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Old 09-21-2017, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
4,867 posts, read 6,766,150 times
Reputation: 5310

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I live in a condo and we lost power during Irma for only about 14 hours or so but it got me to rethink the generator idea. I thought about a Honda portable which seems to be among the quietest and most reliable but, even so, probably not the best choice for a condo. I've seen these "solar generators" which are basically large battery/inverters that can recharge using one or several solar panels. My goal is to be able to run a fridge for several hours during the day and then run a couple of fans, some LED lights, a laptop, charge phones, etc. at night.

There are several positives and negatives with each approach but the Honda generator can be much less money depending on the capacity of the battery. Anyone out there have first-hand experience with a solar generator?
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:20 AM
 
85 posts, read 17,927 times
Reputation: 71
For what to run a light bulb, 12w?
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:57 AM
 
6,971 posts, read 8,557,297 times
Reputation: 3355
You would need a huge roof and powerwalls. If money isn't an issue, Tesla/solarcity will tile your roof and install powerwalls
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:58 AM
 
Location: NJ
53 posts, read 27,891 times
Reputation: 52
Funny you mentioned Solar generators one of my co-workers just mentioned it this morning and was going to look into them to see what he could run and for how long he could use it... My dad has a gas Honda, which he has had for 15 yrs in DR and it runs like new.


Upon checking online saw a solar one that can run fridge for 2k
Solar Power Generator 1250


Unlike noisy, gas-powered models that must be kept outdoors, our exhaust-free generator is safe for indoor use and silently creates ample electricity to power your critical appliances. The 1,250-watt battery can be charged via a standard outlet or by two 30-watt solar panels - so you never have to worry about running out of power.
  • Back up critical appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, and home health care equipment during power outages
  • Fully-charged 1250-watt battery powers a refrigerator for up to two days, a television for 35 hours or a laptop for up to 30 hours
  • Silent power generation
  • Safe to operate indoors - no fumes or fuel to store
  • Rated for continuous duty
  • Easy to use and monitor performance
  • Scalable and goes where you want
  • LCD panel shows the wattage coming into and going out
  • Recharges via AC in 16 hours to ensure preparedness before a power failure
  • Includes two 30-watt monocrystalline solar panels that charge the generator to full capacity in 20 to 40 hours

Last edited by snoop424; 09-21-2017 at 10:06 AM.. Reason: More info
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Winter Garden, FL
262 posts, read 78,590 times
Reputation: 189
Since you're in a condo your options are limited.

If you have the space in your unit (Say 3' wide, 4' tall and 6" off the wall per unit) you can go with a Tesla PowerWall system. You can lower your power demand or extend your run time by taking your high power items (A/C, Electric Oven, electric hot water heater, electric clothes dryer and etc) out of the equation (Flip the breaker or move them to a separate panel thats not powered by the batteries)

Unfortunately you won't be able to install the solar panels required to recharge this system as they would need to be placed on the roof or large portion of a yard which are considered common areas and not owned by you.

In lieu of the above, you can go to your condo association to see if they would allow you to have a generator transfer switch installed where your meter is located, along with permission to place a generator in this general location. This would give you 30Amps of power to your unit, without having to run extension cords everywhere while keeping the generator(s) in a location that is generally out of site/sound from others.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:23 AM
 
Location: USA
4,480 posts, read 4,477,916 times
Reputation: 2672
No. Gasoline is the only viable option until Di-Lithium crystal technology is invented.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:32 AM
 
2,380 posts, read 1,414,604 times
Reputation: 1777
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot1 View Post
No. Gasoline is the only viable option until Di-Lithium crystal technology is invented.
Here you go...Scotty approved!

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Old 09-21-2017, 02:58 PM
 
6,971 posts, read 8,557,297 times
Reputation: 3355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot1 View Post
No. Gasoline is the only viable option until Di-Lithium crystal technology is invented.
Wrong. At least if you have roof space for solar and can afford a enough Tesla powerwalls

https://www.engadget.com/2016/11/22/...n-solar-power/
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
4,867 posts, read 6,766,150 times
Reputation: 5310
The condo I live in is probably what most of you would think of as a townhouse so we have a 2 car garage with a driveway and a backyard with a lanai. Putting up a panel or two won't be a problem. The battery is very portable. The issue is capacity for the money. OTOH, a Honda generator requires a lot of gas for any period of time. As I indicated, there are trade offs. I'm not looking to replace my electric company...just want an emergency source of power for limited purposes.

This is an example of what I was talking about....

Heavy duty solar generators & solar panels - Goal Zero
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Winter Garden, FL
262 posts, read 78,590 times
Reputation: 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbronston View Post
The condo I live in is probably what most of you would think of as a townhouse so we have a 2 car garage with a driveway and a backyard with a lanai. Putting up a panel or two won't be a problem. The battery is very portable. The issue is capacity for the money. OTOH, a Honda generator requires a lot of gas for any period of time. As I indicated, there are trade offs. I'm not looking to replace my electric company...just want an emergency source of power for limited purposes.

This is an example of what I was talking about....

Heavy duty solar generators & solar panels - Goal Zero
For true solar - Still likely won't be permitted (Are you responsible for repairs to your roof or exterior structure?).

As far as what you linked - One panel provides 100 watts of power (Assuming the sun is out, optimal positioning and operation), so you would need 10 panels to either provide power or recharge the before its depleted (Note - the unit linked only supports 4 panels)

You would need to utilize one of the two higher watts per hour units (A refrigerator alone uses 800+ watts)

So $4500 (Battery/Inverter and 10x panels which isn't even supported by this unit) to hopefully power a refrigerator and maybe charge a few devices a few days after the storm has passed (Solar panels can't operate without the sun and the rain bands usually linger for a day or two).

If you're looking for an emergency source of power then your portable generator with transfer switch will give you 30 Amps of power (Upwards of 3500 watts), otherwise look into a solution such as a Generac unit to power specific circuits or the entire home.

Assuming a 100% load consumes 1 gallon of gas for every 1.5 hours (Check your make/model and load %) you are looking at 16 gallons of gas per day, or $44 bucks per day at 2.75/gallon....heck of a lot cheaper than $4500 IMO...so stock up on 2-3 days worth of fuel and have at it (don't forget oil as well), by the time you run low on fuel gas stations should be opening again for you to resupply if needed.
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