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Back Up Power Systems Solar / Battery Units

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3344:
http://www.backuppowersource.com/products.html

Thoughts on these systems vs assembling your own from individually bought components? 

I want something for backup when the power goes out.  The longest outage we have had since living in our current location has been about 3-4 days, so I think one of the mid to large size systems would cover 90% of the outages we have here.  The main items I would want to run would be my well pump, natural gas furnace fan, natural gas water heater fan, refrigerator, and if there was enough capacity, maybe some lights, outlets, etc.

I was initially considering a permanently installed standby generator, but this seems like a better alternative.  The advantages of the battery backup that I can think of are that it is quiet, less maintenance, less additional cost for fuel, less dependence on fuel, not as much of a target for theft, and if I wanted I could still add a small generator to the system later for extended outages to recharge the batteries if the solar input was not sufficient, as mentioned in other threads this would also maximize the efficiency of having a gas generator.

I live in a 1300 square foot ranch style house with a south facing roof that gets a lot of sun.  However, I live in southern MI so the roof is covered with snow for several months of the year.  That being said the vast majority of the outages we have had were during the spring/summer months.

The quotes I was getting for the backup generator were around $5,000 installed.  If I went the BPS route I would probably start with a two panel system such as this one  http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200350824_200350824  and maybe add on additional panels later. 

From what I understand there is a 30% tax credit being offered through the Fed from 2009-20016, if this is true it would bring the final cost down to around $4500, but I would need to pay for an electrician to install it.


Also, if I wanted to add a lot of additional panels later, could I configure it to contribute power to the house during times when the grid power is on to reduce my electric bill?

LGM30:
I'm not sure where you live in southern MI, but I live about 20 miles from the Lake MI and the cloud cover it creates for us is unreal!  If you go with something like this you might also want to consider a small generator to permit you to run a battery charger should you need to use the system for an extended period.  I would be worried if the sun in MI could maintain enough charge when you need it for an extended period; such as a spring ice storm taking out power for a week or so.

I'm in no way trying to discourage this solution, just providing an idea for additional protection.

3344:
LGM30,

I did plan to add a small backup generator eventually, maybe one of those nice little Honda EU2000's or something similar.

The website for the BPS systems shows that you can incorporate this into the system along with the solar panels if needed: 

preacherkeith:
I want to add a small system like you are speaking of but that I can take with me when we move to our country home/BOL... I am thinking something that would operate my refrigerator, deep freeze a fan and then if I wanted to I could also switch it over to use for the blower on my gas fired furnace. Location and sun isn't a problem here in Texas nor is it a problem with the electrician - I can do that. Cost is the problem with me, I just married off my daughter and my son just graduated high school. So - cost and portability is the factors for me. I can spend about $1500 but I am not sure that will get me what I need.

“Mark”:

--- Quote from: preacherkeith on June 03, 2009, 02:39:26 PM ---I want to add a small system like you are speaking of but that I can take with me when we move to our country home/BOL... I am thinking something that would operate my refrigerator, deep freeze a fan and then if I wanted to I could also switch it over to use for the blower on my gas fired furnace. Location and sun isn't a problem here in Texas nor is it a problem with the electrician - I can do that. Cost is the problem with me, I just married off my daughter and my son just graduated high school. So - cost and portability is the factors for me. I can spend about $1500 but I am not sure that will get me what I need.

--- End quote ---

Go buy a little 2000 watt Honda EU2000iA and a 12 guage 50 ft extension cord and pocket the change. It's quiet, so it won't annoy your neighbours, or advertise to everyone you have a generator. It's not powerful enough to run everything at once, but you don't need to: let the freezer run for an hour, then plug in the fridge, etc. And it's portable enough you can take it everywhere. Change the oil regularly, run it a few minutes every month, and you should get thousands of hours out of it.

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