Emergency Power Generation/Storage, EMP Protection, Heating/Cooling, Handy Tools and Tricks

Mariama

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If you are on tight budget you could of course ditch the Ecoflow Generators in Option 2 and 3 in Section 2 and just use the Petrol or Propane generator respectively for each option (thus without any means of storing the energy) although I wouldn’t recommend that. Therefore it would be 349$ less in either of those two options.
Why wouldn't you recommend option 2 and 3 without the Ecoflow generators? Also, wouldn't you still need solar panels to charge the Ecoflow power station? Or am I missing something? I am trying to wrap my head around this, but I am having some difficulty with all the technical details.:-P
 

Cosmos

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Why wouldn't you recommend option 2 and 3 without the Ecoflow generators?

Because you have no means of storing the energy without the Ecoflow generator, which has a battery. For all intents and purposes you lose/waste a lot of energy. That basically means: If you have no power whatsoever you then need to turn on the Petrol or Propane generator to get power. Which means that if you want to power small things like your cellphone, a flashlight, a radio or GPS system, or whatever, you then need to turn on the Petrol/Propane generator for several hours charging that small device directly thus using up a lot of petrol/gas while the rest of the power (which is a lot, in this example!!!) gets wasted and can not be used for powering/heating/cooling anything else.

Also, you would need to turn on the Petrol/Propane generator for all and everything power related (be it a big power consumer or small one) every time you need power! Which not only means that you have a high noise level (since those generators are loud) every time you power ANYTHING (which can be quite annoying) but also that this then significantly lowers your low profile you want to maintain in such a situation. Which is one of the many considerations I researched before I set up my own emergency system and the ones I described here for you all, for lower prices, derived from that/my system. Especially in a prolonged power emergency there is a specific prepping and/or military strategy that you want to maintain, and which has a specific term that escapes me now, but it basically revolves around keeping as low a profile as you can, not only in terms of noise. For example; if there is no power for a longer period, you don't want to alert outsiders (some, if not many of which might not have your best interest at heart!) that you have power and/or other things they don't have. If you are running those loud Petrol/Propane generators quite often in such a situation, it increases the chances that people will hear you, especially if all the power is gone! Thus, you likely invite trouble/danger. Also, you increase the working time of the Petrol/propane generators very significantly (thus increasing the chances of lowering the lifespan/usability of such machines/generators): Anything that gets used a lot will degrade and even go kaput at some point, and most often, the more/often you use ANY machine, device, tool or generator, the sooner that point in time will come. Also, those Petrol/Propane generators create fumes that you have to let out in the open air outside, which means that you have to set them up outside (unless you have built a suitable fume escape in the form of pipes that go to the outside, inside your house, which brings dangers). That are just some of the many reasons I wouldn't recommend such a system without a means of storing the energy. Of course, it is better to have it than not have it, but if you can afford it, I would always recommend a means of storing the energy that you create via Petrol/Propane/Solar etc. (in the mentioned case, the ecoflow generator). See below.

Also, wouldn't you still need solar panels to charge the Ecoflow power station? Or am I missing something?

No! The Ecoflow can be powered/charged by the Petrol/Propane generator too.

If you have a means of storing the energy on the other hand (in the above-mentioned case, with the Ecoflow generator) you don't run into the problems described above or reduce them to great extents. For example: you charge up the Ecoflow by turning on the Petrol/Propane generator ONCE for a couple of hours, and then you have stored pretty much all the energy (with some small but negligible losses) that that amount of Petrol/Propane produces. Which means that you can power small devices for hours, days or even weeks/months (depending on what you do) without any noise and very little energy loss WITH JUST this one Charge, and you can even power larger things (for a very limited amount of time though) without noise. So, for example: you need to power your radio; you hook it up to the Ecoflow without noise in your house and very little energy loss and the rest of the energy that you created via Petrol/Propane/Solar is still available in the energy pack/battery (the ecoflow) for you to use at this or a later point. I hope that explanation isn't too complicated.

Edit: Clarified things.
 
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Mariama

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Thank you so much, for your reply and all that research which you shared with us, @Cosmos! It's perfectly clear now!.
Especially in a prolonged power emergency there is a specific prepping and/or military strategy that you want to maintain, and which has a specific term that escapes me now, but it basically revolves around keeping as low a profile as you can. For example; if there is no power for a longer period, you don't want to alert outsiders (some, if not many of which might not have your best interest at heart!) that you have power and/or other things they don't have. If you are running those loud Petrol/Propane generators quite often in such a situation, it increases the chances that people will hear you, especially if all the power is gone! Thus you likely invite trouble/danger. That are just some of the many reasons I wouldn't recommend such a system without a means of storing the energy.
I think that's a very good point.

I don't know whether I have developed more situational awareness or I am becoming more paranoid, but I have been giving the above quite some thought, so I think the Ecoflow power station with battery is an excellent suggestion.

These past few months I have been noticing that people are staring at my bags/groceries when I walk home or at my wallet when I pay for them. Whether they do that with a criminal mindset or out of weird curiosity I don't know, but it results in my becoming more alert or at least I hope I am.
 

Aiming

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Here are some stripped down lower cost setup options I would recommend, ordered from low price upwards. It will be divided into three sections. Section 1= Very Low-Cost to Low-Cost setup options with or without EMP protection. Section 2= Low-Cost to medium-Cost setup options with or without EMP protection. Section 3= Medium-Cost to high-cost setup options with or without EMP protection.

Section 1= Very Low-Cost to Low-Cost setup options without EMP protection.

Option 1: One "28.5W Solar Panel 23.8% Efficiency Rating 1.1lbs" from OFF GRID TREK [$249.99]

Option 2: One "EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station 288Wh" (EU and International Version available) [$349.00]

Option 3: One "EcoFlow RIVER Plus Portable Power Station 360Wh" (only international Version available [$449.00]

Option 4: One "EcoFlow RIVER Max Portable Power Station 576Wh" (EU and International Version available) [$499.00]

Option 5: One "EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station 720Wh" (EU and International Version available) [$579.00]

Option 6: One "EcoFlow RIVER Max Plus Portable Power Station 720Wh" (only International Version available) [$699.00]

First of all, thanks a lot for sharing your research results on this topic, Cosmos!

I've wanted to buy option 1 (as outlined by your above post), however, they don't deliver to Germany anymore. Now, I've been looking for something else and wanted to ask you if you think this would be a viable option as well? (Even if it's not as good as the ones you recommended?) Here are the links to the products that seem OK to me:

#1: _https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08RNVLLCS...colid=ZTK30XQWBY10&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

#2: _https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08RNVLLCS...colid=ZTK30XQWBY10&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

#3: _https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08RNVLLCS...colid=ZTK30XQWBY10&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Would be glad about your feedback, since I simply don't have the know-how, and thanks in advance!
 

Cosmos

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I've wanted to buy option 1 (as outlined by your above post), however, they don't deliver to Germany anymore

How do you know that they don't deliver to germany anymore?

PS: All three links are the same.
 
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Aiming

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How do you know that they don't deliver to germany anymore?

I was about to order and entered my address and a message came back saying it wasn't possible to ship to that address.

PS: All three links are the same.

Oops, sorry, here they are again:



 

Cosmos

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I was about to order and entered my address and a message came back saying it wasn't possible to ship to that address.

I would be surprised if they do no ship to germany anymore. I had the same problem, I think, when I ordered; I couldn’t see and/or select germany. What I did then was: I wrote a short E-Mail to them saying that I would like to order to germany. And it turned out that it is no problem and we worked it out through E-Mail. I‘m pretty sure that it will work for you too.

As for the other solar panels, I‘ll try to have a look tomorrow.
 

Cosmos

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Now, I've been looking for something else and wanted to ask you if you think this would be a viable option as well? (Even if it's not as good as the ones you recommended?) Here are the links to the products that seem OK to me:

Oops, sorry, here they are again:

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08RNVLLCS...colid=ZTK30XQWBY10&psc=1&ref_=lv_cv_lig_dp_it
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08RNLCGB1...colid=ZTK30XQWBY10&psc=1&ref_=lv_cv_lig_dp_it

Well, I personally wouldn't choose the options you have found there in that combination, and I can't really vouch for or recommend the options you have put together for the simple reason that I would need to spend a considerable amount of time checking them out first. The Solar panel, on the face of it, sound good enough IMO, but here again I would need to look into the matter/brand more extensively, and I wouldn't feel comfortable to vouch for it or recommend it either.

What I can say though is that I followed this guy and his tests on YouTube quite thoroughly (and I think he tested the Jackery you have brought up as well, on a number of occasions) and I know that pretty much all those small generators have more or less "severe" problems. It seems to me that in this price range for small generators, there always will be some compromises you have to make either way. The guy stopped testing and recommending those small generators because of those problems.

What I can do though is to direct you to my follow-up post below, in which (for about the same money you would spend above), I have outline options I would recommend, and what criteria (among others) you would need to look out for, for the things I can't recommend. So, I would recommend that you read through the post carefully and try to see if you can find something that fits the bill:


Now it starts to get a bit more interesting/workable in terms of OFF Grid usage in short and even long term:

Section 2= Low-Cost to medium-Cost setup options without EMP protection.

Option 1:
  • One "EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station 288Wh" (EU and International Version available) [$349.00]
  • One cheaper Solar blanket/case/suitcase/panel for charging the EcoFlow with up to 200W or a bit more. Although I wouldn't recommend buying any other solar options than the ones offered by OFF Grid Trek, there are a myriad of much less expensive options out there with which you can also max out the "200W 10-25V DC 12A max" requirements of the EcoFlow Generator/-s. So I would really only recommend this if you really can't afford the more expensive OFF Grid Trek Solar options. I won't recommend any specific option here (and thus can't provide a price), so, do some research what solar panels would fit that bill and preferably make sure that following criteria are met: 1 = A clear/reliable/provable statement of the efficiency of the solar cells/system (usually the higher, the better, but be aware that many providers can't be relied upon in regard to their truthfulness. For example; some might state "up to 23% efficiency" while in reality the blanket has only 9% or less efficiency and is practically useless!), 2 = The solar option should be able to function if parts of the cells are shadowed or broken and/or the panel needs to function under lower light conditions (be aware that many cheap ones out there can't do that), 3 = The solar option should be at least water-resistant, preferably though waterproof (be aware that I have found practically 0 blankets or cases that are waterproof except for the great Off Grid Trek solar options. If you are lucky you can find water-resistant ones which is something different! But chunky, big and heavy solar panels designed for houses usually are waterproof!), 4= The solar option should be sturdy and designed so that the cells can't break and go Kaputt easily when operated or handled (be aware that most if not all solar blankets/cases don't fulfill that criteria, except for the great Off Grid Trek ones. But chunky, big and heavy solar panels designed for houses usually do!).

Option 2:

Option 3:

Option 4:
Section 2.2= Low-Cost to medium-Cost setup options with EMP protection.

Either one of the options mentioned above in Section 2 (1-4) with the addition of one EMP proof Faraday Bag from OFF GRID Trek respectively: "OGT Large Faraday Bag 126L, Room for all of your Electronics" [$369.99].

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Notes:

Note that while you can theoretically heat and cook with all options in section 2 (Option 1-4) - in addition to generating power ability - I wouldn't recommend using options 1 and 4 for heating/cooking if you can get Option 2 in Section 2, or much better, Option 3 in Section 2. It isn't very economic/power saving at all to do it with Options 1 and 4 in section 2. The same applies for Options 2 -6 in Section 1 while there is no possibility to do so with Option 1 in Section 1. See my first post for more information why this is the case: in summary; because you should use some kind of fossil fuel or flame burning (with wood for example) to do that, if you can.

Note that Option 3 in Section 2 is by far the best option if you want to heat/cook as well while you can certainly also do that with Option 2 in Section 2, although less effectively since you should/could do it with detours: You can heat/cook by directly plugging into the Petrol Generator and then use an electric heater or stove via the AC plug; Quite some energy loss and noise. Note that ONLY Option 1 and Option 4 in Section 2 really fulfill the "energy independents or renewable" criteria in an OFF Grid situation when you don't have any fossil fuels or wood left: but only if you can catch more or less good sunshine! If there is really bad weather (lots of thick clouds with almost none to no sunshine coming through) for longer times, that won't help much for Option 1 and Option 4 in Section 2, most especially in terms of heating/cooling/cooking and generally operating things with a lot of power draws. Also note that in Option 4 in Section 2 we are not using the full sunlight potential (as previously mentioned, the Ecoflow Generators have a "200W 10-25V DC 12A max" input for solar), while we can do that with Option 1 in Section 1. Later on for a higher price, that will be possible with good solar blankets from "Off Grid Trek". Also note that with no option in Section 1 or Section 2, we, as yet, have a fallback/security mechanism like the following: "if there is no fossil fuel left, I can still power with solar if I'm lucky", or the reverse, "if there is no sunshine, I can still power with my fossil fuel savings", or if you run out of Petrol that you can still use Propane, or in the reverse, if there is no Propane left that you can still use Petrol. Those fallback/security mechanisms will start to come into play for higher prices in the next section 3: Medium-Cost to high-cost setup options with or without EMP protection.

Stay tuned.

Additional note added later:

If you are on tight budget you could of course ditch the Ecoflow Generators in Option 2 and 3 in Section 2 and just use the Petrol or Propane generator respectively for each option (thus without any means of storing the energy) although I wouldn’t recommend that. Therefore it would be 349$ less in either of those two options.
 

Aiming

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Well, I personally wouldn't choose the options you have found there in that combination, and I can't really vouch for or recommend the options you have put together for the simple reason that I would need to spend a considerable amount of time checking them out first. The Solar panel, on the face of it, sound good enough IMO, but here again I would need to look into the matter/brand more extensively, and I wouldn't feel comfortable to vouch for it or recommend it either.

What I can say though is that I followed this guy and his tests on YouTube quite thoroughly (and I think he tested the Jackery you have brought up as well, on a number of occasions) and I know that pretty much all those small generators have more or less "severe" problems. It seems to me that in this price range for small generators, there always will be some compromises you have to make either way. The guy stopped testing and recommending those small generators because of those problems.

What I can do though is to direct you to my follow-up post below, in which (for about the same money you would spend above), I have outline options I would recommend, and what criteria (among others) you would need to look out for, for the things I can't recommend. So, I would recommend that you read through the post carefully and try to see if you can find something that fits the bill:

Alright, I understand, and thanks very much for taking the time to look into it, Cosmos! I'll check out the options you've brought up above and let's see what's going to eventually turn out as the best solution. :flowers:
 

Eboard10

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Because you have no means of storing the energy without the Ecoflow generator, which has a battery. For all intents and purposes you lose/waste a lot of energy. That basically means: If you have no power whatsoever you then need to turn on the Petrol or Propane generator to get power. Which means that if you want to power small things like your cellphone, a flashlight, a radio or GPS system, or whatever, you then need to turn on the Petrol/Propane generator for several hours charging that small device directly thus using up a lot of petrol/gas while the rest of the power (which is a lot, in this example!!!) gets wasted and can not be used for powering/heating/cooling anything else.

Also, you would need to turn on the Petrol/Propane generator for all and everything power related (be it a big power consumer or small one) every time you need power! Which not only means that you have a high noise level (since those generators are loud) every time you power ANYTHING (which can be quite annoying) but also that this then significantly lowers your low profile you want to maintain in such a situation. Which is one of the many considerations I researched before I set up my own emergency system and the ones I described here for you all, for lower prices, derived from that/my system. Especially in a prolonged power emergency there is a specific prepping and/or military strategy that you want to maintain, and which has a specific term that escapes me now, but it basically revolves around keeping as low a profile as you can, not only in terms of noise. For example; if there is no power for a longer period, you don't want to alert outsiders (some, if not many of which might not have your best interest at heart!) that you have power and/or other things they don't have. If you are running those loud Petrol/Propane generators quite often in such a situation, it increases the chances that people will hear you, especially if all the power is gone! Thus, you likely invite trouble/danger. Also, you increase the working time of the Petrol/propane generators very significantly (thus increasing the chances of lowering the lifespan/usability of such machines/generators): Anything that gets used a lot will degrade and even go kaput at some point, and most often, the more/often you use ANY machine, device, tool or generator, the sooner that point in time will come. Also, those Petrol/Propane generators create fumes that you have to let out in the open air outside, which means that you have to set them up outside (unless you have built a suitable fume escape in the form of pipes that go to the outside, inside your house, which brings dangers). That are just some of the many reasons I wouldn't recommend such a system without a means of storing the energy. Of course, it is better to have it than not have it, but if you can afford it, I would always recommend a means of storing the energy that you create via Petrol/Propane/Solar etc. (in the mentioned case, the ecoflow generator). See below.



No! The Ecoflow can be powered/charged by the Petrol/Propane generator too.

If you have a means of storing the energy on the other hand (in the above-mentioned case, with the Ecoflow generator) you don't run into the problems described above or reduce them to great extents. For example: you charge up the Ecoflow by turning on the Petrol/Propane generator ONCE for a couple of hours, and then you have stored pretty much all the energy (with some small but negligible losses) that that amount of Petrol/Propane produces. Which means that you can power small devices for hours, days or even weeks/months (depending on what you do) without any noise and very little energy loss WITH JUST this one Charge, and you can even power larger things (for a very limited amount of time though) without noise. So, for example: you need to power your radio; you hook it up to the Ecoflow without noise in your house and very little energy loss and the rest of the energy that you created via Petrol/Propane/Solar is still available in the energy pack/battery (the ecoflow) for you to use at this or a later point. I hope that explanation isn't too complicated.

Edit: Clarified things.
Thank you for sharing this information Cosmos. I have a couple of questions regarding the combination of the devices you list.

You don't recommend using the same solar panels as the provider of the power station? I am looking at purchasing one of the EcoFlow portable stations and was thinking of adding their own solar panel to the order, unless you think the Off Grid Trek panels would be a better option?

When it comes to the inverter generator, does it make sense to use one that produces more energy than what the power station can sustain in terms of input? Say the power station can manage 660W-900W of input. Is it then better to get an inverter generator of similar wattage? If the inverter generator produces a higher wattage, say 1600W-2000W, what happens to the difference?
 
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Cosmos

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You don't recommend using the same solar panels as the provider of the power station? I am looking at purchasing one of the EcoFlow portable stations and was thinking of adding their own solar panel to the order, unless you think the Off Grid Trek panels would be a better option?

No, I can't recommend that, not because there are likely fairly good cheaper solar panels out there that do the job well, but simply because IMO the Off Grid Trek solar panels are the best on many levels (as explained partly in my previous posts in this thread) and depending on the size and budget of your system, I personally would always pay more for a good and reliable product. Which I can say is the case for the Off Grid Trek Panels, but I can't vouch for other brands/Panels. That is the main reason why I don't recommend other panels, which doesn't mean that you can not find the right panels for you needs, at a much cheaper price point!

As for looking for other Solar Panels besides the recommended Off Grid Trek Panels. It depends on quite a number of factors including your budget and how robust/reliable you want your solar Panel to be in your specific system and what your system should look like. See the quoted portion in my last post above. There you will find a number of things you have to look for in terms of finding a good solar panel that fits to your power station and isn't from Off Grid Trek. Here is that part again:

  • [....]
  • One cheaper Solar blanket/case/suitcase/panel for charging the EcoFlow with up to 200W or a bit more. Although I wouldn't recommend buying any other solar options than the ones offered by OFF Grid Trek, there are a myriad of much less expensive options out there with which you can also max out the "200W 10-25V DC 12A max" requirements of the EcoFlow Generator/-s. So I would really only recommend this if you really can't afford the more expensive OFF Grid Trek Solar options. I won't recommend any specific option here (and thus can't provide a price), so, do some research what solar panels would fit that bill and preferably make sure that following criteria are met: 1 = A clear/reliable/provable statement of the efficiency of the solar cells/system (usually the higher, the better, but be aware that many providers can't be relied upon in regard to their truthfulness. For example; some might state "up to 23% efficiency" while in reality the blanket has only 9% or less efficiency and is practically useless!), 2 = The solar option should be able to function if parts of the cells are shadowed or broken and/or the panel needs to function under lower light conditions (be aware that many cheap ones out there can't do that), 3 = The solar option should be at least water-resistant, preferably though waterproof (be aware that I have found practically 0 blankets or cases that are waterproof except for the great Off Grid Trek solar options. If you are lucky you can find water-resistant ones which is something different! But chunky, big and heavy solar panels designed for houses usually are waterproof!), 4= The solar option should be sturdy and designed so that the cells can't break and go Kaputt easily when operated or handled (be aware that most if not all solar blankets/cases don't fulfill that criteria, except for the great Off Grid Trek ones. But chunky, big and heavy solar panels designed for houses usually do!).

    [...]


Take a special note on the bolded part above: Most importantly you have to look what solar power input levels the power station can handle (or is designed to handle) - in the above example "200W 10-25V DC 12A max" - and if the Voltage, Amps and Watts of your solar panel fall within that rage. If you don't do that, at best, you can hardly charge the generator with the solar panel (even in best conditions), or at worse, you can't charge the generator at all.

As for the question about solar panels the manufacturer of the power station also sells (which they often do), theoretically, those Solar Panels should match the power requirements of the generator, but be aware that you can not always rely on that and that you need to check that out yourself to be sure. As you can see, for example, for my own bigger system at home, I have also chosen the solar panels of the manufacturer instead of the ones from OFF Grid Trek, mainly because of my budget and me wanting to max out the system and because those panels seem to be good enough (see "My basic Setup.." below). And also because I have several fall back mechanisms in my system, which do include the Off Grid Trek Solar Panels (if the big system fails for example, I still have the more reliable smaller system with the Off Grid Trek Panel at hand):

What follows is a shorter version of the setup I build that you can build relatively easily yourself too if you have a bit of money at your disposal. [I'll include the rough price in brackets at the end of each item/setup]. After that I also share some stripped down versions/ideas of the said setup that you could try as well which are more "low-cost" options. I will also try to not get into too many specifics to make it more concise. If anyone has any questions about anything, feel free to ask, and I can for example expand on the given subject, how I found the information, how I came to the given conclusions and why I choose certain products/approaches etc.

The reason I say that is because with each approach/product, there are a lot of considerations/calculations/experiments/research/ideas that have been applied to why and how I choose that specific device or approach. Also, be careful, because my setup is based around German/EU Plug/AC requirements and "powering a house" with three people, and it is meant to provide fairly reliable energy for longer time in which bigger power drains can also be used from time to time for "longer periods". That means if you live in the US for example, there are other Plug/AC standards for certain products. But everything mentioned is also available in those non EU Plug/AC standards. It also means that it might be too overkill for most.

In a roundabout way, my setup is meant to fulfill/prepare for the following scenarios (among others):

- Emergency Short-term energy/heat/cooling independents and generation and protection against EMPs at the same time
- Long-term energy/heat/cooling independents and generation in case of prolonged power outages and/or EMPs (many years - lifetime)
- EMP protection for key elements of the setup
- EMP protection and energy input for key electrical devices that would be good if they can function under power outage conditions
- Worst-case scenario considerations and priorities in terms of energy management and conservation

Doesn't mean anything like that ever happens, just that it might be good to be prepared if it happens. That's how I think about it and why I set it up as I did. Also keep my previous post in mind. Also, in everything I do here (and in general also) I'm always trying to find the best solution and always prioritize quality over price. IMO it is always better to research stuff thoroughly and use/buy only the best quality product you can get (within your budget) which usually means you have to pay more. I always apply that principle to things that are a bit more expensive and that need to run reliably. For stuff that is pretty cheap in itself I sometimes break that rule. I'm always looking for the best (and believe me, I research a lot before making a decision). I'm perfectly willing and happy to pay a good amount of money as long as the product has a very good quality and meets my high requirements in terms of quality and durability/compatibility. In other words: I would buy a quality product for a high price any day over a cheap one that could break any time and likely needs to be replaced again and again and isn't reliable. I also like to always cover all possible angles/scenarios that I can think of. A good example of this is the topic of solar panels: I did A LOT of research on it over the years and I found IMO the best solution out there (keeping scenarios such as bad weather conditions and many others in mind) that is a bit more pricey but IMO the best you can get unless you are very rich.

I realize that not everyone can or is willing to spend that amount of money, thus I will present much cheaper, stripped down solutions revolving/based around my basic setup later on.

My basic setup (excluding many other additional things not mentioned):

1 -
"
Bluetti AC200P" AC/Solar/Car Generator/Battery= 2000Wh/2000W = Fast Charge = Surge Power 4800W [1,699€]

2 - "Champion 2000 Watt LPG Dual Fuel Inverter Generator" = 2000W Petrol / 1800W LPG (and/or Propane). [939,99 €] Notice that the Propane tanks mentioned below will/can also be used for cooking/heating if you have a cheap Gas oven/stove/heater as mentioned in the previous posts!!!
  • 1 Motor-Oil= "FANFARO FF6505-5 SPX" [13,82 €]
  • 8 times 11kg Propane Gas Tanks + 8 times Gas [8 x 35€ + 8 x 22,80€ = 462,40€]. Notice that refilling one bottle costs 22,80€ and you only pay for the bottle itself (35€) once (to own it).
  • 2 times 5kg Propane Gas Tanks + 2 times Gas [2 x 29€ + 2 x 11,55€ = 81,10€]. Notice that refilling one bottle costs 11,55€ and you only pay for the bottle itself (29€) once (to own it).
  • 3 times 20L Petrol Tanks + Petrol [3 x 32,94€ + ca. 1,60 € x 60L = 194,82 €]. Make sure to use/replace the Petrol at least once a year with new petrol (but preferably, more like every half year or so). Petrol degrades over time!

3 - "EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station" AC/Solar/Car Generator/Battery= 720Wh/600W = Fast Charge = Surge Power up to 1800W with the so called X-Boost mode! See example here, here, here, here, here, here or here! [749€]

4 - 2 times EMP proof Faraday Bags: "OGT Large Faraday Bag 126L, Room for all of your Electronics". [2 x $369.99 = $739,98]. Notice that I have put every single electrical device mentioned above (including all cables) into those two bags with still quite some space left in there (even though I haven't even mentioned all the electrical devices, cables, batteries, small power banks and tools I have also in there that are not listed above!). That means even if a comet induced EMP or CME type frying happens there is at least potential hope that you can power important things! But that is no certainty of course.

Some basic things to consider in terms of EMPs:

Do some research on EMPs and really think it through! You will realize for example that you have to protect not only the power generator and solar panels mentioned above against an EMP but also the devices you want to power after that emergency, including such critical things as cables! You will also realize that especially newer devices such as cellphones, Laptops etc, are charged via USB-C type of cables that have chips in them! So, that means your devices are basically useless if you don't put the charging cable in the EMP bag as well! What good is a functioning cellphone and the needed power generator for example if you have forgotten to put such a loading cable that has a chip build in into the bag? None! You can't recharge the Cellphone! Same for date transfer between your cellphone/laptop/GPS device etc and other devices such as hard drives. Also, make sure that you put all necessary batteries and power banks into the bag! The mentioned Faraday Bag might also be able to protect against some effects of CMEs but as with the comet or nuclear induced EMPs, nobody really knows. It depends on the severity among many other factors (many of which we might not even be aware of). IMO at least it is worth a try.

Maintaining all Batteries!:

Make sure that you create a list (such as this rough template I created around my setup (I excluded many things for privacy)) in which you list all items in the setup that have batteries in them or use batteries and you want to work if you don't have power and/or there is a EMP. Batteries need to be recharged every couple of months in order for them to not degrade and/or drain. If you don't do that and think you can just store those batteries for years you will wake up with a bad surprise, because at best they are degraded/drained substantially and at worst are kaputt! Depending on the type of battery, the timespan you can store it before you should recharge differs. In my setup for example, "for the worst" type of batteries, it is recommended to charge them every 3-6 months for storage. Thus, I figured it would be best that I recharge ALL batteries in my setup every two months to cover all eventualities! It is also a good way to ensure that every battery/generator/device is fully loaded/functional when an emergency hits.

[(04.08.2022) Edit to the "Maintaining all Batteries!.:" part above: As I have found out by now, depending on the type of battery you are using (for example: NiMH, Lithium Ion, LiFePO4 etc.), and the specific brand/product; if you store them long term, the way you have to maintain them can be quite different from what I said above! Best way to look for how to maintain your specific battery is by looking for what the manufacturer of the product recommends for long term storage (sometimes but not always found in the users manual). If you can't find a recommendation from the manufacturer, the next best thing you can/should do is to look up how you need to maintain your specific type of battery (Lithium Ion, for example) for long term storage, on the internet. Be aware that if you don't follow those long term maintenance/storage recommendations for your specific battery/product and/or you are using a wrong method (always keeping it fully charged, for example) for your type of battery/product, that you can do serious damage to the battery and even destroy it in a fairly short amount of time! You can find a rough guide here for example, for how to maintain different types of battery chemestries.]

Finally, I'll include some pictures.

What follows is just one of the two 120W "OFF Grid Trek" solar blankets powering the "EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station" via two 5-Meter extension cables (all mentioned above in Point 3), through a window into my room in the house, on a fairly good weather day in the October morning hours around 49th parallel north:

View attachment 50988

Close up of the solar blanket in action:

View attachment 50989

Inside the hose powering the Ecoflow:

View attachment 50990

Close up:

View attachment 50991

Next, all key electronics stored in the above-mentioned two EMP bags from "Off Grid Trek" (Point 4). In those two bags all electronics (batteries, power banks, cellphones, walkie-talkies, kindle type readers cables, GPS devices, Flashlights, lighters etc) including the big Bluetti Power Station, the smaller Ecoflow power station, 5 times 120W Bluetti Solar Panels , 2x 120W OFF Grid Trek Solar Panels, 2 smaller 28,5 Watt Off Grid Trek Solar Panels and a bunch of other stuff is stored. And still quite some space left in both bags! Notice how little room/space is wasted (see cup for size reference):

View attachment 50992


Next, I'll explain some of the advantages that our big setup provides for different types of scenarios. And then I'll present a number of lower cost setups/ideas depending on budget (very cheap to moderately expensive).

Also, if you buy more than one solar panel and plan to use them together (to double the amount of solar output), make sure to check if you need to wire them together in Series or Parallel, in order to match the requirements of the power generator. You really need to do that and make sure that both the solar panels and the generators are designed to your output/input needs. For example; not many Solar panels out there are designed to be wired in Series and if you do wire them in Series they will be kaput.

By the way, I tried to design all my recommendations/options in this thread so that you'll don't have to go through all those details and specifics (or much less) yourself, so that you can have a working system, ready to go/use, without worrying about all those things (or much less so). The same options/recommendations are also designed to be as robust and reliable and worry free as possible. Those are just a few reasons why I recommend Off Grid Trek Solar Panels for specific Options and other specifics like the type of generator and what it can do.
 
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Cosmos

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When it comes to the inverter generator, does it make sense to use one that produces more energy than what the power station can sustain in terms of input? Say the power station can manage 660W-900W of input. Is it then better to get an inverter generator of similar wattage? If the inverter generator produces a higher wattage, say 1600W-2000W, what happens to the difference?

I'm not sure, but I guess it would be better to get a one with similar Wattage or above the max input level. What happens to the difference if you don't do that? I guess you will drain down the generator battery, depending on how much the difference is, slower or faster. Maybe you can explain more precisely what you mean?
 

Eboard10

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I'm not sure, but I guess it would be better to get a one with similar Wattage or above the max input level. What happens to the difference if you don't do that? I guess you will drain down the generator battery, depending on how much the difference is, slower or faster. Maybe you can explain more precisely what you mean?
Not sure if my question was clear or if it makes sense, but I was wondering if it's ok to run a gas generator that delivers a higher wattage, say 2000W, to charge a power station that has an input wattage of 900W, for example.
 

Cosmos

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Not sure if my question was clear or if it makes sense, but I was wondering if it's ok to run a gas generator that delivers a higher wattage, say 2000W, to charge a power station that has an input wattage of 900W, for example.

Generally speaking, I don‘t see why that shouldn‘t be ok. But to be certain you would need to be more specific (like which Gasgenerator and which Battery/Solar generator and what you want to do).

Following your rough description above, I would say: You run the Gasgenerator that deliverers a max of 2000W, then you plug in your normal wall charging cable/brick of the battery generator into the Gasgenerator in order to charge it. And if your battery/Solar generator can do a dual charge (via the solar input plug for example) you can charge the battery/solar generator via a second charging cable/brick (with an adapter cable that goes into the solar Input). Which you also plug into the Gasgenerator at the same time.

In fact, my bigger home system can do that and is designed to do that (see „My Basic Setup“ home system, presented and requoted above). Which means, in my system, that I can max out the input/charge of my solar/battery generator as short, quickly effective and energy saving as possible. I can charge the battery via Solar and Gas at the same time, or Petrol and Solar at the same time, or only through Gas or Petrol in full double power mode (two charging bricks), or only through Solar etc. That means that if I‘m lucky I can charge up that fairly big battery/solar/generator in a matter of just a couple of hours from 0 to 100% via fast charge and without any need for the power grid to deliver that power. And voila the big battery/generator is ready to use and power things in the house.
 
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Cosmos

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What I can say though is that I followed this guy and his tests on YouTube quite thoroughly (and I think he tested the Jackery you have brought up as well, on a number of occasions) and I know that pretty much all those small generators have more or less "severe" problems. It seems to me that in this price range for small generators, there always will be some compromises you have to make either way. The guy stopped testing and recommending those small generators because of those problems.

If you want to educate yourself about Solar, Batteries, Battery types, generators and other technical stuff the mentioned guy is a good source in my opinion. He also has written a book. Here is a short one from him:

 
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