Portable Power Systems
Small back up power systems like those shown below can provide power for a short time for small appliances, lights, fans, and cell phones, in the event of a power outage. A basic backup power system must have at least a battery and an inverter if you plan to run a regular AC product.
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More Info on Portable Power Systems
The Xantrex PowerPack units contain both a battery and an inverter and are a great introduction to backup power applications. For a complete system, which also allows you to independently charge the battery, you may want to have your own a charging source like a solar electric panel. A battery based system powered by solar power is a much quieter alternative to a noisy generator. Ideally you can charge the battery with the solar panel during the day, and then plug appliances directly into the inverter or into a cigarette lighter adapter from the inverter. Some solar modules have special adapters that allow them to work easily with portable inverters.
System size: Approximate sizes Battery back up systems can be portable and relatively light weight (20 - 60 pounds), like the Xantrex Power Packs. Small light weight solar panels can be added as a charging source. It will typically take about 3 to 7 days to fully charge the battery in the Xantrex Power Pack using a small solar panel. These lightweight options are ideal to keep cell phones charged and operate lights in case of emergency. They may also run your laptop, routers and other small computer necessities for several hours during power outages or out in the field.
Larger back up power systems:
If you are looking to construct a more permanent set up to provide power for larger loads or for longer time periods, you will need a larger battery bank. The products in this category will not support any large loads like refrigerators or heaters for any length of time. For an emergency power back up system for the home, please contact an Alt-E representative who can recommend an appropriate sized battery bank and charging method. Start by using our Load Calculator
to help estimate your usage in watt hours per day
. Accurate recommendations can be based on the number of watt hours per day
you will need and how many days of back up power
you want. Take a look at some of our Off Grid Cabin Solar Power System
($2-$5K) to get an idea of the components that are included in a back up system.