Currently there are two methods available for home backup power, mechanical generation with a gas-powered generator, and a storage system with single or multiple banks of batteries. Since a battery storage system does not create energy, it is generally incorporated with a solar panel system which powers the batteries. This type of back-up power will become more and more common as solar generation and battery storage become more economical to install. The purposes of this section will focus on mechanical gas-powered generation. There are many things to consider when choosing a mechanical backup power system. We can help you make the best choice for you based on your needs and budget. There are mainly two different types of these backup systems, Manual-Transfer which uses a portable gas-powered Generator, and Automatic-Transfer which uses a permanently mounted Generator, usually powered by natural gas. For slightly more detailed information about these systems, you can download the documents listed below.
Manual-Transfer Generators – typically supplied by a gasoline Generator from 4000 to 10,000watt This type of system is powered by a portable gasoline powered generator. It requires manually starting, stopping, re-fueling and plugging in a portable generator into an inlet-receptacle that back-feeds the existing main panel. This receptacle is usually located just outside from the main panel, but it can be installed at a location that is more accessible to where the Generator is stored. This system incorporates an interlock which ensures that the Generator power cannot back-feed into the utility. Although this system feeds all the circuits in the house, what can be used is limited by the capacity of the Generator. This will generally be loads like lighting, sump-pumps, refrigerators, a gas furnace etc. If a customer wants to power larger appliances such as an electric dryer, range, central Air Conditioning etc. a larger Automatic-Transfer system is necessary.
Automatic-Transfer Generators - typically supplied by a natural gas Generator from 10,000 – 22,000watt This type of system is powered by a permanently mounted natural gas generator. Powering the Generator with Natural Gas eliminates the need for fuel storage, re-fueling as well as manually starting & stopping the generator as with a portable unit. Automatic operation and transferring power upon utility power failure is a real advantage, especially during times when no one is home for an extended period like when on vacations or business trips. This alone can save a homeowner thousands of dollars in repair costs if power is lost to Sump- Pumps during a heavy rainstorm. These systems can power many larger appliances like Air Conditioning, electric ranges, Electric Vehicle charging etc.