Power backup ideas

Yesterday my power was off for 7 hours. I survived. I thought maybe my setup would help others come up with ideas to protect themselves too.
Of course there are generators, but they are quite expensive if your power outages are rare.
I use a 12V deep discharge battery and a wall-wart trinkle charger. I have a little 12V oscillating fan and a small 12V flouresent light unit. So far this has worked well for me, even in the 90 degree + temperature inside yesterday. When you are old as I am the very heavy battery is hard to move around so plan its home and your usual power outage retreat to be close.
Perhaps if you have no power backup you might consider something like this. The battery is by far the most expemsive item.
--
I love a good meal! That's why I don't cook.







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On 8/26/2017 12:59 PM, KenK wrote:

I bought my generator and had transfer panel installed over 10 years ago but would be interested in today's offerings that can do the whole house with a generator that does not have the capacity to handle all in the house. I do not think these systems are super expensive. I could live with short outages with flashlights and batteries and even well not pumping water but outages over a day in extremely cold weather can make the home tough to live in. Also over half day lack of refrigeration leads to food spoilage.
A few years ago when hurricane remnants were rampant you could not find a generator to buy but after the storm was gone you might be able to buy a returned one at half price.
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The first time I drove my truck up near the house, ran 2 inverters off of the battery and every once in a while I started the truck to recharge the battery. After that I made this to top up a battery.
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/redneck_power.jpg
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On 8/26/2017 12:33 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

  I bought a 5500 watt generator and charged it off to the small business I was running at the time . I used it to power my MIG welder to do on-site installs/modifications to AC security cages . I use it now to back feed my main panel from the shop panel when our power goes out - but only if it's for more than half a day (their estimates are usually pessimistic , but if they say 3 days ...) . I can run everything but the 40 gallon main water heater . And it has enough hot water for 3-4 showers and we have a POU unit for the kitchen sink and dishwasher .
  --
  Snag
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

bit and found generators for service trucks but nothing like I remember seeing in the magazine. ?(?)?

Years ago there was plenty of room under the hood of most cars. Now it looks like just one chunk of stuff. No room for ahything that was not put in at the factory. Maybe the trucks have more room.
The smaller , say about 5 kw generators are not all that expensive, but the HF 700 watt unit is good for a few LED or CFL lamps and a small TV. It does not use all that much gas either.
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On Sat, 26 Aug 2017 11:38:25 -0700 (PDT), Uncle Monster

They used to sell a regulator you could put on a car alternator that put out 120v AC but at a very high frequency. It would run "universal" motors (typically ones with brushes) or regular lights. I suppose it also would work with wide mouth switching power supplies like new electronics use. I looked for a regulator or just a hack to make my little alternator backup machine put out 40v or so that would charge my golf cart. That is a big pack of deep cycle batteries that could be used in an emergency. So far, no joy on that. I can still use my machine to charge the batteries 2 at a time. Since then I did get a regular 5500w generator that I have never used in 6 years. It is still in the box.
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I'm not sure if it's true or not - I once heard that after years of un-use - the magnets < field magnets ? > can lose their magnetic-ness or sumpthin'
http://www.engineersedge.com/motors/generator_field_flashing.htm
So your unused engine might still work fine but the generator won't.
John T.
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On Sun, 27 Aug 2017 07:14:38 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

I am aware of flashing the generator.
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On Sun, 27 Aug 2017 07:14:38 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

SOMETIMES they require a re-flash - but generally not from sitting. More likely from improper shut-down. (Shutting of the generator under full load is almost guaranteed to yield a dead generator).
Different methods for brush type and brushless excitation - Be carefull!!
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Mine has run out of gas a few times under load < probably not full load > with no issues. I do try to catch it and shut down before this happens .. ... not sure about the excitation on my Honda EM5000 ? ps: I once worked at the 25 Hz generating station at the foot-of-the-Falls .. Niagara that is - the exciters were the size of a bloated 45 gallon drum ; the governors were on the mezzanine above - powered by a huge long flat belt - quite-the-classroom ! John T.
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On Sun, 27 Aug 2017 03:53:45 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Those kits did NOT put out high frequency AC. They did not bypass the diodes, as doing so would produce 3 Phase AC. I installed quite a few of them over the years. My Sas used them on his trucks to run the drill to do electrical rough-ins on houses where grid power was not available. They only worked on cetsin alternators with external regulators as what they did was disconnect the output ftom the vehicle, redirecting it to the attatched outlet, anf full-fielding the alternator. There was no regulator involved (at least on the BellTronics units) and voltage regulation was by adjusting the throttle. There was a voltmeter on the unit and an adjustable throttle block - basically a stick between either the seat or the steering wheel and the accellerator that was adjustable. A vernier throttle cable (newfy cruise control) was available as an option.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com posted for all of us...

There is a battery place near me that services medical backup systems. The batteries are replaced on a yearly basis. They are tested and sold for a quarter of the price IIRC.
--
Tekkie

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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com says...

Harbor Freight has a small generator for about $ 90 when on sale, or use the 20% off coupond they put out every week.
It is suppose to be good for 700 watts and run for several hours off the gas before refilling.
I bought one as I have an electric pole saw and wanted to power it away from the house. Look at the Youtube videos on them.
You can mount it on a small dolly or use a hand truck to move it if you think it is too heavy.
Sometimes they seem hard to start, so you may want to get a can of starter fluid .
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Buy a cheap digital voltmeter and check the battery voltage while it is charging.
If it goes much above 13.8 Volts and you leave it that way 24/7, it will loose water.
The better trickle chargers regulate to 13.8V or less.
If it is much below 13.5V 24/7 the battery will sulfate.
The float voltage is critical for long shelf life.
m
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

Measured it yesterday. 12.9 to 13.0 volts DC on battery terminals.
To avoid sulfation I assume I need a new charger. Trouble is, who knows what the output voltage will really be? Can't trust package or ad info on line. Too late to find out after I unwrap it and plug it in. I suppose I could buy a big fancy expensive charger with output voltage control, if such a thing exists. <sigh>
--
I love a good meal! That's why I don't cook.







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is there no load on it?
let it sit a few days and see if the voltage comes up.
If the battery was discharged and the charger is small, it can take a while for the voltage to come up,,,, a while..... as in days.
m
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

Just the battery.

Nope. as of 9/4 still 12.9 to 13 VDC on the bettery terminals.

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On Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 12:54:07 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:

Not clear exactly the whole situation here. But the smart battery tenders have charging algorithms and are not simply dumb trickle chargers like they were years ago. I think they raise the voltage to charge, then when fully charged they back off and monitor, then charge again when and if needed. MEaning what you see there isn't necessarily static. Have you pulled up the specs on whatever the actual charger is and how it's supposed to operate?
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or

a

The charger is a Deltran Battery Tender Junior which you mentioned in another post.
The manual doesn't mention the voltage used for charging, that I can find, only the current (which I don't recall off-hand).
You say it is a well-respected bramd so I suppose I should stop worrying and let it do its thing.
--
I love a good meal! That's why I don't cook.







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On Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 2:05:12 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:

yep if its a smart charger, it might just be in the do nothing mode which is fine if the battery is charged.
m
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