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Jay

Off-grid back-up power on the cheap?

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Jawny

I have Honda 2500 and 5000.  These were priced at ₽42000 and ₽60000 respectively recently.  This could have been higher than usual because of when I priced them....just after the severe earthquakes here when gen sets were in short supply.  However, it seems about right based upon the cost when I bought them years ago.  

The smaller EU2000 is significantly more expensive.  I don't recall the price exactly, but on the order or ₽80000 or more.  Not sure, but I figured I could buy two Honda 2500 for the price of the smaller one.

BTW, the option of running to the nearby gasoline supplier is great, when there is fuel to be had.  Most likely in Cebu, supplies would be available even in severe conditions.  Not where I live.  Hence,  having an onhand supply is vital to being prepared.

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Humboldt
  1. These are a little pricy Costco 1,000 dollars they have 220 option looks like they would fit inside of LBC box , also you would need solar panels to make it complete

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Jay

@Paul, I already know the importance of oil for small air-cooled 4-stroke engines. I used to own motorcycles (Hondas, in fact) and Volkswagens when I was young. The oil actually acts as a coolant, carrying heat from the internal engine assuming the engine has an oil cooler. Frequent oil changes also help make the engine last longer. Anyway, a spare bottle or two of oil is cheap insurance. I'd already planned to change the oil after using up the first tankful of gas to break it in, then maybe another oil change after two or three more tankfuls, but I'll refer to the owner's manual for the break-in procedure.

I can probably knock together my own little shelter thingamajig for it out of 2x2s and thin plywood and paint it with a couple of coats of that white roof sealant stuff for waterproofing, just enough to keep the worst of the rain off. I can get that stuff at the little hardware store up the street. I don't want to use a piece of GI roofing for the roof because the generator will have to be placed in a spot that I'll be walking past frequently and I already have enough scars from slicing my legs and feet open on the edge of GI roofing (my tetanus shots are up-to-date, don't worry.) I'd leave large enough gaps for ventilation. Another option might be one of those large plastic storage tubs with ventilation holes cut in it for fresh air and exhaust. I can probably pick one up at Unitop for P500 or so. I'll see what I can figure out, but I'll wait until after I have the generator. :)

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Jay
3 hours ago, Humboldt said:
  1. These are a little pricy Costco 1,000 dollars they have 220 option looks like they would fit inside of LBC box , also you would need solar panels to make it complete

I saw those on YouTube. Problem is, IIRC they take at least 10 hours to fully recharge and are only good for 200 or so recharges. They'd be OK for, say, camping or short power outages but you can't really run appliances with them on a long-term basis: they're meant more for recharging cell phones and laptops. A person would be better off just going for a regular on-grid solar installation with a few deep-cycle batteries and an inverter, if they were going to buy and install solar cells anyway. But for occasional emergency use this may be OK for some people. Better than nothing, anyway.

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Paul
51 minutes ago, Jay said:

@Paul, I already know the importance of oil for small air-cooled 4-stroke engines.

My apologies. My intent wasn't to talk down to you.

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RogerDat

My 2 cents is to go with a good generator for appliances, and a battery for lighting.

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Paul

@Jay, if you ever stated it, I must have missed it along the way. What kind of time frame are we talking here, that you would need backup power for your refrigerator, and other appliances? Hours per day? Days per week? Weeks per month? 

In my case, we had a power cut this morning. It only lasted an hour. But, it still happens - almost every weekend. I think, up to three hours is as long as we have experienced, here at the apartment.

At the farm, power cuts only last a few minutes at a time. And, that is a rare occasion. The funny thing is, we don't care if the power goes down, there. We use Solar as our primary source of power. Mains, ironically, is our "backup" source. 

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Jay
4 hours ago, Paul said:

My apologies. My intent wasn't to talk down to you.

I didn't think you were talking down to me, I was just saying that I already know about the importance of oil in small engines, is all. I got a lot of miles out of an old clapped-out VW bug when I was a teenager simply by changing oil often and keeping it topped off (it leaked oil.) Just kind of humble-bragging about my experience. :)

Regarding your other questions, it's partially due to the frequent brownouts of late, and partly due to the fact that we're reaching the peak of the typhoon season and I remember Karen telling me that when she was young a typhoon hit Cebu and power was out for weeks. So I'm thinking 10 to 14 hours a day for up to a month, or longer depending on the situation.

The only appliances I use on a regular basis are the ref and a washer, which draws 400 amps max (on spin cycle, which uses the most power.)  I only use the washer an hour or two a week and I'd probably unplug the fridge when I'm washing clothes, or else start going to the laundry across the street again. I have a 60 watt stand fan but the bloody motor gave out not long after the 60 day warranty expired, so I've even been doing without a fan until I get around to having it fixed. Other than those it's the computer and recharging a few portable emergency lights and cell phones.

I read on an informational website about generators that a refrigerator can draw up to three times its rated power when the compressor starts up, and as mine's rated power is 115 watts that would be just 345 watts so that won't be a problem. I should never put more than a 1000 watt load on the gen at any given time. More like 600-700 watts I would say.

Edited by Jay
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angbumabasa
13 minutes ago, Jay said:

I didn't think you were talking down to me, I was just saying that I already know about the importance of oil in small engines, is all. I got a lot of miles out of an old clapped-out VW bug when I was a teenager simply by changing oil often and keeping it topped off (it leaked oil.) Just kind of humble-bragging about my experience. :)

My uncle used to drive a 50's vintage oil-burning Chevrolet from PEi, Canada to SW Mexico carrying gallons of burnt oil purchased in gas stations on the way. Stay there for awhile and reverse the trip. He had hundreds of thousands of miles on poor old thing. It finally collapsed under it's own weight day and was put to pasture.

Edited by angbumabasa

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Jay

@RogerDat, my lighting will be rechargeable portable emergency lights. I won't be running the regular house lighting.

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Paul
13 hours ago, Jay said:

The only appliances I use on a regular basis are the ref and a washer, which draws 400 amps max (on spin cycle, which uses the most power.)  I only use the washer an hour or two a week and I'd probably unplug the fridge when I'm washing clothes, or else start going to the laundry across the street again. I have a 60 watt stand fan but the bloody motor gave out not long after the 60 day warranty expired, so I've even been doing without a fan until I get around to having it fixed. Other than those it's the computer and recharging a few portable emergency lights and cell phones.

Then, you would be good with a Honda inverter generator, rated at 2000 watts (maximum output). 

Keep in mind not to use a hot water kettle, or a water heater in the CR, while on generator power. Aside from that, running the ref, a clothes washer, your computer, and all the lights and fans you need during a power cut, will not overload your generator. 

Incidentally, the Honda EU20i has indicator lights to show when the load is below its rated capacity, and when it is overloaded.

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