Power outages can happen at any time and more and more homeowners are turning to backup power systems for that assurance of continuous power. A backup power system can provide a home with power during grid and severe weather conditions. There are many different kinds of backup power system one can choose from and they offer many different advantages as well as disadvantages.
A portable generator has a power range of 500 – 17,500 watts. They usually run on gasoline, diesel, or propane. An advantage of a portable generator is its portability which means there is no need for a professional to install it at home. The disadvantage of this generator is its limited runtime, usually 6 to 14 hours. It needs to be refueled regularly. A portable generator is also quite noisy, needing to be operated outside. It has no auto start which means one has to take it out and manually turn it on. And lastly, it requires constant maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
A standby generator is permanently installed and wired at home. It runs on diesel, propane, or natural gas. Its power output range is between 6000 to 100,000 watts. This is the best option to have if the homeowner wants to provide power to the entire home. One huge advantage of a standby generator is its autostart option; the generator comes on immediately when power runs out. And it can run indefinitely when connected to the natural gas line. Its downside is its cost. This type will also need to be professionally installed and wired.
Battery Backup Systems
Power critical appliances can benefit from a battery backup. It can be permanently installed in homes and has a power output range between 5000 and 10,000 watts. A battery power back up can automatically start during a power outage. It requires little or no maintenance and runs quietly. It is one of the best quite generators for home use. The downside is its limited runtime. A battery backup will usually run between 2 hours for smaller units to 12 hours for bigger, more expensive ones. In choosing a battery backup, it’s wise to look for a sealed deep cycle battery and a temperature compensated charger with a trickle mode to avoid battery overheating.
Solar panels are gaining popularity recently. More and more researches about increased photovoltaic efficiency are coming out every couple of months. Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight into electricity and store it in a battery bank. Solar panels produce energy most efficiently during bright days. It can power a stand-alone appliance like an AC or a fridge, or it can be connected to the house wiring. A huge advantage of solar panels is its use of renewable energy. It runs quietly with almost no maintenance. Solar is the best quite generators for home use. Also, incentives are given to homes with this system because solar panels give back power to the grid on good days when it produces more energy than the house requires or the battery can store. However, this system is quite expensive and needs professionals to install all components.
A wind turbine converts wind energy into electric energy. This system usually includes a battery bank, charger and grid tie DC-AC inverter with an auto transfer switch. Wind turbines are primarily used in rural areas. This system uses renewable energy. The government also offers incentives to homeowners who have this installed in their homes. Like solar panels, wind turbines give back to the power grid on good, windy days when it can produce abundant power supply. Its limiting factor is its cost as it requires many components. It also needs a tall tower to mount the blades. It has a limited run time too, depending on the battery bank’s capacity.