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Friday, February 18, 2011

Emergency power backup on the cheap

With the recent outbreak of good weather it is time I catch up on some things on my list to get done.With Hurricane season a few months away I decided to put together my poor mans battery backup.It's nothing fancy but will suit the purpose of keeping my chest freezer running as well as a few lights, tv & laptop. I started with a old plastic container with a hinged lid, mounted a piece of plywood inside for strength & a place to mount the inverter.
I bought a 1500 watt inverter from Sam's a few years ago that I used once for a
hurricane emergency backup ,I think I paid about 75 bucks for it.

I was fortunate enough to get 2- 12 volt batteries that came out of a commercial alarm system from a Buddy that works in that business.(Thanks Nate) They are rated at 75amp hours each.

A trip to harbor freight to get some additional terminals to tie in the batteries and a power strip mounted on the outside for easy access & it's done.And less than a hundred bucks so far.

I hooked up the shed to test it out and all appears well.Sometime in the future I will drag it in the house and test the run time with the freezer and some lights hooked up.

I have been having a coupon for $100 off on the 45watt solar panel setup At Harbor Frieght so I picked up a set.

Next I have to decide if I want to assemble and mount the solar panels. so far I have still spent less than $250. I think I'll wait because I have another coupon for 90 bucks off another set of panels and I will just have to remount the array of panels again.
I also was thinking to just keep the batteries on trickle charge and leave the panels boxed up.Since I want to mainly use this for emergency backup I don't want them damaged in a storm.
Also if I do decide to mount them I will want the panels on some kind of mount that tracks the sun for max charge time.So I guess I still have some tweaking to do but if something comes up I still have options if the generator fails, but isn't that what prepping is all about,being prepared.......

Prep on all......................................................

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hann said...

Since batteries generate DC power and your appliances may need AC current, an inverter is necessary. For the materials methods involved in how to build a solar power generator, you will have to look into retailed goods. A solar power systems may be bought from vehicle and retails stores.

Joel the K said...

That is outstanding Rhino! I too will build a reserve power station. Thanks for posting this. I been saving up for the Harbor Freight 3x15watt solar panels as well. I am going to store mine in a Faraday cage. I feel our planet is due for a monster EMP hit from our local star sometime in the next 22 months. Here is a good way to test a Faraday box: put a cell phone inside of it, and call the cell phone with another telephone. If your Faraday box is tight, the cell phone will not ring. Great post Rhino.

Rhino said...

thanks Joel

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