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Modern society is heavily reliant on electricity. Electricity is required to power many machines and devices. As a result, it’s critical to always have a power supply. However, outages are inevitable.
✓ Natural disasters, for example, can cause power system disruptions that might force it to be shut down for weeks. In other less severe instances, outages don’t last that long. Whatever the case, they can cause serious problems. That’s why you need to consider investing in a power backup system for your home.
1. Why Is Power Backup Important?
A backup power system is a solution meant to provide electricity in the case of an outage or power supply grid fault. It engages as soon as the electricity goes off. However, although most systems activate automatically, some must be switched on manually.
Since the modern lifestyle relies heavily on electricity, power backup is essential. Wi-Fi devices, laptops, kitchen appliances, and other household gadgets require electricity, so you can’t afford to be without it for a prolonged period.
The increasing demand for electricity worldwide is putting immense pressure on the grid. Thus, the frequency of blackouts and brownouts has notably increased. But note that there’s a marked difference between a blackout vs brownout and how you should prepare for either scenario.
Blackouts are more irregular and might last for weeks. Some causes include increased power demand, changes in weather patterns, and broken power lines.
Brownouts, on the other hand, are triggered by a disruption in the power supply. As a result, they’re more transient than blackouts. During brownouts, energy continues to be transmitted via the power lines but at a reduced voltage level. The electricity company does this on purpose to prevent blackouts.
2. What Are Your Options?
There are five main types of power backup systems—each has pros and cons. Therefore, you need to evaluate them to make an informed decision.
a. Solar Plus Battery Storage Setup
✓ This system makes use of solar panels and battery technology. It means that the sun can power your home all day. Then, throughout the night, you may switch to batteries.
✓ Design and size mainly determine the efficiency of such systems. The problem with them is that they depend on whether or not the sun is shining, plus they can be quite expensive. Nonetheless, you don’t have to worry about being short on power if you have a big enough system.
b. Standby Generator
✓ A standby generator is typically the best solution to cover your base power needs. It’s fueled by gasoline and can work in almost every weather condition, unlike solar-powered systems.
✓ While the generator may need to be switched off between uses, it may still run for an extended period. However, generators require ongoing care and maintenance. Nevertheless, buy one that’s big enough to meet your electricity needs.
c. Portable Generator
✓ A portable generator that can power most of the essential items in the house would suffice for most individuals. Most homes can get by with a 3000-watt generator. If you want more power, consider upgrading to a larger model, such as a 7000-watt one. However, it’s best to speak with an expert to determine which portable generator suits you.
✓ The major downside of portable generators is that they must be regularly replenished with fuel. Also, unlike standby generators, they don’t turn on automatically. This can be inconvenient since you’ll be disrupted every time the power goes off. Therefore, such generators are only ideal if you experience temporary power cuts in your area.
d. Portable Solar Generator
✓ Portable solar generators have become popular among travellers and campers. They function similarly to a home solar system, with solar panels, an inverter, and possibly a battery. However, they’re much more compact, so you can take them wherever you go.
✓ Portable solar generators have almost the same advantages and disadvantages as household solar power systems. They’re environment-friendly, emit no harmful emissions, and don’t produce any noise. However, they’re more expensive than the standby or portable gasoline generators.
✓ The trade-off is that portable solar generators produce less power than the other backup energy options. As a result, they may only be ideal for people with low energy consumption or those who want to power just a few essential electronic gadgets, such as computers and laptops, in the event of a power outage. They can also be an excellent backup power source for boats or RV camping vans.
e. Battery-Powered Backup System
✓ Battery storage is cost-effective and power-efficient. It takes up less room than generators. Battery technology has advanced over time, and the cells used today last longer.
✓ Today, some battery backup systems can be controlled and monitored using smart technology by way of a mobile application, which can display when the batteries have engaged and how much energy they supply. Through this, you can also control the energy output.
✓ Based on the above discussion, you must choose between battery-based or generator-powered backup systems. Your final decision will depend mostly on your power requirements and budget. Nevertheless, consulting with an expert to help you decide would be helpful.
3. What’s The Right Solution For You?
✓ Each of the backup options mentioned has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it’s a matter of deciding which solution will satisfy your energy requirements in case of a short or prolonged power outage.
✓ Investing in a generator makes more sense if you live in a region prone to disasters or extended power outages. Standby generators can provide power to your home for several weeks, although they require frequent maintenance because they have many moving parts that can wear out over time.
✓ However, a battery backup system may suffice if you don’t reside in a region prone to natural disasters. The great thing about such systems is that they’re quiet. They’re also more environmentally friendly and have a longer lifespan than generators.
✓ You must carefully evaluate your options when setting up or establishing a home backup power system.
✓ The preceding article highlights key points to consider when choosing the best option for your needs.
✓ There’s no one size fits all solution; thus, you must pick one based on your specific requirements. It’d also be great to consult a professional to help you decide.