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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

An $89 backup generator

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #159 • May/June, 2016 While I strive in all of my articles to only recommend products of high quality and reliability, I realize many of us are on a fixed-income...

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...

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....

Solar power trailer Part 2

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #109 • January/February, 2008 In Part I of this article in the November/December 2007 issue, I described the many uses for a solar power system that could be made totally...

Grid-down battery devices

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #163 • January/February, 2017 Most of my past articles and my just-released new book titled, Lights On, drive home the importance of having multiple battery-powered devices during an extended power...

Handy Keychain Mini-Gadgets

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Winter, 2017 I believe when most people think of being prepared, they immediately think in terms of bug-out bags, stored food and water, guns, and generators. However, there can be less...

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...

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...

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...