Tag Archive: Backup Power

  1. Backup Power Basics

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    BATTERIES VS FUEL:
    BACKUP POWER BASICS

    With the duration of power outages growing longer each year, backup power is becoming a necessity for people everywhere. Petrol and gas generators have been a mainstay in the backup power space for years and are readily available in various sizes, making them an easy solution for homeowners across the country. In the last several years, advancements in home batteries and portable power stations have made a mark on the power industry and giving a new option to those looking for power security at home.

    So, generators or batteries, how do you choose?

    GENERATORS, LARGE AND SMALL

    Traditional generators are broken into a couple different categories; small, portable inverter generators, and larger permanent installations designed for backing up homes. Both rely on moving parts to generate power from a fuel source during the combustion process. Larger generators are installed outside your home, wired into your circuits through a transfer switch, and run off piped natural gas or LPG. Although powerful, they’re significantly more expensive and require professional installation. They also come with a level of noise annoyance, harmful exhaust, and required maintenance to ensure proper working order (much like a car engine).

    Smaller, more portable generators typically range from 2000W to 4000W (2kWh to 4kWh) and are only capable of running necessary appliances during brief power outages. When running devices in a home, these portable generators must be placed outside in a well-ventilated area with extension cords to bring power inside. It’s important to never run a generator inside, or near open windows and vents due to exhaust and noise levels. These portable generators also require careful consideration for fuel storage to prevent fires.

    HOME BATTERIES AND PORTABLE POWER STATIONS

    Batteries differ from generators in the fact that they store power, they don’t produce it. They have to be plugged into an energy source, like solar panels or the grid, to collect and store power. Most home batteries and power stations rely on lithium-ion batteries, allowing for a high energy density rating and the ability for high surge capabilities through an inverter. Power stations differ from a home battery in portability; they can be wired into your home to run select circuits via a transfer switch, then unplugged and taken with you on a camping trip or tailgating party. So gas vs. Portable Power Stations, how do they compare?

    NOISE

    With little to no moving parts, power stations operate with little to no noise. Even with quiet portable generators, owners can expect at least 49dB noise level. Installed generators can be slightly lower in noise level, but still produce an audible annoyance.

    REFUELLING/RECHARGING

    Generators require a fuel source to generate energy on demand. As convenient as dumping gasoline into a tank may seem, it also requires careful storage for a long-term power solution and in some scenarios, accessing fuel can be near impossible (think gas rationing after a hurricane). Power stations store power from a source, rather than generating it on-demand, and must be recharged once internal batteries are depleted. That can range from plugging it into an outlet to collect grid power, or pairing it with a renewable source, like a solar panel, to recharge from the sun.

    RUNTIME

    Generators will run as long as needed, granted you continue to fill the tank with fuel and no mechanical issues arise. Power stations need to be recharged once their batteries run out, and in a power outage you can’t recharge them from grid power. That being said, some power stations can pair with renewable sources, like solar panels, and recharge even when the power is out.

    INDOOR/OUTDOOR

    As mentioned before, gas generators must run in a well-ventilated area due to carbon monoxide, heat, and exhaust. For homeowners with property this isn’t as big of an issue, for those living in an apartment or condo it’s a deal-breaker. A power station can run safely inside and outside, making it a viable option for those without a backyard.

    MOBILITY

    The beauty of a power station is the ability to take it with you. Portable petrol generators, albeit portable, are heavy when loaded with gasoline and require caution when moving (no one likes spilled fuel).

    MAINTENANCE AND COST

    Large and small generators require constant maintenance to ensure they’re ready to work when needed; oil changes, fuel stabilizers, and more all add to the lifetime ownership cost. Power stations should be checked and recharged on occasion, but require little in the way of maintenance and additive costs over the lifetime of the product. There are portable generators whose upfront cost may be lower than a power station, but the petrol generator requires ongoing maintenance and fuel costs.

    If you don’t mind the noise and on-going costs, then a gas/petrol generator might work for you. In most situations, a power station could be an easier (and cheaper) solution to your backup power dilemma.

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  2. HOW TO PREPARE FOR A WINTER WEATHER POWER OUTAGE

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    HOW TO PREPARE FOR A WINTER WEATHER POWER OUTAGE

    For many, winter means days spent hitting the ski slopes or diving into other outdoor snow sports. But with this adventure-filled season also comes the risk of losing power during a storm. Outages can run the gamut from a few hours in the dark to days stuck inside due to a particularly intense snow or ice storm. To ensure you and your family are prepared for any winter weather power outage, keep the following in mind.

    BUILD A BASIC EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS KIT

    No matter how great or small your risk of an emergency weather event may be, you should always have a basic emergency supply kit ready to go. This includes a first aid kit, a weatherproof radio, flashlights, batteries and critical medications. Additional supplies might include important documents such as copies of insurance policies, bank account records, and identification.

    STOCK UP ON NON-PERISHABLE FOOD AND WATER

    Non-perishable food items are the best items to store in case of a winter weather emergency. Keep three days worth of canned food, dry fruit and nut mixes, and other items that require little preparation in your pantry and aim to have one gallon of water per person per day on hand as well. Proactively shop for these items far ahead of any potential storm. As soon as the weather channel starts advising folks to stock up, grocery store shelves are often depleted faster than you’d think.

    KEEP YOUR FAMILY COMFORTABLE

    When the grid goes down and it’s cold out, staying warm can be a major concern. If you have a wood burning fireplace, store up extra wood in case your heat is knocked out and have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year. Put extra blankets, sleeping bags, and down coats in a place that is easily accessible and make sure your whole family knows where to find them.

    BE READY WITH SAFE, EASY-TO— — USE BACKUP POWER

    In the case of any emergency outage, backup power sources will help keep your family connected, comfortable, and safe. However, during the winter, gas-powered generators, heaters, and lanterns can also increase your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. To safely keep devices charged, lights on, and appliances running through a storm, be ready with the right gas-free power stations and kits to meet your power needs. Check out our emergency preparedness products and power solutions here.

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