Survival Guides

Power Failure Survival, Part 1

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Keep in mind that it will be prohibitively expensive to run everything you own in the utter absence of grid power, but it can be done. There are two primary methods of accomplishing this:

  1. Whole Home Generators: Whole home generators are just what they sound like – a generator capable powering your entire home. Often sized at 10 to 25 kilowatts, these generators are run off propane, natural gas, or even diesel tanks. They are professionally installed on a concrete pad, and are hard wired to your home. They include an automatic relay switch that turns the generator on in the event of a power failure. On the plus side, generators like this will make you feel like nothing happened during even the worst power failure. On the down side, whole home generators cost upwards of $10,000. Additionally, they need fuel and maintenance. We will be covering these generators in detail in a future buyer’s guide.
  1. Solar Panels: Yes, it’s possible to have enough solar panels coupled with an inverter and battery storage system to power your home completely through solar power. The upside to these systems is a complete disassociation from the electrical grid, and the generation of clean, silent power for decades with little to no maintenance. On the down side, solar installations can run upwards of $50,000, and a series of gloomy or overcast days can dramatically reduce the output of the system.

Basically, it’s unreasonable to expect to cover 100% of your power needs during a power failure. What you need to plan for is covering the essentials, however.

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