ReganMarie - March 9, 2023
Following. We have a pretty great Generac whole house system (natural gas powered) but if the grid goes down or for whatever reason the gas supply is interrupted, the well pump won’t work and we’re out! I’m considering a solar generator for back up…something strong enough to power the well pump, fridge and hvac. Any suggestions? Or…best smaller solar system that would at least handle fridge and smaller appliances (we do have water storage). Still pretty new (and easily intimidated) at all this. Thank you!
RedneckContributor - March 10, 2023
Air conditioning pulls way too much power for any solar generator or small solar setup. If your heat is gas, then such a system could power the fans on your central heat. A refrigerator/freezer is also an energy hog.
I use my solar generators to power some basic lights & small appliances… including my CPAP. I use them to also recharge my rechargeable devices and tools. I have a smallish RV freezer that a solar generator can easily power. RV refrigerator freezers are designed to operate on low power.
As for the well, I have a Grundfos flex well pump. They are rather amazing. They can operate equally well on AC power from the grid or DC power from solar panels… no inverter (solar generator) required. Also it does not get damaged by low voltage, as normal motors will. The more voltage you give it, the more it pumps. If you direct wire a solar panel to it, it starts pumping. It’s that easy. Well pumps can be energy hogs, so by dedicating a couple of my solar panels to it, it frees up my solar generators for other uses.
Another item that can run directly off of a solar panel, with no inverter, is a heating element for a water heater. You can purchase DC elements that you would swap out during a crisis.
Dan - March 20, 2023
I agree with some of the other comments. LiFePO4 batteries are the way to go. And I agree that without a pretty serious solar array running a lot of stuff is hard.
I have tried several Solar Generators and I wrote an article about this topic (more the fridge backup than the solar part for this article but I do have the panels):
That is me setting up a generator as a UPS (most won’t act as a UPS – uninterruptible power source) but my experience with the Inergy Kodiak X2 has been excellent I wanted something that would AUTOMATICALLY power my fridge without me having to home to get it out of the garage and plug it in I wanted my wife and kids to have I easy no need to pull the fridge out and mess with wiring
i wish you luck!
M. E.Contributor - March 21, 2023
I have multiple Jackeries and have been quite happy with them. It really depends on what problem you are trying to solve. Per the thread below, mine are not strong enough to power multiple appliances (though Jackery does make one large enough to power a refrigerator, I have not yet been brave enough to buy that model because it is pretty pricey) But my Jackery500 can and has powered a CPAP for four days.
I have multiple small ones instead of one big one so that I can use them for different applications, plus charge one while using one. That has worked well for me but everyone will have different needs. So, for example, I can use my 500 to power my laptop and the wifi router downstairs while one person in my household uses the 240 upstairs for his computer and someone else uses the 160 for a cell phone and a lamp. That still leaves me with a 300 to loan to a neighbor! Because one can never have enough gear. 🙂
Edward Yosdida - March 21, 2023
The best solar panel/generator brands depend on your individual needs, budget, and location. Some of the most popular brands include SunPower, SolarEdge, LG, Renogy, and Sunrun. It’s impossible to say which one is the absolute best, so we recommend researching all of the brands to find the best fit for you.
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