Home with Dean Sharp

Home with Dean Sharp

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Emergency Power

Generators and solar backup batteries are important safety equipment during natural disasters or during any power outage (which is happening more and more).

Having a home generator will allow you to keep on lights, important appliances and essential medical equipment.

There’s no “right” emergency power source. Only the right one for you.

No matter what system you go with you’ll need to know at least three essentials:

  1. Add up the wattage of what you want to operate.
  2. Consider sound
  3. Choose your fuel or fuels.

Emergency Power - 4 choices

  • Solar Backup Battery - ie: Tesla Powerwall - The Rolls Royce set up. The average U.S. household will use roughly 30 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per day and the Tesla PowerWall can deliver some 13.5 kWh of capacity. Thus a very simple answer would be, if you purchased two PowerWalls, you could pretty much run your home for an entire day with nothing but battery support. As of January 2021, the total cost of installing one Tesla Powerwall battery system is +/- $12,000. The battery itself is $9000. Install is the balance.The Tesla Powerwall has a built-in inverter and a fairly standard power output of 5 kW, so it can power things such as lights, electrical outlets, and small 120-volt appliances. Anything larger than that will require additional Powerwalls to run.  What really makes the Powerwall stand out is its three operating modes: 
    • Solar Self-Consumption
    • Time-Based Control
    • Backup Power
  • Whole House Backup Generator - natural gas - Great if the gas stays on
    • Fully automatic and self sufficient
    • Well protected from weather but not necessarily sound insulated.
    • At least 50% less than solar batteries. Or cheaper.
    • Control cost by choosing the whole house or selected circuits.
  • Portable Generator
    • Can be single fuel (gasoline), dual fuel (gasoline/propane) or twi-fuel (gasoline/propane/natural gas)
    • “Portable“ can be slightly misleading when a generator weighs 150 pounds.
    • Again … sound
    • Not necessarily “clean” power
  • Portable RV inverter generator - gasoline or dual fuel. Inverter generators are more energy efficient thanks to how the final AC current is produced. The engine of an inverter generator automatically adjusts to the load which a conventional portable generator cannot do. The greater fuel efficiency of inverter generators allows for smaller fuel tanks. Greater energy efficiency means less fuel is need for similar run times and so the fuel tank can be smaller, as well.The difference in power is often the deciding factor between an inverter generator and conventional generator. Where inverter generators have an average power of 1200 watts to 4000 watts, conventional portable generators can reach over 10,000 watts.
    • Truly portable - Most inverter generators weigh less than 100 pounds. It is common for an inverter generator to only weigh around 40 – 60 pounds.
    • Many inverter generators produce around 54 – 58 decibels of noise. This is far quieter than most conventional generators which tend to produce 64 decibels or more.
    • Manufacturers try to make up for the lower power output of inverter generators by installing a parallel connection. With a parallel connection, two separate inverter generators (of the same model) can be connected to deliver double the amount of power.
    • As of now, conventional portable generators don’t offer the parallel connection. Considering they are already more powerful and less portable, it is not a surprise.

Make ANY generator set up easy by installing a Manual Transfer Switch!!

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

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