Solar Setup or New Generator? (Help)

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by 10101, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. 10101

    10101 Guest

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    Should I put together a solar setup or upgrade my genset?

    I currently own a cheap (no name Chinese), 1000w (1200 surge) 10amp- 2.5hp gas generator (4 stroke). Bought it on clearance last year at Biglots for $130, this generator will power my fridge and or deep freezer, lights, small stuff,,,etc.

    My budget is about $600 and I don't need a tremendous amount of power just looking to power my chest freezer (5amp startup-5cubic foot) and some lights during a power outage.

    Should I go with a Solar Setup or buy a decent 2500 watt (+/-) generator?

    Here is the solar setup I have in mind:

    [​IMG]

    60 watt solar panels

    hooked to two T-105 golf cart batteries 6v in series (450 amp hour total 12v) with a charge controller and 1000watt inverter.

    The solar setup will be a little more than $600.

    OR get a nice genset:

    [​IMG]

    Onan Portable Generator — 2500 Watts, Model# 3500 | 1,000 - 4,999 Watts | Northern Tool + Equipment

    Your input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

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    If you are going to use either only in emergencies, the generator will be more cost effective and suit your needs better. A solar setup will only benefit you if you use it all the time. Even then, the payback can be up to 10 years or more for a solar system to pay for itself.

    If you intend to run your loads indefinitely, solar may be your best option. Unlimited fuel is a big plus. Be sure to allow for periods of darkness and you may want a small backup generator eventually in case the solar panels can't keep your batteries charged.
     

  3. George_H_M

    George_H_M Active Member

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    Just someone else's 2 cents on this . I say go with the solar set up . Reason being is that you don't need to have power on the refrig or freezer all the time. Just need to run power to them like once every 3 or 4 hours for the compressor to run it's cycle then off. And with a solar system you can have lights at night with out the noise of a genset running. Plus you can later expand the solar with more batteries or panels as you can afford. Also with the solar set up you could just keep the freezer on it all the time and save on the electric bill. to help slowly save money for then next prep purchase. But again this is just my opinion.
     
  4. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

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    That won't work long term in TX. We average temperatures in the 60s in the middle of Winter hereand well into the 90s in the Summer. It might could work for a top load freezer, since they aren't opened as much and they don't lose all of their cold air every time the lid is opened. An RV fridge can run on 12V or propane. I have a cooler that runs on the pelletier effect. It can keep something 30 degrees warmer or cooler than ambient air as long as it is already the temp I want when I put it in there.

    An RV would be nice in an extended power outage. They are efficient because of their small size. They store water and provide a restroom. Being mobile is a plus also. You could easily hook up a solar charging system to the 12V batteries and inverter. Your house could be for storage and extra supplies.
     
  5. 10101

    10101 Guest

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    Thank you for the feedback, I am going with the solar panels and batteries. I like the idea of using the batteries at night to supplement the generator.