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...

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,...

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...

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...

Making and using a solar cooker

By Joe Radabaugh Issue #30 • November/December, 2004 Solar cooking is a delightful alternative to conventional cooking methods. The solar cookers available today really work and they deserve serious evaluation by a much larger audience. For...

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...

7 Solar Water Heating System Designs

By Michael Hackleman Issue #65 • September/October, 2000 (Rob Harlan is a general and solar contractor with 25 years of experience with solar water heating systems in Mendocino County, California. Rob primarily designs and installs photovoltaic...

Solar Power 101: Inverters

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #89 • September/October, 2004 This article is the third in a series of our beginner's course in solar electricity. Simultaneously we have instituted a Home Energy Information (www.homeenergy.info) section on...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

Are hydrogen-fueled cars pie-in-the-sky?

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #103 • January/February, 2007 Hydrogen-fueled cars is a topic of much discussion these days. People who want to see the U.S. freed from dependence on foreign oil often assume the...

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...