Alternative Power: When the Power Source Fails

by blackspanielgallery

Using alternative power is the environmental responsible thing to do. Unfortunately, wind dies down and night comes. How can power be kept on?

Alternative power is becoming more popular with those who are concerned about the environment. The two popular forms of alternative power are solar power and wind power, and either can provide clean energy. However, what would you do when there is no power source from your alternative power system?

This question must be answered as two questions depending on whether you are off grid or not. The details of the answers are in separate sections below.

First, night does come, and at night there is no solar power source. Moreover, clouds interrupt solar power. Second, wind power depends on enough wind to move the blades of the unit. Wind is not reliable. In the center of a high pressure system the wind can fall to calm. So, any system can have temporary stoppages. In addition, storms can interrupt the grid, so if that is your backup an additional plan is needed.

The Two Questions That Must Be Asked

The question of what would you do when the source fails has two meanings.  For those who are off the grid, accommodations for temporary interruptions must be part of the system.  It can, however, happen that damage is done to the system, or that multiple days in succession have nature not cooperate. 


For those with access to the grid, commercial power can be utilized, and possibly without environmental concern. 


For Those Off the Grid

Alternatives Are Fewer

It is likely that commercial power is not available for those in remote areas.  In those cases, a generator is the way to avoid losing power. 


Unfortunately, generators are not environmentally friendly.  Fuel must be consumed.  And there is the problem of safely storing fuel, and discording fuel that becomes too old for use. 


DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator

Great for camping, RVs, sporting events, home back-up power, job sites and more, the DuroStar DS4000S gas-powered generator has a 7.0-horsepower air-cooled overhead valve engine...

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Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Honda Power Equipment sets a new standard in portable power with the introduction of an all new EU2200i inverter generator. Part of Honda Power Equipment's Super Quiet Series of...

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Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start

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DuroMax XP4400E 4,400 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator With Wheel Kit And E...

Air-cooled 7 HP OHV Engine with electric start provides 3500 Watts of continuous power.

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For Those with Grid Access

You Can Still Have a Positive Impact on the Environment

In this area, and I suspect in many more, when excess power is produced by someone with alternative power, that excess can so “sold” back to the supplier of commercial power.  Technically, I cannot get paid for that excess that you put into the grid.  What happens is I get credit, which can be used at times when I am unable to produce enough power.  In the case of solar power, this is at night, when the sun is at an oblique angle, or when clouds are too thick. 


This can benefit the environment because it reduces the amount of power that must be produced otherwise if that means burning more fossil fuel.  It also has the effect of reducing the peak production by the power plant, and it thus spreads the load over time more evenly.  So, you effectively replace dirty power with clean power, making your net impact on the environment less even though you use commercial power some of the time.


But commercial power can be interrupted by storms, or other occurrences.  So, your concern is how do you handle such outages?  Generators are not as environmentally friendly as alternative power, but generators do offer an option.  And, for prolonged outages they may be the best option.


Batteries are another alternative.  Special batteries are available that convert direct current to alternating current and deliver the proper level and frequency to make appliances operate properly. 


Conserve power during battery usage.  Unless your system has a large bank of batteries you can drain a battery in hours.  I have one battery that should make it through one night supplying one refrigerator.  When the sun comes up my system could not handle a smooth running of the power needs of one home, and without commercial backup cloud passage does change the available power.  To prevent overloading the circuit there is a switch that disconnects everything except one outlet.  Into that outlet would be the battery, which is rechargeable.  From that battery is an outlet that would power the refrigerator, so it could run in the day without draining the battery and at night on the converted alternating current.  Having multiple batteries might make operating some other devices possible.  A battery system is cleaner than a generator, but batteries will not run such things as a central heating unit or air conditioning.  It works well in short term outages.

Power Backup

Battery Systems
Aeiusny Generator Portable Power UPS 288Wh 500W for Home Camping CPAP Emergency Battery Backup Ch...

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Tripp Lite 1500VA 900W UPS Battery Back Up, AVR, LCD Display, Line-Interactive, 10 Outlets, 120V,...

The SMART1500LCDT SmartPro LCD 120V, 1500VA/900W Line-Interactive Uninterruptible Power Supply provides battery backup and AC power protection against blackouts, brownouts, powe...

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Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Portable Power Station with Roll Cart, 1200Wh Chainable Home Battery Backup G...

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Portable Power Station:A high-capacity battery powered generator alternative is a rechargeable power source for appliances, personal electronics, medical dev...

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Webetop 155Wh 42000mAh Portable Generator Inverter Battery 100W Camping Emergency Home Use UPS Po...

SUGGESTED RELATED SOLAR PANEL: Work for All power 18V-24V,18W or over 18W of solar panel: you can search Asin "B013E07FNM" on amazon. Why Choose Webetop Portable Solar Power Gen...

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Rockpals 300W Portable Generator Lithium Portable Power Station, 280Wh CPAP Backup Battery Pack U...

Rockpals 300W Portable Power Station - Charge Your Life! It is a versatile, convenient, large capacity power pack which combines 110V AC inverter, DC 12V and USB ports, designed...

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Important Considerations

Whether using batteries on a generator, the question of expectations looms.  How much power do you anticipate needing, and for what duration?  You would then obtain the right solution to your particular needs.


With generators, remember some run of gasoline, others connect to gas.  What fuel will you be able to have on hand in an emergency?  This too must help direct you to your best solution.


Finally, price can be a determining factor. 


This article contains links to affiliate programs and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


The introduction image is our own Zazzle product,

Updated: 02/06/2019, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 02/07/2019

These are huge batteries and are rechargeable. They are not found in a pack. Mine has wheels to move it about. They must be kept charged, so if you have one that has not been recharged for several months it needs to be brought back to full power.

DerdriuMarriner on 02/07/2019

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for the practicalities and products. Battery failure contributed to the Fukushima disaster. How often do you have to check batteries? How confident may one be of defect-proof batteries within a pack?

blackspanielgallery on 02/07/2019

Here it can b a a week or more after a hurricane. Keeping the refrigerator going is important. We have natural gas which usually stays on, so cooking is no problem. My battery will serve only my refrigerator, and it has restrictions against using with anything that contains a battery. So it cannot power a computer.

frankbeswick on 02/07/2019

Power cuts in the UK are usually through Atlantic storms, the commonest storms on our isle. Usually they are put right quickly. My alternative power is a log burner, torches and candles.

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