There has been an upsurge in the number of power outages during 2016/2017, in South Australia. Most of our electricity travels many kilometres to the Adelaide Metropolitan Area and the rest of the state, leaving us vulnerable to extreme weather events, due to damage to transmission lines.
It doesn’t matter what form of generation we have – the electricity has to travel to Adelaide. We rely on the electricity grid being operational, as all cities in the world.
Power is essential to living;
- Running a business
- Running a home
- Using technology
Power failures affect every aspect of our life. They are problematic and are extremely costly.
To avoid your vulnerability, you can generate your own electricity.
Lets look at the alternatives.
Having Solar Energy will not help (unless you have battery storage), during a power failure. The Solar goes off with the mains power for safety reasons.
Solar Battery Storage is currently very expensive, and will not be an economic choice for most people. With the advent of the Tesla Powerwall prices will continue to tumble. Currently it may take 20 years to pay off in savings on energy bills, but if you consider safety of supply averting ruined food costs, comfort of living conditions, medical equipment neccessity etc, it may be a viable alternative.
But most people will consider this currently to be outside their price range.
What is an inverter generator?
An inverter is a lightweight microprocessor that converts power from direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). They are a fairly recent advancement in technology from the older style conventional generators. Inverter generators produce very “clean” electrical power, which is required to run sensitive electronic equipment such as laptops, mobile phones, camera equipment etc.
The other benefits of inverter generators are that they are typically much smaller and lighter than standard open frame style generators and tend to operate at very low noise levels (less than 60 decibels). Lastly, they are also very efficient; their engine speed automatically adjusts in accordance with the required load, maximising fuel efficiency.
Overall, they are an extremely popular portable power source for home power, small business uses, DIY tasks, back up, camping, caravanning.
Inverter generators range from around 800 watts up to 6300 watts.
Conventional generators run on diesel or petrol which powers a motor attached to an alternator that produces the electricity.
The driving motor runs at a governed constant speed (usually 3600 rpm) to produce the electricity that most household uses require.
Conventional Generators are usually mounted in an open steel frame, with no sound absorbing materials, which makes then much loader than the Invertor Generator.
They are cheaper than Inverter Generators and are suitable for non electronic equipment, such as fridges, power tools and lighting.
Auto Start Generators
These generator’s are permanently installed and connected to your home’s electrical system. On power failure, an automatic transfer switch senses the power outage and automatically starts the generator and powers essential items in your home or business. When mains power returns, it switches back to mains power and the generator stops.
The units are more expensive as they require a larger power rating, to cope with the automatic transfer of the existing power load. Also the electrical controls to enable the automatic operation are more expensive.