A great resource on renewables and other off-grid techniques written by people who’ve done the work for people who are ready to do the work themselves. Last I heard (probably more than a decade ago now), there were at least 100,000 homes and buildings off the grid in the USA. Home Power is the magazine that shows them how to do it, what works and what doesn’t. For those who aren’t afraid to pick up a wrench and get dirty, good stuff.
— George Mokray
I was the publisher of PV Network News and then Solar Electricity Today from ’84 to ’97, two publications for and about early adaptors, back to the land folks and anyone interested in using renewable energy (RE). I published the last SET in ’97, trading it to Richard Perez who has since created the best American magazine on home energy. Home Power has how-to articles, product reviews and a lot of info on and dealers and manufacturers. It has stories on RE and the Electrical Code, electric cars, wind generators, PV, Hydro and pieces written by home owners telling their stories and showing installations and wiring diagrams — from basic basic to utility interconnect. In ’84 we lived in a place with a 12-volt, 200-watt wind generator and 3 or 4 33-watt PV panels. We used surplus phone company batteries to store our electricity, and we had lighting, radio, phone and TV for the rest of our loads. We hardly knew a thing when we started, it was so new. After 27 years of collecting and installing modules, I now have a 500-watt PV system that runs most of the lighting, all entertainment, computers, washer and dryer (dryer is gas) in our 2000sq. ft. home. Our system cost under $8k and I’m guessing we collect about 80kw month. If you’re looking for info on remote homes or utility connected and want to get started or enhance the system you may already have, check out Homepower.com or their paper magazine. You can get all their issues on DVD for $95 — 20 years, 120 issues, 2716 articles. HP‘s last issue is 128 pages and is offered as a free PDF. You can also look up dealers and installers in your area on their site.
[Home Power no longer sells DVDs of its back issues, but all of their 3-year subscription options (print, digital, or both) include download access to the back issue archive. Although they no longer offer a sample PDF issue, several recent articles are available for free on the website. --cc]