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#293211 - 09/02/19 12:53 PM Battery alternative to gas/propane generator
brandtb Offline

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 370
Loc: S.E. Pennsylvania
I saw this recently on a TV news feature as Dorian was approaching Florida. It is a silent battery power source with three 120V outlets and four USB ports.


I doubt that it could be attached directly into your home power. Its main uses - as described on the feature - were to power tools at a job site or as a camping power source.

Any experience / comments?
Brian Brandt

#293212 - 09/02/19 03:08 PM Re: Battery alternative to gas/propane generator [Re: brandtb]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2423
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
I have seen a similar product which can either be charged with household current or by an optional solar panel.


I have not tested this product; I'm reading positive things about it.

Jeanette Isabelle
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

#293219 - 09/02/19 08:25 PM Re: Battery alternative to gas/propane generator [Re: brandtb]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3367
Loc: USA
I’ve been an amateur radio operator for about thirty years, and my interest in portable power stems mostly from dipping my toes into ham radio emergency communication from time to time. Being able to set up an off-grid ham station also makes it easy to charge cellphones, laptops and so on. Later in life, I became keenly interested in backup power for sump pumps, after we suffered through a pump failure and the resulting flood.

1) Know your needs and wants. First, know your load: It’s vastly different to charge a cellphone a few times versus running your sump pumps to keep your house from flooding during a storm. Neither generators nor power banks (no matter what they’re called) do well when overloaded. Second, duration: Being ready for a few hours’ without power is very different from being without power for a week, or longer. Be ready for different forms of power — some devices are fine on 12VDC, some need 120VAC, and still others need 5V USB. If you’re planning to recharge batteries for flashlights and whatnot, have the charges and the cells squared away in advance.

2) Know who you’re buying from. I’d be very reluctant to spend real folding money on something from a manufacturer I’ve never heard of. In general, I prefer to buy from US manufacturers, especially ones with clear and honest specifications, and excellent customer support.

3) Backup power at any scale beyond a drawer full of primary batteries is an ongoing effort, it’s not something where you can buy a thing and be done. Most larger batteries (like for computer UPS’s, portable jump starters, and “portable power station” devices) need to be replaced on a regular schedule, typically between two and five years. The replacement schedule depends on usage, load, capacity, battery chemistry, manufacturing quality, and other things. You can often get away with less frequent replacements if you design your system with extra capacity. Also, batteries need to be maintained, and fuel usually needs to be stabilized, used, and replaced. Generators need to run periodically and be maintained correctly.

#293221 - 09/02/19 11:13 PM Re: Battery alternative to gas/propane generator [Re: chaosmagnet]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5335
I have the Goal Zero Yeti 400. If needed, I can buy a replacement battery (AGM) and the goalzero.com website has a short tutorial on how to do the replacement — pretty simple. Point being, after buying a system, will it continue to be supported by the manufacturer...

For $1197 you’re paying more than the price of a Goal Zero 1250. Compare the two...
FYI, GZ 1250 Replacement Battery w/ tutorial

#293222 - 09/02/19 11:53 PM Re: Battery alternative to gas/propane generator [Re: brandtb]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3367
Loc: USA
I don't own any Goal Zero gear, but they have a rock solid reputation and many of my friends own their stuff.

#293223 - 09/03/19 01:54 AM Re: Battery alternative to gas/propane generator [Re: brandtb]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1616
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
I made a brief foray into the battery system with a deep discharge 12v marine battery that I attached a female cigarette lighter receptacle... it was kept on a cheap float charger, and when I looked to give it a full charge for Irma, one of the cells had died... lack of maintenance on my part...

I'm old school, and place my emergency power plans on two generators... one an old Honda that has been re powered by a new Honda engine, and the newer Harbor Freight Predator 2200/2000W inverter generator.. both have been converted to work off remote fuel tanks, with squeeze ball siphon for the Honda, and since the inverter has a fuel pump, only needs to be primed... this allows me to run off bulk 5 gal cans... for Irma the inverter was run hard for about a week by a friend that powered two upright freezers and a refrigerator with it...changed the oil and plug and sits ready to go...I can throw it in the utility trailer and hook it to the lawn mower to provide power for neighbors and to use the electric chain saw and pole saw... for $350 it has already paid for itself YMMV

#293232 - 09/03/19 02:11 PM Re: Battery alternative to gas/propane generator [Re: LesSnyder]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 861
Loc: wellington, fl
The issue seems to be energy storage density. I have an ego electric rechargeable leaf blower, backpack version: works great, similar to gas-powered models, moves leaves, river rock, small dogs with no difficulty...for about 20 minutes. Then it needs a recharge, but then, so do I, so no big deal. The op's $1000 ego generator runs on 7.5 amp hour battery packs. For $100, I can buy a 35 amp hour agm 12v battery, and for $400 I can buy a pair of 200 ah 6 volt wet cell golf cart batteries. add an HF 3000 watt inverter for $289, and my choice of 120v ac charger, 100 w solar panel, or gas generator backup, and I have a comprehensive system of modest quality components with more power than the ego at less cost. Which system suffers from exactly that problem that Les identifies: maintenance. Batteries of any sort do not last forever, and can be ruined by faulty charging and storage practices. Gas generators need some maintenance too, bu its the kind of wrench and grease stuff that is familiar, and the power density is phenomenal compared to solar.

Nice thing about the expensive netzero,ego, renogy, and similar devices is that they have pure sine wave inverters, eliminating the annoying audio buzz and frying electronics smell that plague cheaper modified sine wave inverters.
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.


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