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...

Why you need to addsolar to your emergencypower backup plans

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #149 • September/October, 2014 Click Here to listen to an interview with Jeff about this article. Most of the electric substations, transmission lines, and electrical switchgear for any given utility are...

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...

Build a community assistance recharging station

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #152 • March/April, 2015 Many preppers are starting to realize they cannot do it all on their own. True security during a major disaster or civil unrest is much more...

Make your own biodiesel for 80¢ per gallon

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #101 • September/October, 2006 My Ford F-250 diesel crew-cab pickup did not cause me to become interested in making my own bio-diesel fuel. No, the final straw was when I...

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,...

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...

Is steam power in your future?

By Skip Goebel Issue #43 • January/February, 1997 If you're thinking steam is old-fashioned, consider this: Almost a century ago, steam cars and ships attained speeds and efficiencies which are still difficult to attain, even with...

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...

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...

Solar-Powered Electric Fencing

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #147 • May/June, 2014 A new electric fence attached to older traditional wood fencing   More and more people are turning to electric fences as the cost of standard metal and wood...

Installing your own small, remote off-grid solar system

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #116 • March/April, 2008 A typical residential-size solar system installation will involve properly sized and installed AC and DC electrical wiring to reduce the risk of electrical fire, a proper...

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...

Keeping your food cold — Solutions to refrigeration when electricity is scarce

By Michael Hackleman Issue #56 • March/April, 1999 Many readers of this magazine live in remote settings and generate their own electricity, often through solar, hydro, wind, or generator machines, storing the electricity generated in batteries....