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...

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...

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,...

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...

Battery powered weekend retreat

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #83 • September/October, 2003 Blake McKinney owned several acres of beautiful deep forest wilderness along a fast-moving year-round fishing stream that was perfect for a planned weekend retreat. Mr. McKinney,...

Build your own solar-powered water pumping station

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #91 • January/February, 2005 In the last issue, there was an excellent article by Dorothy Ainsworth on water pumping using mechanical windmills. In this issue I will address another form...

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...

Our journey to modern off-grid living

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson Issue #177 • July/August/September, 2019 We’ve lived off the grid for decades. Throughout the years, we’ve traveled the path from living a very rustic lifestyle with few amenities to our current off-grid homestead...

Keep the Ice On

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P.E., C.E.M. Self-Reliance, Fall 2019 When I ask most people why they own or are looking to buy a generator, most will say it is to keep a refrigerator or freezer operating....

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...

How to select the right backup generator

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #82 • July/August, 2003 Now that the threat of terrorist sabotage to our utility infrastructure has been added to our basic concerns about storm related power outages, this may be...

Prepper power! Part 2

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #137 • September/October, 2012 I discussed in Part 1 the many reasons why preppers need to think more long-term about providing reliable electric power. I also mentioned that while it's...

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...

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...

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...