Portable solar generators?

Mike J.

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
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201
Anyone here have any experience with one? Been checking some out online lately and I'm strongly considering getting one.

For one thing, we had some nasty storms in my area of Michigan last summer. Two in particular were pretty bad with a lot of damage to the north of me. Power was out for a lot of folks but for some reason my little area was spared both times. About 10 or so years ago a bad wind sheer came through my area and knocked the power out for 8 days. That wasn't fun but I felt fortunate in that my house was intact.

I'd like something powerful enough that could handle my refrigerator. I know I couldn't keep it running 24/7 but even periods of here and there would be better than nothing. I also know with solar you're at the mercy of the sun.

Any advice from those with experience would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

Mike J.

New Member
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Nov 14, 2021
Messages
201
Thanks Bodia! Well, wouldn't you know it. About 45 minutes after I made my thread the power went out in my area for about 6 hours! Just came back on at 7:30 PM. Went out to get something to eat around 5 o'clock and noticed about 5 utility trucks at one of the entrances to my subdivision. Seeing how two workers were in hoists near the top of a pole I'm guessing a power line came down. But all's well now.

So yeah, now I'm really going to start investigating into some sort of generator!

Thanks again!
 

aphantomvaper

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Illinois
I have a gas one but you have to run it at least once a month for it to be ready when you need it. I didn't keep up, its not ready. Solar is great if there is Sun and batteries hold charge.

The Jackery ones have some good reviews. Something that would run a full size fridge will be a higher dollar.

My wife wanted backup power for the freezer and refrigerator in case the power went out this winter, I was gentle and explained keeping food cold won't be our problem and logic worked! I have a bigger budget now. When I finally decide on a solar generator it'll be to run a space heater too!
 

gush

She said "huge bag of dibs".
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
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Location
washington iowa
We put a generator on our house three years ago.

It is piped into city gas line so I never have to put fuel to it.

These usually sit on the ground but I didn't want that. If we ever had to dig up utilities I just didn't want to deal with moving it so I built a steel mounting platform and have it bolted to foundation of our house.

It's off the ground and easier to service.

It switches on automatically and will run the entire house plus there is an app that let's you run it remotely and can alert you when its on.

We bought it before covid crazy prices so it was about 6k all said and done.

I realize you're asking about solar but our setup provides much more piece of mind.

Something to consider.

PM me some contact info and I can send you pics.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
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Jan 21, 2015
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Suburban Chicago
Thanks Bodia! Well, wouldn't you know it. About 45 minutes after I made my thread the power went out in my area for about 6 hours! Just came back on at 7:30 PM. Went out to get something to eat around 5 o'clock and noticed about 5 utility trucks at one of the entrances to my subdivision. Seeing how two workers were in hoists near the top of a pole I'm guessing a power line came down. But all's well now.

So yeah, now I'm really going to start investigating into some sort of generator!

Thanks again!
You're welcome! Happy hunting
 

LSchefman

Historical Entity
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,391
Location
Michigan
Anyone here have any experience with one? Been checking some out online lately and I'm strongly considering getting one.

For one thing, we had some nasty storms in my area of Michigan last summer. Two in particular were pretty bad with a lot of damage to the north of me. Power was out for a lot of folks but for some reason my little area was spared both times. About 10 or so years ago a bad wind sheer came through my area and knocked the power out for 8 days. That wasn't fun but I felt fortunate in that my house was intact.

I'd like something powerful enough that could handle my refrigerator. I know I couldn't keep it running 24/7 but even periods of here and there would be better than nothing. I also know with solar you're at the mercy of the sun.

Any advice from those with experience would be appreciated.

Thanks.
I'm in the Detroit area and have been thinking about the very same thing.
 

Mike J.

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
201
I'm in the Detroit area and have been thinking about the very same thing.
I'm in Oakland county. Did you lose power last summer? As mentioned, I'm surprised we didn't because it was out in all directions due to those two storms. It's like our subdivision was this little oasis that was spared. But then, early last summer tree cutting crews came though our subdivision and all up and down the main roads cutting down trees and branches that were too close to power lines.

Area's along and just north of M59 were hit pretty bad in spots.
 

LSchefman

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Michigan
I'm in Oakland county. Did you lose power last summer? As mentioned, I'm surprised we didn't because it was out in all directions due to those two storms. It's like our subdivision was this little oasis that was spared.

Area's along and just north of M59 were hit pretty bad in spots.
I'm in Bloomfield Hills, and yes, we were hit pretty bad. We lost power, we had water damage and replaced our windows because they leaked, and we even had a basement leak that had to be repaired.

The whole thing sucked, but the worst was losing power. Where are you located?
 

Mike J.

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Nov 14, 2021
Messages
201
I'm in Bloomfield Hills, and yes, we were hit pretty bad. We lost power, we had water damage and replaced our windows because they leaked, and we even had a basement leak that had to be repaired.

The whole thing sucked, but the worst was losing power. Where are you located?
I'm in Commerce Township.
 

LSchefman

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I'm in Commerce Township.
Wow! I was at that restaurant that took over the old Mitch's location the night of that storm. Is that Walled Lake? Anyway, the restaurant lost power, we were stuck there, and finally realizing I had a Jeep that could make it home, we finally left after the wind died down a little.

Got home...leaks, water damage, issues, and then lost power on top of everything else.

The whole thing sucked.

Yes. we need backup systems!
 

Mike J.

New Member
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Nov 14, 2021
Messages
201
I'm about 6 miles directly north of Walled Lake. I like the area a lot that I'm in.

I'm not sure where Mitch's is.
 

RC Mike

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Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
260
My in-laws in MI had a home with a large natural gas generator and solar power on the roof.

I‘ve only had one lengthy power outage here in MN. Lasted about four days, which is plenty of time. Time to appreciate the conveniences, time to slow down and sweat in the July heat, and time to be both envious of and annoyed by the sounds of the neighbor’s generator as you try to sleep in the heat with the windows open.

It made me think of getting a generator. It’s something that I’d likely stash in the garage and never run, for fear of beginning a need to do regular maintenance on it.
 

SinSir

Mad Scientist
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Sep 7, 2020
Messages
1,918
Service and reliability is why to go for the generac. You can get parts for them when needed unlike the cheap xyz gens. Those break and throw them away. The generacs change the oil and filters as needed and they run darn near forever. The control panel also tells you when and what service is due. Really simple to work on, my least mechanically skilled employees can even work on them.
 

Mike J.

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
201
Service and reliability is why to go for the generac. You can get parts for them when needed unlike the cheap xyz gens. Those break and throw them away. The generacs change the oil and filters as needed and they run darn near forever. The control panel also tells you when and what service is due. Really simple to work on, my least mechanically skilled employees can even work on them.
I remembered yesterday that my folks had a Generac generator installed in a house they were living in sometime in the 1990's.
They experienced a few minor outages (nothing to lengthy) and they said it served them well.

I went to the Generac site yesterday to check out their offerings and it looks like they have something for any application. Saw one in particular that looks like it would serve my needs well. My house is a small ranch, 1,000 square feet, basement but no garage. It will be 31 years in June since I've been here and we used to get our fair share of power outages in the first few years. Two to three days seemed to be standard procedure. But around 12 or so years ago they did upgrades to the electrical grid and it's been pretty darned good around here since. Really can't complain with the exception of that wind sheer that I mentioned. I actually heard it when it hit my house and I mean it hit! Power was out for 8 days. At least my house was still intact.
 

11top

Cousin Eddie's cousin
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Apr 26, 2012
Messages
10,215
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18 miles from Markie and Nana.
We put a generator on our house three years ago.

It is piped into city gas line so I never have to put fuel to it.

These usually sit on the ground but I didn't want that. If we ever had to dig up utilities I just didn't want to deal with moving it so I built a steel mounting platform and have it bolted to foundation of our house.

It's off the ground and easier to service.

It switches on automatically and will run the entire house plus there is an app that let's you run it remotely and can alert you when its on.

We bought it before covid crazy prices so it was about 6k all said and done.

I realize you're asking about solar but our setup provides much more piece of mind.

Something to consider.

PM me some contact info and I can send you pics.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered this. I’m really interested. Thanks for posting. PM sent.
 

LSchefman

Historical Entity
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Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,391
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Michigan
I'm about 6 miles directly north of Walled Lake. I like the area a lot that I'm in.

I'm not sure where Mitch's is.
Mitch's went out of business at some point. I forget the name of the restaurant that took over the space. The food wasn't very good.
 

HANGAR18

Drummer With A Guitar Habit
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Messages
2,681
Location
Northern VIrginia
I'm currently a big fan of Generac generators. We had one installed at the last house we lived in (which we were never planning to move out of). That was a 22 kilowatt generator, it was tied into the city's provider of natural gas and handled the electrical demands of the whole house. (That being said, it is always a good idea to use power from the generator sparingly when you are in a power outage situation.)

Our current house has a 24kw generator and it runs off of propane which we have stored in a 500 gallon underground tank. Propane is more powerful (for lack of a better way to put it) and so we get all of the advertised kilowatt power out of it. The cost of the generator was only what a new cors model PRS guitar would cost. The expensive part was the construction project to actually get it installed and tied into the house, to include additional electrical panel boxes and permits from the county. But that's okay because we love having power when nature gets ugly and knocks out the city power.
 
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