Imagine having no power in your home for an entire day. Food items may not go bad within that one day, but if you go for more than three days without power. The likely result would be that your food will start to go bad.
This is not all, a day without power is bearable for some people, for others not so much. But, even the most tolerant of people can get frustrated, stressed and angry if they are without power for days. Knowing that you cannot charge your smartphone, or watch your favorite TV show because there is no power can be quite depressing.
But, it is unfortunate that so many people do not prepare in advance in case of a power outage. Setting up a backup power supply not only ensures that your home remains secure, especially if you have installed alarm systems, you are also guaranteed that none of your perishables will go bad.
Did you know that there are certain medications that require refrigeration? If you lose your normal power and you do not have a backup power source, and you have a loved one that depends on that medication, then that becomes a problem. Medication that is meant to be kept in cold storage becomes ineffective and even dangerous if kept at room temperature.
The portable backup power generator is extremely useful also in camping and outdoors, or for example when you are building survival shelter where power is not available. the generator makes it possible to use electric tools in such locations.
Of course in a real survival situation, TV-shows does not matter, but there are thousands of other reasons to have a backup power source. So, let’s take a look at the types of backup generators that are available.
What types of generators are available?
Before we go into detail about the different types of generators that are there, you need to know that generators are categorized into two main categories: permanent generators and portable generators.
The difference between the two is, a portable generator is great when the power requirements are not high. They are handy when you need to power your home and some small home appliances. They are easy to carry and take to survival shelter and camping etc. However, they do not run for more than 12 hours without refueling. In a real survival situation, you might need put on ratios your electricity and fuel the generator uses. You can switch the generator on only when you need electricity for example for HAM radio or loading batteries etc.
Permanent or stationary generators unlike portable generators run 24/7 and are used when the power requirements are high. They are ideal for powering hospitals, schools, and your home’s electric systems. The only setback with permanent generators is that they are much more expensive than portable generators – and usually are too large to transport.
Gasoline generators are the most commonly used generators, mainly because they use gasoline which is readily available and cheaper than propane or diesel. The only problem with gasoline is that you cannot store too much of it, mainly because it has a short shelf-life, but more importantly, it is highly flammable. So, you definitely do not want to store large quantities of gasoline in your house.
Most gasoline generators are portable, which is a good thing, but they are noisy and have a short life span. They also take time to start when temperatures are low.
Diesel is less flammable and has a longer shelf-life than gasoline. Diesel generators unlike gasoline generators are more efficient and have a longer lifespan if they are maintained properly. They are also inexpensive to operate, although they are more expensive than gasoline generators.
Another advantage diesel generators have over gasoline generators is that they start easily in low temperatures and they are quieter. However, diesel does not have a long shelf-life and it is also expensive to store large quantities of it.
Store diesel in a dry place because when it comes into contact with moisture, it will become unusable. Diesel generators are much heavier than gasoline generators, so they are not easily portable.
Propane lasts a lot longer than diesel or gasoline fuels. It also burns a lot cleaner. You can store large quantities of propane, but it needs to be stored properly because it is highly flammable.
Propane generators start easily in low temperatures. They are affordable and generally, last longer than diesel and gasoline generators. They are also quieter. The downside of propane generators is that they are quite expensive to operate.
Natural Gas Generators
Natural gas is cleaner and more efficient compared to other unrenewable fuels. It is also less expensive than other fuels.
Natural gas generators are very quiet, efficient and produce little waste. However, since natural gas is generated onsite, the generators must remain stationary. Another disadvantage of natural gas generators is that the installation costs are quite high because they must be attached to gas lines.
Hydrogen generators are not very common or readily available like other types of generators, but they are environmentally friendly. They are portable, safe and easy to refuel since hydrogen is readily available and affordable.
Solar and Wind Power Generators
Solar and wind power generators are a great alternative if you do not want to use fuel-powered generators. Since the wind and solar power are both used to generate electricity, all you need is a generator to connect to your system and you have power.
Dual Fuel Powered Portable Generators
There is also dual fuel powered portable power generators available. Those can use either, for example, gasoline and natural gas. This is maybe the best solution for a portable emergency power source as it is not dependable only of one type of fuel. Read Sportsman GEN2000DF Dual-Fuel Powered Portable Generator Review.
If you are installing a generator yourself, you need to have some knowledge about the makeup of a generator. Get to know the components of a generator and what each component does. For instance, generators that run on fuel have an engine where the energy is captured and stored, and an alternator which converts this energy into electricity.
When it comes to setting up your generator, think about the quality of the connectors. Portable generators that can produce just enough power to run a few household appliances can be connected using extension cords. However, if you are using a generator that produces a lot of power enough to run household electronics, you need to use a heavy-duty cord that will not overheat. Otherwise, using a poor quality cord increases the risk of your house catching fire.
Whatever type of generator you choose, make sure that you know how to use it! Especially, if it is portable model, you need to test it, for example pay attention to how many watts is the output. And if it uses gasoline, be sure that you don’t run it indoors or without proper ventilation as running generator’s gasoline / diesel engine generates toxic carbon dioxide.
Ultimately, having a backup power source can only be a good thing. You may choose to install a wind power or solar power system as a backup, but sometimes even these systems do fail. So have a backup for your backup. Being energy sufficient is extremely important in case things go bad.
Hopefully, you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please post them here. Find out more interesting info about preparing for survival situations. and off-grid energy solutions and preparedness.