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Blackouts are such a bummer to deal with. Wherever you are in the world, power outages are sometimes out of your hands and what’s worse is all you can really do is wait until power turns back on. It doesn’t matter if you’re frolicking in the city, running a business, manning a busy household, studying for a huge exam, or revamping your new dream home; blackouts will surely stop you dead on your tracks, and you end up going through the day with zero accomplishments.
In this day and age, wasting time is like wasting money. So if you can’t afford to waste both, not to mention sleep through the night uncomfortably because the air conditioner if off due to power outage; then getting a portable generator should be on top of your list. There are a lot of backup power options for home, let’s run through the top 5 of them.
If you’re only looking to power the most basic appliances, the portable generator can definitely cut the mustard. Top portable generators run on gasoline, diesel, propane, or natural gas and have a power range of about 500W to 17,000W. This means you need not worry about the fridge, dryer, television, water heater, and air conditioner during blackouts. Of course, this type might not be able to the carry the weight of the abovementioned equipment simultaneously, but for areas experiencing short blackouts; this is a perfect choice! Also, it’s a complete steal if you’re into camping because of its portability, it will definitely give you a little frill during your outdoor adventure.
Unlike the portable generators, standby generator operates automatically and is installed permanently. These are the generators used in businesses as well, so in the event of unfortunate blackouts, it powers up the whole building simultaneously. So for a backup power option at home, this one will do a pretty good job. Although this type can run for weeks on end; it’s important to always schedule a service maintenance for every 200 hours of usage. That includes oil filter change, spark plug, and air filter replacement. It also needs some extra TLC during winter because of wind-blown debris, ice, grass, or snow. The vents on these generators should be free from blockages so it can provide smooth air flow and keep the machine cool.
Read more: Whole House Generators Keep Us Safe Indoors
If you’re quite the handyman, you can actually set this up yourself. This is probably the cheapest and most accessible backup power option. The concept is to have several batteries connected with each other so it forms into one big battery which is called a ‘battery bank’. Then think of a way to connect the bank to your home’s power supply so it gets charged all the time when electricity is up and running. So when it’s time to use the ‘bank’, it’ll be at your service.
Solar panels are a really good investment for your dream home. During a power outage, it can run some basic appliances. While most solar panels have an automatic shut-off valve that restricts the flow of energy from the panel to your home supply due to safety reasons; you can counter this issue by getting a particular inverter that’s designed to continue the energy supply from the panels even when the grid is down. So whenever the power is out, you just need to switch on the junction box which is connected to the inverter. After the inverter checks if there’s enough voltage coming from the panels, power is then passed on from the panel to the junction box. Then you can plug in the necessary appliances!
Another solution, especially if you’re living in a relatively windy area, is a wind generator or wind turbine. It is composed of propeller-like blades which are run by the wind. Then this kinetic energy (wind) goes through a generator shaft and are converted into electric energy. An average-sized turbine with 3.6 Megawatts can power around 3,000 households! But of course, you’d only need a small one at home so a few several tens of kilowatts will suffice. Like solar panels, these also come at a costly price. But considering the clean energy you’re emitting to the environment, I would say it’s an excellent long-term investment.
Choosing the best power back up option really depend on your preference. Mostly several factors are at stake like budget, installation, home area, appliance usage, environment, or frequency and duration of blackouts. But whatever type of generator you choose, you can be sure that you’ll never have to worry about power outages again. It’s a smart idea to always have a backup power on standby whenever an electricity crisis emerges. And how extremely amusing would that be; being the only household with the television on?