A few days ago I started a thread titled "superoversized alternators"
on m.s. and a.h.r. My question was how to use an alternator from my
pickup truck as al alternative source of emergency power. I do have a
diesel generator but it is broken and I need to spend time on it. I
suspect that I am missing something trivial with the generator as it
looks great and is military surplus bought directly from military.
My primary need for power during power outages would be to supply
power to the furnace blower (nat gas), fridges, and some house
lighting and maybe TV/Radi.
My solution is as follows: I have a Ferrups FE series UPS. This is a
1.4 KVA model that has a regular gel cell lead acid 12 volt battery as
the power storage. By the way, I found that Ferrups UPS on a street,
someone simply took it out to the curb. (!)
I would keep that ferrups plugged in and charged. I will also connect
3 gauge stranded wire to the battery posts of the UPS so that the wire
can be connected to an outside 12vdc power source. If power goes out,
I would connect the furnace to the UPS by means of extension cords
(some rewiring of furance would be needed to accommodate it
safely). Then to supply more power than is stored in the 12v battery
inside the UPS, I would start my pickup, run it at idle speed, and
connect the battery posts in the truck to the 3 gauge wires I
connected to the UPS battery (see above) with a jumper cable.
Advantages of this setup:
1) Can accommodate surges of power without putting extra load on the
alternator, because the UPS itself has a reserve of power in the
2) I do not need to buy a separate large capacity inverter, will be
using what I already have
3) For brief outages, all I would need is running extension cords to a
few freestanding lights. and the furnace.
I am aware that devising means to switch the furnace to alternate
source of power, without buying a transfer switch, is tricky. I will
try to do something that is safe and to the code. My current
inclination is to supply the furnace with a 1 foot cord that would
plug into a regular outlet, or the UPS or generator's extension cord.