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refrigerator on inverter - Page 3

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Posted by ads on September 15, 2018, 8:37 pm

Not having a view of the sky, your system makes excellent sense for
your location.  

I'm 70+ and while I can get the Generac down the ramp from the
equipment shed, I use a block and tackle to get it back up the ramp.
I'm considering expanding the solar lighting system in the shed to
something big enough to power occasional use of a Harbor Frieght
2500lb ATV winch ($0 on sale) to get the Generac (and the
chipper/shredder) back up the ramp.

In almost 14 years at this location, we've had more short outages
(less than a day) than long ones so my "Wait until daylight" system
works for us.  If power is out more than 30 minutes, I take the stairs
to the basement, turn on the breaker for the 2000 watt pure sine wave
inverter, plug the 12 gauge extension cord in the inverter and the
Gen-Tran switch (it has a male plug on the front panel) and transfer
the needed things to inverter power  

For an outage that's expected to be longer (lines down because of
ice/snow or trees down on the lines from wind or ice/snow), I move the
12 gauge extension cord from the inverter to a gas generator (smallest
first, as it's good for about 6-8 hours on the internal tank and only
weighs around 50lb).  Four hours of generator run (maybe a half gallon
of gas on the inverter gen) can provide another 12 to 16 hours on the
batteries (depending on the season) which means a ballpark figure of a
gallon of gas a day if we also have some sun.  Not running all the
conveniences but adequate for the short term.

With the usual 10-15 gallons of gas I keep on hand for yard equipment
plus a few hours of sun each day, we'd be good for about 2 weeks
without downsizing the fridge or emptying the freezer - and then there
are the vehicle gas tanks...

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Posted by Jim Wilkins on September 16, 2018, 5:34 pm

You make a good case for your own situation.

Here in NH I'm paying $.18 / KWH, down from the $.20 that  my  
previous supplier crept up to. In winter when ice storms threaten the  
trees are bare and solar delivers all day long, and the cold panels  
are more efficient - by February they exceed their 100W rating.

Also our electricity and natural gas supplies have little margin in  
severe cold weather, and fierce public opposition has blocked new  
pipeline and hydro transmission line construction. I could soon need a  
backup for rolling blackouts.



Posted by ads on September 16, 2018, 7:33 pm

Well thought out for the long term.  

I'm also having to hire out some things I previously did myself :-(

Part of my providing only limited power during an outage is to deter
neighbors who might want me to power their fridge, furnace, etc.  No
one has asked yet, but there's at least one teenager in walking
distance who'd probably be asking to charge his iPhone and maybe run
his gaming hardware when withdrawal set in after 24 hours without
power ;-)  I don't think that you would experience that particular

I'd like to be farther out and with more land but medical needs keep
us within an hour of the providers - we get excellent care where we
are.  We are in an unincorporated area of the County with no HOA
involved so building codes are reasonably flexible.

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Posted by Jim Wilkins on September 16, 2018, 1:00 pm
One of my backup system design goals is complete isolation from the  
power grid and all other external access paths during lightning  
storms, what the code calls a "separately derived system". This  
requires an inverter for 120VAC and wireless Internet. I have  
Freedompop's no-cost 500MB / month 4G LTE plan which is enough to  
watch NWS weather radar.

The worst predictable case is a strong squall line passing while I'm  
asleep, since their lightning doesn't fade out after sunset. The load  
then is the refrigerator and possibly the Alpi DC freezer, but no  

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