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 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,...

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 ...

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...

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,...

Intake and exhaust upgrades for better mileage and performance

By Len Torney Issue #120 • November/December, 2009 Well, it seems the price of oil and gasoline has peaked and plummeted, much like a lot of the rest of the economy these days. One upside to...

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...

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...

Don’t discount a generator, especially a diesel generator, as your primary power source

By Skip Thomsen Issue #28 • July/August, 1994 There are three major reasons that wind, solar or hydro-electric systems are impractical for some folks: not enough wind, too many cloudy days, and no stream. In that...

Power-up bag

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P. E. 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 service is...

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...

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...

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...

Just for Kids: Sun-kabobs and solar sizzle

By Lucy Shober Issue #28 • July/August, 1994 Click on pictures for printable, full-sized versions to color. Picture yourself in this dreamy scenario: It's a hot summer afternoon. The sun is beaming through the shade trees as...

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...

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...