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.
This area gets tropical storms and hurricanes. It can take a long time to get power back.
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.
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.
blackspanielgallery, What do you connect your computer to during a power outage?
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. :)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.