Most of us have experienced a power outage in our lives. These outages can be caused by a lot of different things: bad weather, heat waves, or even car accidents that hit power poles. A bird or squirrel can short out a transformer causing entire neighborhoods to lose power.
Typically, power outages are relatively short lived and benign. The power being out for a few hours may not seem like such a big deal. Leave your refrigerator closed to hold in the cold, grab a blanket if it is chilly, and wait on the power to come back on.
While the “wait it out” technique may be enough for short outages, what about longer outages? When the power is out for ten or twenty hours, those groceries in the fridge aren’t going to survive.
Losing heat for a couple of hours may not be noticeable, especially since modern houses are usually insulated well enough to hold the heat in for a while. What about when a major snowstorm hits and knocks out power to whole communities? This can take days or weeks to repair. In the meantime, not having heat, lights, or refrigeration seems like a much bigger issue.
The Solution to these emergency situations is a generator, but what kind of generator should you get? For most people, a solar generator is the ideal solution.
Generators Come in Many Sizes
For most people, there is a clear need to have some sort of backup power generation in your home, but what type of generator should you get? When you are deciding on a generator for your home, it is important to establish what your needs are.
Look at your home, and what powered items you really NEED in case of outage. How many people will be charging phones? Will you need to run a laptop (or several)? Do you have a full size refrigerator, and can you get by with moving perishables to a cooler, or do you need backup power for that as well?
You should also look at your heating needs. If you are in an area with cold winters, do you have a fireplace or non powered furnace? If not, you will need some kind of space heater. You can choose a propane or kerosene heater, but if you are purchasing a generator, a more practical solution may be an electric model that won’t create any kind of ventilation concerns.
Traditional generators run on diesel or gasoline. These generators can put out a lot of power, with the drawback that they are useless without fuel. If you are concerned about the potential of severe weather stranding you without power, You should consider power generation options that do not require an outside fuel source.
Modern solar generators can produce and store power with nothing but the sun’s energy. There are some considerations that you must remember if you are using a solar generator in place of a fossil fuel generator.
Solar generators will produce power while in direct sunlight, and store it in a battery for time when the sun is out. Smaller solar generators will produce enough power to keep small electronics charged, but may not produce enough power to run your full size refrigerator or your space heaters for very long.
If you need a family sized option that can produce enough electricity to power your major appliances, with enough storage to last the night, you will need to go with a larger solar generator. A good example of this is the Patriot Power Generator. This generator can power your full sized fridge along with several accessories, and never needs any fuel other than the sun.
In summary, when selecting an emergency generator, confirm what your power needs are, and then make sure you get an emergency generator that is large enough to provide for all of those needs plus a little more for any surprises you may ha