Have you ever considered what it would be like to live off-grid? Simply using power from alternative energy sources such as solar, wind or hydro? Imagine the sheer joy when the post arrives, knowing it won't be a seriously over-inflated electricity bill.
This is the reality for many people. Maybe their home is simply too far out to be connected to the grid, or maybe it's a personal choice for greener of more affordable living. Either way, a growing number of households are turning off and switching over to more natural forms of energy, especially solar power. In the USA alone there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes, and Australia is quickly following suit.
But while they use alternative energy sources the majority of the time, they also have the peace of mind that should nature fail, they have a good quality Generator for Back-Up Power or a portable power station. After all, living off grid doesn't mean you go without power, it simply means you don't take electricity from the power companies.
When you're off the grid, prepare to have a backup for everything. If you're relying on solar power, you might not need to resort to the generators during the summer - but the minute the cooler months set in and the solar panels produce less power, it will be a different story.
Auto-Start Generator For Off-Grid Solar Backup:
A completely off-grid home running on battery storage and solar backup might use a Power Generator to charge up the solar batteries at night, or when the sun isn't shining and the solar panels aren't producing power.
These auto-start generators will automatically start to top up your battery packs when they are running low and then automatically shut down again. This two-wire start stop feature is connected to the inverter/charger of the solar installation and activated through programming within the inverter/charger. There are a range of generator options in the following categories:
Silenced or open framed
Pramac have been a major player in the solar off-grid generator market for many years. They have designed a simple to use two-wire remote start kit that is externally connected to the generator.
A silenced diesel water-cooled option presents a range of benefits. Diesel engines should provide better fuel economy and longevity, a silenced canopy goes along way when considering proximity of neighbours. The Kubota Lowboy is offered in a 6kVA and 8.8kVA option, with a two year warranty and global brand recognition, this is one of our premium choices for auto-start backup to solar off-grid.
Inverter Generators For Life Off-The-Grid:
The bonus of having a generator is that extra power is there when you need it. For example, an inexpensive 2400-watt inverter generator can be used to power up a few appliances around the home like lights and your fridge-freezer. Then, when it's not needed, it can be packed and stored away easily. These are best for infrequent, small use.
One of our top sellers for backup on or off the grid is the Yamaha 2800w Inverter Generator.
Why we love the Yamaha EF2800i:
Large fuel tank (11.2 Litres)
Continuous working time: 17 hr (1/4 load Eco On)
4 year warranty!
Sturdy roll frame
Pure sine wave power
Inverter generators are generally recoil (pull) start or electric start, but do not feature auto start. These are ideal for portability, fuel efficiency and powering sensitive electronics.
There is one new inverter generator on the market that has taken all the best features of a petrol generator and combined them in one: MaxWatt 8000W Petrol Inverter Generator with Two-Wire Remote Start. This generator is silenced, produces pure sine wave power, has a large power output of 7000W (continuously) and can be connected via the two-wire auto start. This product is a real game changer for the off-grid solar market!
Portable Power Stations For Off-Grid Weekenders:
The tranquillity of a cabin in the bush is easily spoiled by the fumes and sound from a running generator. This is why some customers are switching to a portable power station. These are a quiet, clean way to power all your electronic comforts in your off-grid home.
We recommend atleast a 100Ah combined with a compatible solar panel like the EcoFlow DELTA Portable Power Station (105Ah@12V) Bundle with 160W Monocrystalline Folding Solar Panel.
To deep dive into portable power stations, check out our buyer's guide here.
Conventional Generators For Commercial Off-Grid Living:
More and more farmers are disconnecting from the power grid and securing their own power source. A commercial operation calls for a generator with a little extra grunt. Power tools like welders and air compressors usually require something larger than 6kVA. The Yamaha EF7200E fitted with automatic voltage regulation (AVR) is an all-rounder on a commercial property. The AVR will still produce clean power for sensitive electronics, but the max output of 6000W should cover most power tools.
The important thing to remember is that many generators aren't built for long-term use. Many cheap generators are really only designed for infrequent use, not built to handle intensive operation...Therefore when it comes to powering your whole home or topping up solar batteries it pays to choose your power generators wisely. Research the pros and cons of generators from the best generator brands, such as Pramac, Yamaha, Maxwatt, Cromtech or Kubota. It might be worth paying a little more to ensure you get a power generator that will last longer and perform when you need it.
So if you're thinking of saying goodbye to the utility companies and embarking on energy independency, make sure you're never in the dark - invest in one or two good quality power generators.
For more helpful information visit www.mygenerator.com.au
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.