Solar power is currently one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy on the planet. From small residential and off grid applications, up to massive grid tied configurations. Solar power is at an all time high in popularity and practical use. The following article is filled with tips and tricks that we have picked up over the years that are designed to stretch your limited back-up power when you find yourself in a tight spot.
LED Light Bulbs:
If you have not done so already, we highly recommend switching all of the incandescent bulbs in your entire home over to inexpensive, energy efficient LEDs. You can easily power up to 4-8 LED bulbs with the same amount of power it takes to light 1 incandescent bulb. Not only will this allow you to save money each and every day by decreasing your daily usage, but when a blackout inevitably strikes, you will be able to power the lights in your home for 2-4 times as long with your solar generator!
No Need for Candles:
One of my favorite tricks is to utilize the power that you have been gathering all day long and may have forgotten about. The solar light fixtures that are out in the front yard, beautifully outlining your pathway or garden, are perfect lantern/lamp alternates to candles and flashlights. They typically illuminate for up to 8 hours and can easily be brought inside of the home in the event of a power outage. No more digging in the junk draw searching for tea lite candles that give off a minuscule amount of light and create a fire hazard. This will free up plenty of power from your solar generator, allowing you to run your necessities for an even longer period of time.
Fridge and Freezer Hack:
There is a common misconception amongst refrigerator owners and how they operate. People will often unplug a fridge/freezer in order to conserve power. Not only will this do nothing to conserve power but will cause the interior to increase in temperature rapidly, causing the unit to draw that much more power upon being connected back to a power source. The best option is to keep your fridge plugged into your back up power source and add as many frozen bags of water to the open space in the fridge/freezer. This will keep the ambient temperature inside of the unit cool, which will limit the number of times the compressor will turn on.
Wind and Solar Power – Best Friends:
A great resource that is typically available during a power outage but rarely utilized, is wind. Storms and high winds are the two most common causes of power outages to date. Wind turbines have the ability to generate a huge amount of power when you need it most and often accompany the very source of the outage. They can also produce a large amount of power overnight, when your solar panels are not receiving any sunlight. To give you an inside look at how well they can perform; the average wind turbine (Primus Air 30) can generate up to 400 watts of power an hour, when receiving 28 mph winds.
We truly hope that these tips and tricks assist you in persevering through an outage. With the increasing number and ferocity of hurricanes these days, it is best to be prepared in every way we can. As always, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise.