Generator musings

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

I suppose I should figure out precisely what my needs are in terms of a generator.

I’m on city water, so a well pump isn’t an issue. Although, it would be nice to help out frieds who did have pumps.

All my major appliances (stove, furnace, hot water heater) run on natural gas. For heating, I have a pair of kerosene heaters and about 60 gallons of kero in storage. For cooking I can cook on top of the kerosene heaters or use any of several camp stoves that run on multifuels. If for somer eason there’s no gas or no water, then hot water comes from heating it up on top of the kerosene heater or camp stoves. Not great for taking a shower, but a basin and a washcloth will probably do in a pinch. Lighting is accomplished through kerosene and propane lamps, supplemented with some minor 12v lighting.

So, really, where is the need for electricity? Well, there’s the fridge and the freezer. Those are pretty much the only things that are mission-critical. It’s sounding like something like the EU2000 or EU3000 would be enough to take care of those and perhaps charge up a small 12v bank for lighting. If thats the case, the more expensive EU generator, with it’s smaller output and greatly reduced fuel requirements might be the way to go. In a crisis, I don’t need to have every room in the house lit up, and since the internet will most likely be down the computers arent a high priority. so I guess really an EU would be the most practical choice.

Someone mentioned in comments that another option would be to play both sides of it. Get the fuel-sipping EU for running the freezer and a few small lights, and have the big generator for heavy-duty uses that might arise. Certainly, that makes a lot of sense to me, the problem is it isn’t a very economical way to go. Of course, sometimes economy is trounced by the need to cover all the bases.

This is one of those things I’m still going to have to weigh and think about. I’m tempted to go the less expensive (up front)  route and get the larger genny first…then start socking away greenbacks until a good used EU turns up on craigslist.

Also, what I really, really need to do is talk to one of the ‘alternative energy’ vendors in town and explain to them I want a simple battery system for running 12v lighting, charging AA and D batts, and running radios. Since that would all be 12v there’d be no need for an inverter and no resultant power loss in the conversion from DC to AC. Man, thats something I really, really need to get busy on.

And, of course, there’s always ballistic things that need purchasing…..

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