The Handson Journal Of Homemade Power

Issue #36 August / September 1993


Electric Vehicles

6 The 1993 Midwest Renewable Energy Fair

It rained buckets. Everyone had a great time. Check out the wonders of this year's most amazing Energy Fair.

18 Flying High on Solar

Tom Simko of Inkom, Idaho uses solar heat, photovoltaics, wind power, and wood to power and heat his home and business. Tom builds experimental aircraft using renewable energy.

26 Translucent Dome

Experiments: A Solar Hot Water Story

Bo Atkinson uses a dome to collect solar heat for showers and space heating.

47 The Need for a Winter Energy Supplement

Steve Willey reports on making electricity directly from heat using a thermoelectric generator.


34 Inverters

Richard Perez discusses how inverters stack up. Included are the specifications for 52 different inverters from 12 different manufacturers.

52 Electric Car Batteries: Placement & Containment

Shari Prange discusses installing batteries in electric vehicles. Considered are placement, wiring, and more.

57 Breaking the ICE Machine: The Myth of a Better Battery

Michael Hackleman discusses the refueling and recharging of electric vehicles. Anyone want to swap out batteries instead of filling the gas tank?


14 PV Module Angles

Richard Perez discusses getting the angle on the question,'' Does it really matter if I adjust my modules to face the sun?' Included is a chart for adjustment of PV modules from the Equator to the Arctic.

62 Clean Water from the Sun

Laurie Stone tells of her experiences building and operating solar stills in Nicaragua.

66 Lead-Acid State of Charge versus Voltage

Richard Perez explains how to use a voltmeter to determine how much power remains in your lead-acid battery.

Cover: A dome collects solar heat for use in this Maine home. Photo by Robert Atkinson

Homebrew gbp

71 156 Volt DC Direct

Transformerless Inverter

Gene Townsend discusses home building an inverter that has no transformer. Included is a schematic for the power output stages of this 10 KVA inverter.


104 Index to Home Power Magazine — Issues #1-#36

Therese Peffer compiles a coherent and complete Index by subject. Now we can all find what we've been looking for. Lost in the sea of information? Well, here's a lifesaver!


75 Code Corner

John Wles discusses the proposed changes in the 1996 National Elecctric Code.

78 Back to the Basics

Therese Peffer gets a grip on recharging small nicad cells with equally small PV modules!

86 Home & Heart

Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze gets all wet and misty with the rest of the Crew at this year's Midwest Renewable Energy Fair.

88 Good Books

Mick Sagrillo reviews Paul Gipe's new book, Wind Power for Home & Business.

90 muddy roads

Ever go to rescue someone in distress and get into more than you figured on? Well, Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze tells a classic tale of stuck in the mud.

92 The Wizard speaks...

The Wizard divulges new sources for free energy information.


4 From Us to You

80 Home Power's Subscription form

81 Home Power's Biz Page

82 Happenings — RE events 93 Letters to Home Power

101 Q&A

109 Micro Ads

112 Index to Advertisers

Access and Info

Access Data

Home Power Magazine POB 520, Ashland, OR 97520 USA

Editorial and Advertising:

916-475-3179 voice and FAX Subscriptions and Back Issues:

916-475-0830 Computer BBS: 707-822-8640

Paper and Ink Data

Cover paper is 50% recycled (10% postconsumer and 40% preconsumer) Recovery Gloss from Silverleaf Paper Company.

Interior paper is 50% recycled (10% postconsumer and 40% preconsumer) Nature Web Suede from Simpson Paper Company.

Printed using low VOC vegetable based inks.

Printed by

St. Croix Press, Inc., New Richmond, Wisconsin


Home Power (ISSN 1050-2416) is published bi-monthly for $15 per year at P.O. Box 520, Ashland, OR 97520. International surface subscription for $20 U.S. Second class postage paid at Ashland, OR and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER send address corrections to Home Power, P.O. Box 520, Ashland, OR 97520.

Copyright ©1993 Home Power, Inc.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission.

While Home Power Magazine strives for clarity and accuracy, we assume no responsibility or liability for the usage of this information.

While Home Power Magazine strives for clarity and accuracy, we assume no responsibility or liability for the usage of this information.

Recycled Paper Recyclable Paper

Recycled Paper Recyclable Paper


Well, it's official. I'm happy to announce that Alternative Transportation News (ATN) is uniting with Home Power (HP). Karen, Richard, and I discussed the possibilities between workshops at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in late June. I was happy to discover how open they were to the idea.

There is much to be gained by this "union". ATN has a loyal subscriber base, many of whom have re-subscribed in the face of uncertainties with the magazine's continued existence. Understandably, advertisers have shied away, putting their limited budgets to better use in larger magazines. For this reason, the production of ATN has ground to a halt. I have exhausted both the magazine's and my own personal accounts in a futile attempt to keep it going. I consider transportation alternatives an important part of the solution for today's environmental puzzles. I have not wanted to see this door close.

I am excited about the union of ATN and HP. Without real dilution, the flow of this information is maintained. Indeed, it is accelerated. Bless them, Karen and Richard revealed that, in the past, they steered clear of transportation issues in HP to give ATN a chance. Now, this need no longer be kept separate. Transportation is too vital an element in our daily lives to be left out of the discussion.

Transportation technology is complementary with independently-generated power. My exploration into electric vehicles and other transportation alternatives began in the 70's. My home and shop were both designed to be solar, and we aimed to generate all of our electricity from pre-REA windmachines. Our first EV was charged from wind power. We called it Ox — a workhorse vehicle. Ultimately, I wish to empower HP's readers with the knowledge, ability, and confidence to realize their own alternative transportation ideas.

I feel honored to join Home Power's crew. I am awed by their efforts and the magnitude of their successes. In the future, I will be soliciting articles, writing and editing a transportation section in Home Power. Karen and Richard will increase the magazine's size to accommodate this GoPower section. The greatest bottleneck for me in doing ATN was the task of layout, printing, distribution, marketing, advertising, and accounting. Now, this will be done at HP. The HP crew has mastered and refined these skills and talents, and their readers benefit from this integration with each issue. Michael Hackleman


Robert Atkinson

Sam Coleman

Michael Hackleman

Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze

Therese Peffer

Karen Perez

Richard Perez

Shari Prange

Mick Sagrillo

Bob-O Schultze

Tom Simko

Laurie Stone

Gene Townsend

John Wiles

Steve Willey

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the "universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Out task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein

Hybrid Cars The Whole Truth Revealed

Hybrid Cars The Whole Truth Revealed

Hybrid Cars! Man! Is that a HOT topic right now! There are some good reasons why hybrids are so hot. If you’ve pulled your present car or SUV or truck up next to a gas pumpand inserted the nozzle, you know exactly what I mean! I written this book to give you some basic information on some things<br />you may have been wondering about.

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