without any food if stranded, but we could not live longer than three days without water...

Waterpower for personal use

By Rudy Behrens Issue #16 • July/August, 1992 (This introductory overview to waterwheels is the first of a three-part series. The second installment will be about undershot and no-head wheels, and the third installment ...