A Power Backup System Will Help Get Through a Prolonged Power Outage

by blackspanielgallery

After a storm knocks out power, it is important to get an alternate power source activated. There are several options, including solar panels, wind turbines, and generators.

Occasionally we must get through a power outage, and these can last for days. Power outages can be caused by weather, especially storms. High winds can bring down power lines, and ice can add weight to tree branches until they break and fall across power lines. So, how will you provide alternate power after such a storm? Will you use solar power, wind power, or will you use an electrical generator?

So, there are different kinds of power backup are available? Different sources of alternate power have advantages, and disadvantages. Perhaps it is best to have multiple sources of alternate power. Different people have different needs. Those with medical equipment might opt to having a backup power supply to the backup power supply.

Alternate Power

What Are the Options to Alternate Power Supply Systems?

Solar power is nice if the sun is out.  This might solve your power supply in the daylight hours, provided there is no cloud cover, and if there is no snow on the roof.  Remember, solar panels work only if the sunlight can reach them.


Home use windmills are another option, although these smaller versions of large windmills are not seen very often.  If the power outage was caused by an ice storm, after the front moves past it is likely the weather will be clear in a high pressure system.  And, in the center of a high pressure system the winds drop and calm conditions occur.  This is not suitable for operating a windmill.


Gasoline Generators are another option, provided there is no widespread power outage.  In a widespread power outage you might have difficulty pumping gasoline to power your generator.


Gas generators are good as long as there is a gas supply.  If you are not served by natural gas, relying on purchased gas in tanks, or a large tank you have filled, might be a problem, especially if travel is not possible.


Backup Battery

Reliable Alternate Power for a Time

A good backup battery capable of alternating current output can get you through a power outage, provided you have a way to recharge the battery.  Yes, you can charge it prior to the emergency, but that will get you only so far.  If you have solar panels you might be able to use them to recharge the battery.  But, that takes planning ahead.  I have a special outlet connected to my solar panels that allows me to use them to recharge my backup battery. 


Backup Battery

Power Source
AUDEW 60000mAh/220Wh Powerhouse Portable Generator Power Source with 110V/60HzMax 200W AC Silent ...

Specifications: - Color:Black - Capacity: 60000mAh,3.7V/220Wh - Dimentsion(LWH): 24x8.6x14cm - Weight: about 2.5kg - Built-in Battery: High Quality Lithium Polymer Batteries - I...

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Portable Solar Panels

Backup Battery and Converter Make a Solar Panel Possible as an Emergency Power Source

Solar panels on the roof work, but they are expensive.  Fortunately, there are portable solar panels available, which serve in an emergency and also work on camping trips.  A solar panel collects electrons that the sunlight dislodges.  The problem is the appliances in a home use alternating current, and need to be run at night. 


The refrigerator and the freezer protect your food supply, and must be kept cold.  The way around both the need for alternating current, and the need for current at night is met with a battery.  The battery is charged during the day, and can operate some appliances after the sun goes down.  But, not any battery will do.  You need a battery that has a converter from direct current to alternating current.  In fact, you would run your appliances through the battery in the day as well, even while the solar panel charges the battery.


Why would you use the battery in the day?  A solar panel operates while the sun is out, but one cloud temporarily cuts it off.  You do not need appliances turning on and off in short time spans.  The battery keeps the power on while the solar panel is not converting sunlight into electricity.  The appliances operate smoothly because of the battery.  And, the power can be converted to alternating current if the battery is properly chosen.


This will not run your entire house, but will keep the critical appliances operating.  In fact, my backup battery has a problem with operating anything with a battery, so your computer might not be a good thing to connect to your backup battery.  Check your particular system limitations.  Buy a kit and know you have all the needed parts.

Portable Solar Panels

and Generator
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels

Whether you are working and recreating off-grid or experiencing a power outage, the Yeti 1250 Kit offers the power to get it done. It's silent, safe, and easy to use--indoors or...

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Home Windmill

Wind Turbine System

Windmills are now available for home use.  They can generate power if there is wind.  But, just as with solar panels, there is a need for a backup battery for periods when the wind drops too low.  Some of tese are light weight, and can be easily handled.  And, many are rated for very low wind speeds.

Home Windmill

Power Generating System
BestEquip 400 Watt Wind Turbine DC12V Wind Turbine Kit 800RPM Wind Turbine Generator with 20A Hyb...

400 Watt Wind Turbine DC12V Wind Turbine Kit 800RPM Wind Turbine Generator with 20A Hybrid Controller Perfect for Green Windmill Home and Business This is a 400 watts wind turbi...

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Battery Use

Why Is a Battery Needed During a Power Failure?

Both solar power and wind turbines, if mounted for full time use, need to be phase matched with commercial power, and operate in a manner that commercial power automatically augments their output when they are not producing adequate power.  In a power failure, there is no commercial power.  The alternate system utilizes a battery to keep the power supplied at a normal level. 


In both solar power and wind power there is a need to disconnect from the commercial power during an outage.  This requires professional installation initially.  Back charging the power grid is hazardous to those who come in contact with the wires, including repair personnel

Portable Gasoline Generator

A Great Power Source

A portable generator is an excellent source of alternate power.  But, the generator often requires gasoline and motor oil.  As long as gasoline is available a portable generator that burns gasoline is an excellent choice.  However, keep it outdoors due to toxic gas emissons.  On the positive side this is a cheap alternate power source.

Gasoline Generator

Cheap Backup Power Source
WEN 56180, 1500 Running Watts/1800 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator, CARB Compliant

Remember when you had a compact and lightweight portable power generator? The WEN 1800-Watt Portable Generator provides reliable power whenever and wherever you need it. With 18...

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Gas Generator

Great Alternate Power Source

If you have gas service, and it is not subject to failure during a power outage a gas operated generator is ideal.  These are expensive, but are a good reliable option for an emergency source of power.  And, one of these can be inexpensive.


Even if you have no gas service, gas can be purchased.  Propane is readily available.  Just have enough to make it through the emergency.


Gas Powered Generator

Propane Generator
Sportsman GEN2000DF, 1400 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Dual Fuel Powered Portable Generator

Ideal for tailgating or camping, the Sportsman Series 2000 Watt Dual Fuel Generator has the power and flexibility to handle the task. This generator runs on either unleaded gaso...

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Limit Power Consumption

Resources May Be Limited

Alternate power often comes in limited supply, unless you buy numerous batteries.  So, conserve usage of electrical power as much as possible, and divert as much from the battery as is possible, if one is used.


Supplement with LED lighting that uses small batteries, not your main power supply battery.  Find a hand can opener and buy it.  And use a battery operated radio or television for information.  Make your backup battery last and get through several days of power outage if necessary.


Also remember, solar and wind power is green power.  Do not neglect the environment just because there is an emergency.


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Updated: 10/26/2019, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 06/30/2017

This area gets tropical storms and hurricanes. It can take a long time to get power back.

blackspanielgallery on 06/30/2017

DerdriuMarrner: I do have a battery in the computer, and I can use my one solar panel outlet. I have a solar panel system on the roof.

frankbeswick on 06/30/2017

There is much to commend the North West weatherwise. While we are not warm, we do not suffer bad snows or the worst storms. Unlike the drought-prone south-east and east we have enough rain. Of course, South Lancashire is flat as a pancake and so the winds when they come have no obstacles to their progress.

As for the Isles of Scilly! When scientists were grading the seas round Britain on a scale of one up to ten, when they dealt with Scilly they decided to rate the seas round the isles as able to reach eleven!

What made me think was when the Shetland Isles some years ago suffered an outage due to a winter storm. Once the populace would have relied on oil lamps and candles, but many had given them up to rely exclusively on mains power, and so had no back up plans for an outage. We all need a back-up strategy.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/30/2017

blackspanielgallery, What do you connect your computer to during a power outage?

Veronica on 06/30/2017

Topographically that would make sense as Cornwall and Scotland are jutting out and also the Scilly Isles have no protection either. I always knew we lived in the best place. :)

frankbeswick on 06/30/2017

Veronica, I cannot remember a storm-induced outage in the North West, where we live, but there have been outages in Scotland and the South West; and also the great storm of 1987 produced outages in London. Flooding, to which our isle is increasingly prone, will cause outages anywhere.

You are right in thinking that Ireland takes the brunt of the weather that would otherwise come to the middle parts of Britain. The worst of the weather crosses Ireland and low lying Anglesey [and my grandson!] but hits mountainous mainland Wales. But Scotland and Cornwall are not protected by Ireland, so they can be quite stormy. Apparently the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast, can get some fierce Atlantic storms

dustytoes on 06/30/2017

I've lived through prolonged power outages in New England and Florida... not fun at all. At least in New England I had a wood stove to heat me up and to cook on. The heat in Florida is horrible without some way to cool off.
Yeti makes a generator? Interesting.

Veronica on 06/30/2017

Here in the NW we occasionally lose some roof tiles or bins will be blown over in a storm of up to 74 mph. I can't imagine how bad it is to have an actual outage because of a storm. We have outages very occasionally if some road works cut through a cable or something but otherwise this is new and fascinating to me.

We certainly don't get many storms in Cheshire as Ireland and Wales would get it first from the Atlantic and then it eases off.

blackspanielgallery on 06/30/2017

when a hurricane topples poles over a large area crews are sent from other areas to help. Still, there is so much work it can take days. The same is true for ice storms. They bring down branches and snap power lines over a large area. which also takes time for restoration.

Veronica on 06/30/2017

What an interesting concept! I don't ever recall having a storm induced power outage in UK although I am sure my oldest brother will no doubt correct me on that one. Maybe we are sheltered from the very worst storms by Ireland getting them first.

The windmill and solar power appeal to me from an environmental point of view.

Great information. Thank you for posting.

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