Ultimate Guide to Generators and Solar Power for Survival Preppers
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Ultimate Guide to Generators and Solar Power for Survival Preppers

What You Actually Need to Know About Emergency Power on Your Survival Prepper Homestead

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Generators and solar panels provide essential power, particularly during severe weather conditions or when the grid fails. These methods enable you to power individual devices or your entire house independently without relying on the electric grid.

Related – Grid-Down Disaster? Nine (9) Things You Need for Survival Prepping

While this is vital for those seeking long-term survival solutions, such as homesteading enthusiasts, it is equally important for suburban homeowners facing power disruptions due to ice storms, blizzards, or extreme heat waves.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission for qualifying purchases at no extra cost to the buyer.

Generators and solar power have advantages and disadvantages, but you don’t have to choose between them. By setting up the right system, you can combine both methods to power your home effortlessly, providing instant peace of mind during power outages.

Determining the Right Generator Size

Unquestionably, the variety of generators on the market is vast, each categorized by the wattage they provide. This is crucial information for survival preppers as the wattage determines what and how many devices can be powered during an emergency.

Smaller generators, those providing less than 1,000 watts, are suitable for powering minor necessities such as phone chargers and lights. However, in a survival scenario where you need to power your entire shelter, these may not suffice.

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  • Control center with a digital multimeter, push-button start, and a front-facing fuel interface allowing you to change your fuel type in seconds.
  • This generator runs on gasoline or propane, giving you the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice.
  • Equipped with DuroMax “CO Alert Technology” that will automatically shut down the generator if an unsafe level of carbon monoxide is detected.
  • Powerful 460cc OHV DuroMax engine and features ALL COPPER WINDINGS designed to make your generator last for years.
  • Four 120V GFCI household outlets, one 120V 30AMP outlet, one 120/240V 30AMP twist-lock outlet, and a heavy-duty 120/240V 50AMP outlet making it transfer switch ready.
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01/25/2024 02:18 pm GMT

The power required to keep your shelter functional depends on numerous factors. These include the size of your shelter, the efficiency of your appliances, and what you deem essential to keep powered during a blackout.

Read this – 8 Ways To Generate Power Off Grid

For instance, a 5,000-watt generator might cover your heating, lighting, and kitchen appliances during an outage. But if you desire to maintain normal operations with all your devices switched on, it could necessitate more power, possibly around 7,000 watts.

Efficient Planning is Crucial

Figure out your shelter’s average power draw. This information will be invaluable when selecting the right generator for your survival prepper supply kit.

Method for Estimating by Year

Examine your annual kWh usage typically listed on your electric bills to find the total watts used per hour per year.

Estimating Usage By Day and Hour

For daily usage, take your overall kWh and divide it by 365. Further, divide this by 24 to determine your hourly usage in kilowatts

As a survival prepper, it’s crucial to understand your generator’s capabilities in powering your supply kit. Providing the necessary power per hour and having sufficient fuel reserves will ensure you can maintain your survival setup for an extended period.

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  • INTELLIGAUGE: Keep track of voltage, hertz, and run-time hours to monitor power output and track maintenance intervals easily
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01/26/2024 04:57 am GMT

It’s worth noting that generators should never be operated inside your shelter or home. Typically, they are powered by gasoline engines that generate electricity. Running them indoors could expose you to harmful carbon monoxide, compromising your survival. Consider using extension cords or a transfer switch to utilize your generator safely.

Relying on extension cords from the generator may not activate specific components like built-in lighting systems or other elements not connected directly to the plugs. This is a crucial consideration when planning your survival prepper supply kit.

Prepare Your Generator for Any Situation

Your generator is your reliable companion, especially during harsh weather conditions like snow storms and torrential rain. However, over time, it may encounter issues like any other engine. Maintaining and replacing worn-out parts is crucial to ensure its continuous functionality.

Having a stock of various replacement parts for your generator is essential. Whether it’s a cheap spark plug that fails or other components that wear out, being prepared will prevent you from being left without power when you need it the most.

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DuroMax XP13000HXT 13,000-Watt 500cc Tri Fuel - Gas, Propane, Natural Gas - Portable Generator

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  • Tri Fuel Technology: Runs on gasoline, propane, and natural gas for your fuel choice. Gasoline may be readily available. Propane is a cleaner burning fuel, cost-effective, fuel efficient, and long shelf life. Natural gas has a potential unlimited fuel supply and hooks up directly to your home’s gas line. Engine Speed: 3600 RPM, Oil Cooling Type: Splash.
  • Home Power Backup Ready: With 13,000 watts, the XP13000HXT will power your lights, appliances, AC system, and other household essentials with ease during a storm or power outage. It has a 50 amp plug that hooks up directly to your home via a transfer switch.
  • Powerful 500cc OHV Engine: Robust DuroMax engine designed to provide you with the most power.
  • CO Alert: CO Alert technology turns off the generator automatically when an unsafe level of carbon monoxide is detected.
  • Push Button Start and Remote Start: Turn on your generator with a simple push of a button, or use the remote to start your generator from a distance.
  • Fully Loaded Power Panel: Equipped with a variety of outlets, including four 120V 20A GFCI outlets, one 120V 30A twist lock, one 120 / 240V 30A twist lock, and one 120 / 240V 50A HEAVY DUTY outlet.
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With the right parts readily available, you can swiftly make repairs and have your generator up and running again. Some generators require more frequent replacement of specific parts, such as gaskets that can deteriorate in cold weather.

Additionally, more complex and costly components wear out gradually over time. Even with regular maintenance, certain parts will eventually need replacement.

The expansion and contraction caused by seasonal temperature changes can cause gaskets to break, regardless of how well you care for your generator.

Stay Ahead: Secure Your Generator’s Power for Years to Come

Don’t be caught off guard regarding your generator’s performance. Take proactive measures to guarantee a steady power supply by keeping a stash of vital replacement parts within reach. This small yet vital step will shield you from unexpected power outages.

The secret ingredients for its long-lasting endurance are looking after your generator and timely parts replacement. By regularly maintaining and promptly replacing parts, you can trust your generator to be a faithful companion in any situation. But why wait for a crisis to strike? Stay ahead of the game by actively preserving your generator’s peak condition, ensuring uninterrupted power no matter what comes your way. 💡⚡

Preparing for Repairs: The Importance of Knowledge and Supplies

Ensure the longevity of your generator by stocking up on replacement parts. Don’t let a minor malfunction leave you in the dark. Be prepared and keep your generator running smoothly in any situation.

Ensuring You’re Ready for the Unexpected

One thing’s for sure regarding replacements – they will be necessary at some point. That’s why it’s crucial to equip yourself with the know-how and the supplies required to make those repairs.

Finding guides online for replacing specific parts is usually a breeze.

The Power of Having the Right Tools

Having the right tools at your fingertips is equally essential. Make sure you have all the tools required to disassemble your generator as much as needed. Even if you’re not entirely confident in your ability to use them, it’s better to have them ready than to be caught unprepared.

Preparing for the Worst

If the weather worsens and your power goes out, it’s doubtful that you can venture out safely to a hardware store to get the replacement parts you need. This is especially true in severe conditions like heavy snowfall. That’s precisely why it’s so crucial to have those parts on hand well in advance.

Remember: Being prepared is the key to weathering any storm!

Survive first. Live later.

Keep the Supplies On Hand to Maintain Your Generator

In addition to the spare parts, you’ll need to keep up with maintenance on your generator to avoid needing to replace the parts too frequently. If you don’t keep up with proper maintenance, something irreplaceable will likely fail, and you’ll need to buy a whole new generator.

The first and most apparent supplies are canisters that safely store your required fuel. Generators all run on different kinds of fuel, whether gasoline, diesel, or propane. Either way, you must keep a decent amount of fuel on hand to keep your generator running.

Proper storage of fuel is essential. Gas cans are correctly designed to retain the fluid for long periods. Other containers not meant for gasoline or diesel storage shouldn’t be used, as they could break down easily over time. It’s also a good idea to have different colored cans to differentiate between gasoline and diesel.

Since it is an engine, you’ll also need to change its oil. This isn’t difficult, so don’t let it scare you off. You will need to buy the oil, though, so it’s worth keeping a small stock of oil on hand so you can always use it when you need it.

It’s crucial to ensure you’re using the right oil. Engine oils can differ quite a bit, usually with a difference in viscosity. Using the wrong oil might make the generator run a bit worse or lead to the parts wearing out too soon.

Keep a few oil filters on hand. An oil filter must be changed when you change the oil, just like you’d see in a car. This filter prevents debris from circulating through the engine in the oil, which could cause damage.

There’s also an air filter you’ll need to replace on occasion. All engines need to suck in air to mix with the fuel as a part of regular operation. However, without an air filter, your engine could suck in things like dust or even insects. Your engine can run properly and stay clean with a proper clean filter.

If you’re unsure of anything you might be missing, you can always consult the manual of the generator you own. Often, these will include specific instructions on what maintenance you need to perform and how often you need to do it.

This maintenance is crucial because it prevents internal damage to the generator. A poorly maintained generator won’t last long, and you’ll realistically spend more buying a new one than you would fixing it. If you follow instructions closely, you can keep them working well for many years.

homestead with solar power panels on the roof. On survivalpreppersupply.com
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Getting Started with Large-Scale Solar Power

While there are many different levels of solar power, the one that may be most interesting to most people is the large-scale solar panels that can power your house in the event of a power outage from the grid.

Related – Solar Supply Kits and Gear Worth Buying for Grid-Down Situations

There are a lot of benefits to solar panels that you might find intriguing. First, solar panels don’t require nearly as much attention as generators. While generators may work more consistently through harsh conditions, they need plenty of upkeep and maintenance.

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Solar Panels are Easy to Maintain

Apart from the occasional cleaning and service, you never have to worry about keeping up with your solar panels. Newer ones are generally very rigid and will stand up to harsh weather or other sources of impact, such as hail or branches overhead falling on them.

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The Panels are Always Powered by the Sun

Another significant benefit of solar panels is that they don’t just help you when the power goes out. You only want to run generators when the grid power to your house is spotty since they require fuel. Since solar panels only need sunlight, they’ll always be able to run.

30X277CROP4-HOMESTEAD SOLARpexels-elle-hughes-4501786
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Supplemental Power

When there’s no outage, your solar panels can help supplement some of the power needed for your house, so you end up drawing less power from the grid. This saves you money on your electric bill in the long run because you’ll use less power from the companies that provide it as a utility.

Survival preppers may have a common misconception about solar panels not working at all if it’s cloudy outside or in harsh weather. Some people think you need to live somewhere with little to no cloud coverage for solar to work correctly.

This is not the case, of course. Solar panels will work if there is light outside, even if it’s all obscured from cloud coverage. They won’t work as well and won’t generate the same amount of electricity, but they will still provide you with some.

Depending on your setup, it may still be enough to run your appliances and HVAC and light your house. The more solar panels you have, the more you’ll be able to compensate for the lack of efficiency in cloudy weather.

Use Solar Power on Smaller Devices as Well

One way to ease up the load on your emergency power systems is to use small scale solar to help power smaller devices. If you want to ensure the bare minimum is always powered, like the HVAC, refrigerator, and lights, you don’t want to waste power on less essential things.

However, those less important things can still make the time pass by in harsh weather faster. Things like charging your phone and other devices can give you more comfort when the grid power may falter.

For the most part, people use these to keep their phones charged. This can be crucial because it allows you to stay in contact with family or friends in the area and ensure that everyone stays safe through bad weather conditions.

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02/27/2024 10:26 pm GMT

Additionally, it can keep you updated on weather alerts and instructions given by local authorities. For example, you might need your phone charged in a tropical storm to know if you’re given the signal to evacuate the area.

Some solar power banks have multiple built-in functions, as well. For example, many are made explicitly for lousy weather scenarios and have built-in emergency radios to tune in to emergency alert channels. Often, these also have built-in flashlights if you don’t have enough power to keep your lights on.

Read this – Solar Power

You can also get plenty of outdoor solar lights to light the outdoors. Some are more decorative, while others are meant to light up large areas, but either way, they can be helpful.

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02/29/2024 11:29 am GMT

You might need to move between buildings at night if you have a larger property. If you don’t have a flashlight or power on your property, having solar lights consistently guiding you from one point to another can be very valuable.

Between small solar banks and large-scale solar panels, you can also get medium-sized solar panels meant for camping that store their power in a much larger power bank. While bulky, it can hold much more electricity and power more oversized items.

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03/01/2024 08:44 pm GMT

These power banks will often have standard 120v plugs in addition to the USB outlets, allowing you to run things that require more standard plugs, such as lamps, laptop chargers, and more.

Utilizing a Generator and Solar Panels Together

In an ideal setup, you should combine generators and solar panels to ensure you can maintain power through any outage. With the proper setup, the two can work in tandem to power your home with relative ease.

You must ensure this is done carefully and correctly, as the wrong setup can damage the generator or the solar panels. However, a skilled electrician can do this properly with relative ease.

It’s good to use both of them in tandem because they can both take the load off of one another, and if one fails, you should still have power from the other. A backup can be crucial, especially in a snowstorm that might leave you without power for days.

Part of the reason why this is so important is that generators require the use of fuel. Given that you likely have a limited supply at any given time, you need to conserve that fuel as much as possible.

Many generators intended for powering entire homes can adjust how much the engine is running to give you more or less power as needed. If the engine runs harder to generate more power, it will use more fuel.

Solar panels allow you to supply a decent amount of power to the house, even during rain or snow. Even if it’s not enough to power the house independently, it will take a massive load off the generator, allowing it to supplement the rest of the power needed while using less fuel.

Anything unnecessary will put more load on the solar panels and generator. Some things still draw power just by being plugged in, even if they’re not on or used at that time. To keep your fuel usage to a minimum, stick to the essentials.

Of course, it’s also nice to have each one as a backup to the other. You may find that the generator works better, but the solar panels can still do something if it runs out of fuel during an outage.

If you’re ever faced with a substantial grid shutdown, whether it be from poor weather or some national emergency, it could last for hours, or it could last for weeks. In poor weather, especially, you want to have reasonable access to your refrigerated food, and you want to have your heating and air conditioner.

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