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...

What if the electricity GOES OFF?

By Michael Hackleman Issue #55 • January/February, 1999 Just as everyone was getting ready to throw the party of the century and millennium—out with the old and in with the new—someone springs Y2K on us. Power...

Standby battery charging techniques can ensure engine startups

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #83 • September/October, 2003 Those of us living beyond the suburbs own various sizes and types of yard and garden machinery. From the mandatory riding lawnmower for those weekend warriors...

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...

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...

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 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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

Build your own battery charging station

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #142 • July/August, 2013 Completed charging station after sanding and painting Let me guess — the reason many of you do not use rechargeable batteries is that every time you need...

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...

Water pumping windmills

By Dorothy Ainsworth Issue #90 • November/December, 2004 Standing tall like a giant sunflower in a sea of undulating prairie grasses, or in any rural setting, a windmill is a thing of beauty. Not only are...

Hydronic woodstoves

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #105 • May/June, 2007 Do you realize there is an entire field of woodstoves that the general public rarely hears about, even though there are specialty woodstove stores in every...