Alternative Power Enterprises is a solar energy company offering solar generator design, installation and maintenance services. It specializes in ground and roof-mounted photovoltaic solar systems, both grid-tied and off-grid, as well as solar thermal systems. In addition to its alternative energy products, the company can offer on-site consulting services to help you determine the system that best suits your needs. It can evaluate your utility bills to create an annual power consumption figure and perform a site visit to determine the best location for equipment. It can then design a system to provide the desired energy savings while working up a detailed estimate on costs and options. (<a target="blank" href="http://alternative-power.com/">alternative-power.com</a>; 970-626-9842)
AspectSolar systems are small enough to be readily portable yet remain sufficiently powerful to drive personal electronics and small appliances. From the solar-powered Duo-Flex to the EnergyBar250, AspectSolar makes integrated solar products compact enough for easy transport. The LiFePO4 battery featured in the EnergyBar250 incorporates the best technology available for high-capacity portable needs. AspectSolar battery packs also have no thermal discharge, so their products are completely safe for air travel. AspectSolar panels incorporate SOLTRAX technology as featured in the SunSocket Solar Generator. Incorporating its Maximum Power Point technology, AspectSolar produces some of the most powerful solar panels available on the marketplace today. (<a target="blank" href="http://www.aspectsolar.com/">aspectsolar.com</a>; 877-717-7778)
ARC Solar produces a single product—the SPG 3000 Solar Powered Generator. This versatile device is optimized to provide backup power while off the grid. The SPG 3000 consists of a portable self-contained power unit about the size of a toolbox combined with a folding solar array that rolls up like a sleeping bag. The generator is sufficiently powerful to operate basic home appliances like a refrigerator, yet remains adequately portable to ride comfortably in the trunk of a car. The SPG3000 produces about 2 kilowatts per clear day and is adequate to run most any RV-based electrical system while camped away from hookups. This device can plug directly into a vehicle’s electrical system to charge the onboard batteries in the absence of external power. The inverter used in the SPG3000 has a peak output sufficient to handle high-wattage devices like microwave ovens as well. The SPG3000 incorporates the R.E.A.I.C. (Renewable Energy Adaptive Interconnecting Component) system that allows the solar array to service multiple batteries for increased power storage. For the prepper wishing to be self-reliant at home, ARC Solar has the solar system to make it happen. (<a target="blank" href="http://www.arcsolarsystems.com/">arcsolarsystems .com</a>; 602-531-9348)
The PowerPot is designed for the prepper operating where space and weight considerations are critical.This brilliant little device is affixed to the bottom of an aluminum cooking pot and converts kinetic energy in the form of heat into electrical power. Using the PowerPot, any external heat source can charge your cell phone or other USB-driven devices while you cook your food. A 10-minute charge time runs a typical cell phone for an hour. The PowerPot comes in two sizes, but the heaviest still weighs in at less than 2 pounds. Both PowerPot devices come with a mesh carry bag for easy portability. Additionally, the company’s Lithium 4400 power packs provide backup power for personal electronic devices independent of commercial power and interface perfectly with the PowerPot. (<a target="blank" href="http://www.powerpractical.com/">powerpractical.com</a>)
Briggs & Stratton is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor products. While its product lineup includes generators of all shapes and sizes, the Storm Responder 6,250-watt portable generator is optimized for home use in a crisis. The company designed the Storm Responder specifically for first-time users. Sporting a 7-gallon fuel tank, with all pertinent instructions and operational guidelines printed on the unit, the Storm Responder is the ultimate portable power system for users who are unfamiliar with generators. The unit also includes the StatStation Digital Display, a control panel that provides everything owners need to know with the touch of a button, including the amount of power used, total lifetime hours of the generator and maintenance reminders. (<a target="blank" href="http://www.briggsandstratton.com/us/en">briggsandstratton.com</a>; 800-444-7774)
GoalZero produces solar-power products that are robust, portable and reliable. Its products range from the small Lighthouse 250 Lantern, which incorporates a built-in, manually cranked generator and USB charging station, up to large-scale solar power generators and folding solar arrays. It also produces a solar-powered boom box called the Rock Out 2 Solar Speaker. While GoalZero’s product line orbits around man-portable solar solutions for use while camping, hiking, or operating in otherwise austere environments, it also produces solar arrays and solar generators suitable for use around the home when the lights go out. The company’s solar generators are compact enough to tuck out of the way in a workshop or utility room until needed. GoalZero focuses on solar power solutions for relatively modest applications and its corporate ethos is 21st-century cool. (<a target="blank" href="http://www.goalzero.com/">goalzero.com</a>; 888-794-6250)
Harbor Freight’s generator solutions run the gamut from tiny gasoline-powered portable units, like the 900-watt Storm Cat shown, to enormous diesel backup rigs that are powerful enough to run a business. Harbor Freight’s award-winning, EPA certified 8750KW gas generator is another option that delivers plenty of power. From wrenches to generators to tarpaulins to chainsaws, Harbor Freight can set you up with most anything the American handyman’s heart might desire. On a recent stroll through one of its stores a nice LED flashlight set me back two bucks and a hand grinder was only a ten spot. For the prepper on a tight budget, this is a great place to start. (<a target="blank" href="http://www.harborfreight.com/">harborfreight.com</a>; 800-444-3353)
While its cars and motorcycles are used around the planet, Honda also produces a comprehensive line of portable generators driven by its quiet, reliable gasoline engines. Honda generators are designed for recreational, industrial and home use, and are sized accordingly. The company’s website has easy-to-use guides that explain what sort of backup generator is needed to power various home systems, and Honda’s offerings span the spectrum of size and portability. Its smallest unit is the EU2000i, producing 2,000 watts at 120 volts. This generator will power appliances up to a TV, satellite connection or fridge, and weighs 47 pounds. This system runs more than 9 hours on a gallon of gas. Honda’s largest portable system is the EB10000S, which produces 10,000 watts at either 120 or 240 volts. The EB10000S has an electric start and is sufficiently powerful to drive a fridge, freezer and more. (<a target="blank" href="http://powerequipment.honda.com/">powerequipment.honda.com</a>; 770-497-6400)
JASPAK portable generators are fairly large-scale solar systems made entirely in the USA. JASPAK generators come in hardened portable cases and include state-of-the art rechargeable power cells coupled with high-tech power management systems. They connect to JASPAK solar arrays and can be used to run everything from small USB-based portable electronics all the way up to full-sized appliances. Every JASPAK Solar Generator unit includes a 153Ah VRLA-AGM deep-cycle solar power battery with a keyed master on/off switch, an 1,100-watt continuous/ 2,200-watt surge pure sine wave inverter, and four 120-volt outlets. They also include a 12-volt subsystem with two 12-volt outlets and three USB charging ports on individual switches and fuses. If you are looking for a solar system large and powerful enough to power your home, JASPAK is a great place to start. (<a target="blank" href="http://jaspak.com/">jaspak.com</a>; 855-381-3331)
When the power goes down from a natural disaster, terrorist action or infrastructure failure, it suddenly becomes painfully apparent how dependent we are on electricity. Without electrical power, dark is whenever the sun goes down.
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If you live out on the fringes of the grid, where power can be spotty in a crisis, or you simply wish to keep your lights burning independent of other people’s problems, the solution is a personal generator. Fortunately, there are lots of options available on the market.
Check out this list of generators to keep you and your family in the light during the next blackout!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE GENERATORS
- Alternative Power Enterprises: alternative-power.com; 970-626-9842
- AspectSolar: aspectsolar.com; 877-717-7778
- ARC Solar: arcsolarsystems.com; 602-531-9348
- Power Practical PowerPot: powerpractical.com
- Briggs & Stratton Storm Responder: briggsandstratton.com; 800-444-7774
- GoalZero: goalzero.com; 888-794-6250
- Harbor Freight Tools: harborfreight.com; 800-444-3353
- Honda: powerequipment.honda.com; 770-497-6400
- JASPAK: jaspak.com; 855-381-3331
This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE ™ Winter 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.
This Kompact Entry Gun is now available with a 7" or 10" barrel
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