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Whether the power goes out for a short time or it’s the big SHTF emergency you’ve been preparing diligently to combat, having an alternative power supply can save your life or at least, make life more comfortable. There are alternatives you can use, but they all have good and bad points.
Pros of a Solar Generator:
1 Solar generators are clean, with no noxious gases left after use. It’s safe to use inside the home.
2 Solar power cost nothing and is completely renewable. Even if you have a few dismals overcast days, as Annie says, “the sun will come out tomorrow.”
3 Solar generators are safer. There’s no possibility of fire or burning yourself, particularly if you don’t have much experience.
4 Solar power doesn’t alert the neighborhood to the fact you have power and are prepared. In a SHTF disaster, keeping a low profile can save your life.
5 Solar power doesn’t require a lot of attention and maintenance.
Cons of Solar Generator:
1 Solar generators cost far more than other alternatives. As these become more popular, expect the price to drop.
2 Solar power takes time to recharge. Not only can you not recharge them in the evening and they take a while to recharge in the day, their output is less.
3 Solar generators are extremely heavy, about the same weight as an entire home solar power system.
Pros of Wind Generators:
1 Just like solar generators, wind generators are clean, with no noxious gases left after use. It’s safe to use inside the home.
2 Wind generators are free to operate and requiring only the wind as fuel.
3 Huge potential for non-emergency situations, lowering or eliminating the cost of electricity.
4 No potential for fire or noxious gases.
Cons of Wind Generators:
1 They’re not only hard to install, since they’re big, but they’re very obvious. Everyone will know you have power available and there’s no way to hide it.
2 They’re not just visibly obvious. They’re noisy. Even if there’s no emergency, operating them can create a noise problem with neighbors.
3 Wind is intermittent and not steady, so the power source fluctuates.
Pros of a Gas Generator:
1 As long as you have fuel, there’s no need to recharge, as there is with a solar generator.
2 Gas generators have a bigger load capacity.
3 Instant power. There’s no waiting for wind or sunlight.
4 Gas generators are relatively inexpensive compared to wind and solar ones.
Cons of a Gas Generator:
1 Fuel can be difficult to get after you use your initial supply.
2 You can’t store the amount of fuel necessary for long term use and securing fuel after the grid is down will be close to impossible.
3 Gas generators are noisy and alert everyone in the neighborhood that you are prepared and have power, potentially even food.
4 Dangerous to store fuel in large amounts.
Pros of a Propane Generator:
1 You can store more propane and it doesn’t have a shelf life, unlike gas.
2 Propane will be available even if the gas pumps are down. It’s already in tanks.
3 Propane generators remain cleaner even after months of no use. There are no carbon deposits like gas generators.
4 Propane burns cleaner than gas and has fewer emissions.
Cons of a Propane Generator
1 There’s increased potential for failure, since the system is more complicated.
2 May be more expensive to operate than diesel or gas to run.
3 Higher cost initial investment than gas or diesel generator, unless you purchase one with a shorter life expectancy.