Blackouts can happen anytime, anywhere. Natural disasters like storms can cause power outages. Terrorist attacks on power stations can also be a factor. Even animals like squirrels and birds coming in contact with equipment of power companies can cause outages. During those times when power is cut, you’d want to have a reliable source of backup power. You may wonder, what is the best backup power during outages?
Having backup power during outages can give your household the needed power for some essential electronic devices when utility power is cut. You can go for a gas-powered generator, or go green instead by investing in a solar power generator. Small and portable generators can power essentials like the computer, fridge, and the microwave. Large standby generators can power everything in your household.
Having a backup power source is a small price to pay for the peace of mind you have knowing that life continues in your home during an outage. Solar Backup generators means saving the food in your refrigerator and freezer as well as being able to use your devices, etc.
Best Backup Power During Outages System
There are several backup power options that you have during an outage.
You can go for a portable generator which is popular among suburban households. It’s a good unit to have when the power outage lasts for more than 3 hours. It requires a constant source of fuel like gasoline or diesel. It can run essential AC loads like refrigerator, sump and well pumps, furnace, and emergency lighting. Just don’t expect it to power your central AC or the plasma TV.
The price depends on the size, although it should range between $600 and $3,000. You can get one from major hardware stores and rental centers. You can also bring it on camping trips.
However, this is not exactly the backup power you may want if you live in an apartment or condo because of the noise it makes while in operation. It also produces an emission during use. You will also have to ensure that the fuel for the backup power source is stored properly so that you can prevent fire. Also, because it is portable, there is always the chance that you would lose the generator to thieves.
Permanent or fixed generator
If you have the money to spend and enough space in your house, you can invest in a permanent or fixed generator. Like the portable generator, this type of backup power system runs on diesel or gasoline fuel. But the difference is that it can handle larger loads. It is powerful enough to run kitchen appliances, television, computers, and even the central air conditioner simultaneously.
A concern with a fixed generator is that it is very costly. You’ll have to shell out a minimum of $5,000 for a unit. Prices may vary depending on the size. You’ll also have to pay for the installation as this is to be handled by a professional, licensed electrician. The installation not only covers the generator itself but also the transfer switch and subpanel. Simply put, these are things that you can’t install by yourself unless you are a licensed electrician.
As its name suggests, a fixed generator cannot be moved unlike a portable generator. A fixed generator requires a substantial space in the backyard. It may not be the best option if you live in a condo or apartment. A standby generator may be quiet in operation compared to the portable one, but the space it needs is one reason many homemakers consider buying the portable generator instead.
Solar powered generator
If the noise of the portable generator annoys you, or you simply want to help the environment, you can go for a solar power generator. It’s a more environmentally-friendly source of energy as it harnesses the energy coming from the sun. Unlike a fuel-based conventional generator, a solar power generator doesn’t have any emissions. And it is quiet while in operation meaning you can use it if you live in an apartment. GOAL ZERO YETI 1250
Solar generators are also used by homeowners to save on their electricity bills. They use power from a solar generator to go off the grid. You can also rely on a solar power generator during an emergency.
Solar generators have solar panels or modules installed on the roofs of home. These panels have photovoltaic cells that can convert sunlight into DC power. An inverter then converts the DC power into AC power, the standard electrical current used in homes.
Solar generators are preferred by many homeowners because a unit is almost maintenance-free. It also has a low carbon footprint. The major disadvantage though is that it is more expensive than gas-fueled generators. However, you can also save in the long run because there is no need to buy gas or diesel unlike in a traditional generator.
Battery Backup for Computer During Power Outage
Computers are critical electronic devices for many people. During a power outage, the last thing that you want to happen is to not be able to save an important Word or Excel file or other project. Or you may be working on a laptop, but you wish that your Internet connection or landline phone would stay on for a little while so that you can save your work before turning off.
This is where a small uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system can come in handy. UPS systems are designed to backup and shutdown computers, smartphones, and other communications equipment. It can give enough time to backup your file time, allowing you to make important corrections in your files, save them, and properly turn off your PC or tablet.
But you should realize that a UPS is not designed to power your computer or tablet for hours and hours until the power comes back on. At best you can get power from a UPS system for two hours. A UPS would be useful during short power outages but it certainly won’t have enough juice to power your laptop for hours and help you finish an urgent project.
Battery Backup for Home Power Outage
For short power outages that last no more than 3 hours, you can invest in a battery backed-up system where you can plug in basics such as radio and lights. These small systems can cost you as low as $200 and come with a small battery and inverter. While it can’t power a fridge or toaster, it can run the essential electrical devices for a few hours.
Unlike the conventional generator system, a battery-backed up system is quiet when in operation. It also has on gas exhaust and cords, as well as no need to refill a gas tank. However, there’s limited amount of power available. These systems may even require a small generator for recharging them during longer power outages.
A battery back system consists of a battery bank connected to an inverter. The latter changes the 12v or 24v direct current to a usable 120/240v AC voltage that lets you run various home appliances. The inverter is also connected to a critical load panel.
Most hybrid inverters in a battery-backed up system also can incorporate a transfer switch internally. This means that it can connect automatically during a power outage, fast enough to prevent your computer from switching off and losing all the work you have done.
Power Outage Backup Lights Options for Home
But what if you’re not overly concerned with your TV or computer and other appliances, as you just want to power lights at home during a power outage? What are your choices?
Lantern with solar charger
You can buy a lantern with solar charger. A lantern with solar charger (Click Here) would be enough to provide decent lighting at home. It’s an ideal accessory to your emergency preparedness kit, and it can help you and your family members find your way to safety during a power outage.
A solar lantern (click Here) won’t cost you a lot. You can get one for less than $30. You can recharge it through a mini solar panel included in the package, or through a vehicle charger. As such, it is also a good companion during camping trips and other recreational activities.
Battery-powered, off-grid power outage lights
You can purchase a battery-powered, off-grid power outage lights that automatically turn on during a power interruption. This type of system uses low energy LED bulbs. You can mount them on the ceiling or low to the ground. It also comes with a rechargeable flashlight and remote that stays plugged into an outlet, and then detects a power interruption. The same unit then sends out a wireless signal to all the backup lights to turn on.
As you can see, there are lots of backup power options that you have during a power outage. You can go for a standby or portable generator during long blackouts, or use a UPS to save your files on the PC. A battery backed-up system can also power your essential appliances for a shorter period.
When you are looking for the best backup power source that is sustainable, there’s no denying that a solar generator is your best choice. It is quiet in operation and maintenance-free. Finally it can give you enough power to run your essential home appliances.