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...

Converting a Gasoline-Powered Rototiller to Electric

By Glenn Willis, Jr. Issue #87 • May/June, 2004 Several years ago my sister and her husband had an 8-horse gas-powered rototiller that went belly up. They fussed with it a bit, but couldn't get it...

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...

Amateur Ham Radio – The Ultimate Tool for Survival Communications

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P.E. N4LPE During any major disaster or grid-down event, communications will not only be critical for coordinating rescue efforts, but could actually save your life by receiving alerts and evacuation instructions. Unfortunately,...

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...

Walden Pond, the solar version: Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #99 • May/June, 2006 I have been writing solar power articles for many years on every possible application. This has included everything from simple solar chargers for cell phones to...

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...

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...

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...

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 refrigerators

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #102 • November/December, 2006 In Issue #99, I discussed the importance of using the most energy-efficient appliances you can buy for any remote cabin or off-grid solar application. I also...

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...

Solar system codes — Build it right!

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #154 • July/August, 2015 Here, multiple homemade solar modules have caught fire and burned. The further you go into the mountains or rural countryside, the more some people think building codes...

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...

Prepper power! Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #136 • July/August, 2012 The interesting thing about being a "prepper" is most preppers don't want anybody to know they are one! No doubt many fear they will be ostracized...

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...