Power outages can happen unannounced and there could be many reasons for it. In most cases, it is because of natural calamities like storms, heavy rains, and heavy snowfall, or even because of rare events such as tsunamis. There also could be some technical fault in the grids and this also could contribute to such sudden and unannounced power outages. It certainly could be disturbing for all of us and could lead to loss of peace of mind. It is therefore quite obvious that you would be looking out for standby power supply systems. In many homes, there are standby generators that are quite big, noisy, and powerful. On the other hand, many homeowners are happier settling for a portable generator. There has been a steady increase in the demand for portable generators. Are they worth the money? Is a portable generator sufficient for your home? Let us try and find answers for the same over the next few lines.
What is a portable generator? Portable generators produce electricity by making use of diesel, gas, or propane-powered engines. This helps to turn on the alternator converting it into mechanical energy. This is then converted into electrical energy. Normally these generators can handle the lighting and power requirement of a small home.
SUFFICIENT IS A RELATIVE WORD
There is no doubt that compared to standby generators, portable generators are less powerful. Hence, before answering the question as to whether these generators are sufficient, we need to understand the capacity of these portable power generators. Most portable generators have the capacity of generating around 3,000 to 4,000 watts of power. On the other hand, heavy-duty generators can easily generate and handle a load of 10,000 watts and even more. Therefore, whether a portable generator is sufficient or not would depend on the load that a home wishes to cater to.
SOME OBVIOUS REASONS FOR BUYING A PORTABLE GENERATOR
- They are cost-effective. Portable generators obviously are much cheaper when compared to heavy-duty generators. They are available for a price of around $500 to $3,000 depending on the power generating capacity or wattage. They can be bought online, or from any good brick and mortar stores.
- They are best suited for emergency backup. When unexpected power outages happen because of natural disasters and other such problems, these small mini-generators could make all the difference between going without power and having some useful and vital standby power.
- They can be stored easily. Portable generators are small in size and therefore they can be stored in homes. You can place them in your backyard, garden, or even in your garage if you wish. It can be connected to the home through wires and cables and your service provider will be able to help you out.
However, many people are not in favor of these portable generators because of some obvious drawbacks.
- They are noisy and generate a lot of heat. Most portable generators are kept outside the homes because they make a lot of noise. Further, they give out harmful carbon monoxide cases and they could lead to poisoning and lung disorders. You may get complaints from neighbors and therefore they are not suitable for apartments and other congested places.
- Limited use. Since the wattage is limited it may not be suitable for meeting the power requirements of the entire home. It may not be possible to run air conditioners and other such appliances that draw large amounts of power.
- Manual restart is needed. Unlike stand by generators, these portable ones need manual intervention to start them each time there is a power outage. Further, the fuel capacity is limited and the generators will run only for five to six hours after which a refill is needed. It may not be suitable during winter months
To conclude there are reasons both for and against buying a portable generator. The customer is the right person to decide on its efficiency or usefulness. However, there is no doubt that there is a growing demand for these generators.