EMERGENCY POWER ALTERNATIVES MADE SIMPLE PART III
Rechargeable Battery Packs
Keep in mind that during the day, the power coming in from the solar panels will be shut off by the charge controller once the battery bank reaches its full charge as not to over charge and damage the battery bank. Once that occurs, your panels are doing nothing for your system, so why not use that wasted electricity to power other devices for use over night such as a stand alone battery pack?
Suaoki Powerhouse 220Wh/20,000mAh Portable Generator
I've been very impressed with this product. Unlike a standard Lead Acid Emergency Battery pack, this product uses a Lithium Ion Battery combined with a built in pure sine wave power inverter (meaning it is safe to use with sensitive electronics). The Suaoki Power house can power any device that uses less than 220 Watts and has two AC (Alternating Current) plugs as well as USB ports for charging phones, tables, and other rechargeable devices.
I have run a 22 inch LED television AND a DVD player at the same time for over six hours on a single charge with no problem and there was still power left over. I've used this to run a regular household lamp with an LED light bulb equivalent to a 60 Watt bulb for well over a day, and there was still quite a bit of power left over.
This device can be recharged by either plugging it into your main solar generator during the day while powering your refrigerator at the same time. I also bought a folding 60 watt solar panel set that plugs into this device; however, I was not that impressed. I charged the device for over eight hours with the fold out panels in full sun and it did not completely charge the power pack.
I have two of these power packs and I plan to get more. There are other similar products on the market and technology improves daily. Do your own research and read reviews.
Rechargeable Devices / Batteries
Night Vision Scope / Binoculars, Flashlights, Wireless Camera, and Radio
When choosing your prepping gizmos, it's best to find devices that are rechargeable or that use easily obtainable rechargeable batteries such as night vision scopes, flashlights, wireless security cameras, radios, etc.
All of these items can be recharged during the day time using your main solar generator. These rechargeable handheld radios are great and come with rechargeable batteries. Always remember to buy at least one extra battery for each radio. The solar powered lanterns pictured above have also been very impressive. They can be charged using a USB connection, but the built in solar panel seen on the top of the lantern works very well.
Use your imagination to think up with devices that will add to your prepping needs.
Back Up to the Back Up
Of course, it doesn't hurt to have at least a small gas generator as an overall back up to your system in the event of a thunderstorm when your system will most likely be disconnected. While the panels will still charge your battery bank on a cloudy day, it may not be quite as efficient as a day with full sun.
Your solar generator will allow you to have power while conserving your gas for when you really need it. We use a Honda 2000 Watt gas generator to power our stand alone air conditioner at our cabin (Pictured below). This generator works perfectly and is very quiet.
Whether for a short term emergency or for simply having an off grid power supply for your hunting cabin, it's not a bad idea to invest in your own source of emergency power sources.
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