Today, generators with an internal combustion engine (most often diesel generators) and storage batteries (batteries) equipped with an inverter — a current converter (from DC to AC and vice versa) are used as alternative sources of electricity in everyday life. Batteries are connected to the network through an inverter, with the help of which the batteries are recharged when there is electricity in the network.
Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage of generators is the noise and exhaust gases produced during operation. But a diesel engine can theoretically function as long as it wants, as long as there is fuel. In any case, he should work for several days in a row.
Battery-based systems have more significant runtime limitations. Usually from several tens of minutes to several hours. Longer duration would require batteries of significant capacity, and, accordingly, the system will turn out to be too expensive. Judge for yourself: an inexpensive diesel generator with an output power of 2 kW can be bought for 25–300 $.
A set of batteries capable of delivering 2 kW for 2–3 hours will cost about twice as much. Add to this the cost of the inverter — at least 30–400 $. A fully assembled uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for half an hour or an hour of operation will cost at least 1000 $. But using the UPS as a backup source is a real pleasure. No exhaust, no noise, no fuel, and switching occurs almost instantly (the generator still needs to be started).
Batteries require a separate, well-ventilated area with insulated racks. The temperature in it should not be lower than recommended by battery manufacturers (usually 15 ° C). We will talk more about choosing the type and brand of batteries, their use and storage in a separate article.
Diagram of an uninterruptible power supply system
All backup power sources are selected depending on the power of the connected load. It depends on the needs of the homeowners. To calculate it, you need to sum up the power of all devices that will be connected to the power source. Keep in mind that the more this amount comes out, the more expensive the UPS will be, so it makes sense to limit the load, leaving only the most necessary — emergency lighting, powering the components of the heating and water supply system (ventilation, borehole pump, etc.). Plus one or two sockets so that you can connect a TV or other household appliances.
When choosing a generator or installing an inverter system, you first need to decide how often you need to use an additional source of electricity. So, if you are in the country only on weekends in the summer, a gasoline generator is enough. At the same time, it must be remembered that gasoline or diesel generators create a lot of noise and an unpleasant smell during operation. Therefore, they must be placed in ventilated rooms with good sound insulation. Inverter-battery systems are more convenient to use, especially if you spend a lot of time in the country and you need an uninterrupted power source all the time. Such a system, as a rule, consists of an inverter, batteries, a charger that provides battery charge, a controller that monitors the battery charge.
Technical specialist of the company “Kashirsky Dvor”