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My husband and I are looking at purchasing a generator for our home. Interested in the Generark HomePower 2 Battery Backup Power Station. With the research we've done it appears to be a new to the market device - 2021 and limited reviews. Interested in hearing from folks who have it...pros and cons or something comparable and a transfer switch is a must.
 

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IMHO, that is not much of a home backup solution. The unit is capable of 2060WH (without the solar panels to recharge it), so since Watt-Hours = Watts X Hours, then a 500W load would run it down in about 4 hours.

That's okay for running minor loads for a short duration, but you're not going to supply much runtime for an entire house.

If you have (or plan to install) a solar array, or have an electric car that can be used to recharge the batteries, then it is a possible option.
 

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I cant see battery power generators taking off at all, not at the moment anyway, because they just dont last long enough as 4hrs is pretty poor for a generator and they are much more expensive aswel... I just hope battery technology will have improved 10x by the time gas/petrol and natural gas are phased out.
 

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Agree with @GenKnot and @speedy2019 that battery-based "generators" are almost never a reasonable solution for even minimal home backup. They simply don't hold enough energy.

A true battery-based home backup solution - a la a Tesla Powerwall, and similar products - are vastly more expensive. Generally well north of $10K. And even they are mostly limited to "inconvenience" utility outages of relatively few hours, unless they are integrated with a very significant way of actually generating power, like a large solar array.

A small, 2000-watt-class gas generator is going to provide far more utility for the average home than the battery solution the OP is looking at.
 

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A portable power station is like a glorified power bank... very different from a portable backup generator that runs off fuel (gasoline, Diesel, LP, or NG). Portable power stations are suitable for short-duration outages for powering low-consumption devices. Think small laptops, a lamp, a means to charge your phones, etc. It's not meant to power a fridge, freezer, or even a space heater, at least not in the duration that is useful.

I think it's important that the OP list down what items, along with their Wattages, do they plan to run during an outage and for how long. That will help members come up with a ballpark generator size.

If battery backup is really what you're after, I'd also take a look at Ecoflow. They offer power stations and generators that can be integrated together. If the battery gets low, the generator automatically starts charging them until they're full, then shuts down on its own.
 

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To me, these portable power stations are more of a gimmick than anything really useful. There are situations where they shine such as backup for a medical device or similar. They buy you time to get out the big generator and get it running while the battery powered station does its job, but a big UPS can do that. They can be useful for an overnight camping trip and such.

After the Snowmageddon of Feb '21 in Texas, people rushed out to buy Jackerys, Ecoflows, etc. They think they are ready for the next one!
 

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The marketing team at work, again. lol

Yeah, it's best that they also level-set the customer on the kind of SLAs a certain backup power solution can bring. It's not a one-size-fits-all.
 

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From what I can see in the marketing literature, it's basically like most other low-end "solar generators", and is suitable for short duration grid outages only.

There are plenty of folks on this forum who note that "the grid in their area is only down for very short outage windows", and if this is true of OP's grid region, then a "solar generator as an appliance" solution starts to make sense. There's no fuel generator involved, wiring/rework, etc. I think the best market for these is the "apartment" scenario, where one is severely limited in what you can do for backup power; another equivalent market is when you are "renting a house", but are not allowed to touch any infrastructure for backup protection.

OP mentions a transfer switch, and this implies they will rework wiring to power more house appliances (not all, by any means, according to this device's "usage chart"). So, they must not be in an apartment or rental house? If this is the case, those solar generators that have expandable battery packs seem the better solution, where one really wants an "appliance" backup power solution.

Nosy neighbors, building codes and other factors might come into play, forcing some to go the solar generator "appliance" route. I can understand this.

Hope this helps ...
 

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I added some batteries (20kWh) and a hybrid inverter as a primary backup power source, keeping my Honda inverter generator as a secondary backup. I did this in the event of a prolonged grid down scenario, since air cooled engines aren't meant to be running continuously for weeks. It is a manual interlock system and seems to work well, and I can add solar later on if I choose. I added a webcam and power meter for either input so I can monitor and balance our loads from an iphone, PC or tablet. The 240VAC input to the inverter is disconnected whenever it is powering the house, otherwise it is turned on to recharge the batteries from either utility or generator power. Whenever the generator is powering the loads, the output of the inverter is disconnected. The cost was much cheaper than one of those Generac battery systems and I can expand the battery storage as needed.

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These types of power stations have a place in life, but you have to be realistic about it all.

The power available is equivalent to having one outlet in your home. No matter how many outlets are on the device, it is still the equivalent of one outlet in terms of what it can do.

Think in terms of it having enough power to keep a refrigerator going or a furnace fan, plus device charging for 1 day. Plan to run extension cords to your most critical load.

It is absolutely critical that you have at least 600 watts of solar panels to feed these types of units (always attached to them) or the power will run out in too short of time trying to keep up with a fridge. If the power station that you are interested in cannot accept this much solar, then look for something else.

In my mind, these types of units should be in a garage because that way you can feed the solar to it more easily.

Keep in mind that Li based power stations (the most common) will not work when it is cold outside due to the nature of Li batteries. A small number of companies build power stations with AGM batteries as well because those will still work when it is below freezing.
 

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I cant see battery power generators taking off at all, not at the moment anyway, because they just dont last long enough as 4hrs is pretty poor for a generator and they are much more expensive aswel... I just hope battery technology will have improved 10x by the time gas/petrol and natural gas are phased out.
That level of jump in battery technology might not even be physically possible.

The primary improvement in battery technology in the past 10 years has been in mfg efficiency and making the separators in cells thinner. The secondary aspect has been improved chemistry, followed by safety.

As a practical matter, batteries and electronic pricing in general has been rising for the past 2 - 3 years (especially for power management devices ) and I don't see this changing for a long time.

I don't want to make this political in any way, but for example UKR is firing ~ 3 000 artillery shells per day. Each of these modern shells has roughly the equivalent of a car full of electronics and a battery pack in it and this is 2x what Ford and GM build in vehicles per day. It actually has a profound impact on vehicle mfgs to build cars and trucks due to parts shortages.

I know that they are not perfect but price / feature / power wise, I just don't see the price / performance changing all that much for the next 10 years. Maybe in aesthetics or ruggedness, but not in the core of what they can really do.

Inverter / charger / battery technology and mfg is pretty mature. Cheap ones really are just lower performance than higher end ones, even if they have the same labels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for your input. My husband and I having little experience with generators thought it was to good to be true. The generator world is a bit overwhelming to us. We live in the highlands of Panama where we do not need HVAC. We do have frequent power outages, most recently a 12 hour one. We need something that will run the house 2800sq feet, appliances, lights, refrigerator, with a transfer switch. Would like to stay away from solar.
 

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We do have frequent power outages, most recently a 12 hour one. We need something that will run the house 2800sq feet, appliances, lights, refrigerator, with a transfer switch.
There are lots of possibilities, but we would need to know more about your needs. What type of fuel do you have available (gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas). I believe Panama is 120/240V split-phase like the U.S., so that makes it easier find generators.

If you have an idea of what you need to run during an outage (your critical loads), add up the wattage (or the amperage) and that will determine the size of the generator. Or, are you wanting to run the entire house just as if on grid power? Also, would you want electric start or pull start?

As for transfer switches, you might consider reading thru this thread (I don't know what your local codes are)...

Let us know. There are lots of people on this forum that can provide ideas for you to consider.
 

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We live in the highlands of Panama
Do you have any problems with getting fuel, (either gasoline, propane or natural gas)? Myself I'd lean towards a generator or inverter generator in the 7500 (running) watt region.
Does the house already have any kind of outdoor receptacle hook up installed for the transfer switch? Or is the transfer switch something you're looking into?

As shown above, lots of possibilities and ideas to be found here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There are lots of possibilities, but we would need to know more about your needs. What type of fuel do you have available (gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas). I believe Panama is 120/240V split-phase like the U.S., so that makes it easier find generators.

If you have an idea of what you need to run during an outage (your critical loads), add up the wattage (or the amperage) and that will determine the size of the generator. Or, are you wanting to run the entire house just as if on grid power? Also, would you want electric start or pull start?

As for transfer switches, you might consider reading thru this thread (I don't know what your local codes are)...

Let us know. There are lots of people on this forum that can provide ideas for you to consider.
 
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