How will your life change when the power goes out? Sure, a brief power outage won’t affect you overly much, but natural disasters have a tendency of cutting off our electricity for many days at a time. And when that happens, the modern comforts and conveniences you take for granted won’t be as readily accessible.
Backup power sources can alleviate the inconveniences caused by power outages and help keep your life running smoothly. As with most emergency gear, there are multiple options with which to charge your phone, power your wheat grinder, run a mini fridge, and even your medical devices, such as a CPAP machine.
Two of the most common forms of backup power are solar and gas.
Gas and propane generators give you instant power, but they require you to refill the generator with gasoline or propane. They can also be quite loud, which may cause restrictions on where you can use them. Gasoline is also difficult to store long term and will be a precious commodity in an emergency situation. Additionally, a loud generator could make you a target for thieves.
Thanks to modern technology, you can effectively harness the power of the sun to run your devices, or even store it in a battery pack for future use. Generally, solar power has a relatively slow recharge time between uses, but it is a renewable source. Another benefit of solar is they run quietly, thereby allowing you to use them anywhere without having to worry about noise restrictions.
There are two popular types of solar panels on the market: monocrystalline and polycrystalline.
Monocrystalline - A single, grown crystal is cut and laid into a panel. Generally, this produces more power than a polycrystalline of the same size.
Polycrystalline - This option contains many crystals that are broken and laid out into a panel. They are usually less expensive, but are much larger than their monocrystalline counterparts of the same wattage
In order to capture the power gathered from your generators, some sort of battery pack is required. If your main concern is keeping your smaller devices charged – such as a phone or tablet – all you’ll need is a smaller battery pack, which allows you to carry your power around. If, however, you need to charge larger appliances or medical equipment, you will most likely want to go with a much larger battery.
Consider your needs and study your options. That way, when the time comes to invest in an alternate power source, you will know exactly what you need.