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Posted: 3/31/2021 2:57:53 AM EDT
Looking for a small generator for the house to run a few simple items laptop a few monitors and Wifi for my wife when she works from home.

We do hope to buy a whole house generator soon but until then we wanted to get a small backup.

I have been looking at the traditional generators then saw an article about the solar generator like the Jackery Explorer and wanted to see what you all think? I'm in a great area for solar and wind. Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/31/2021 5:57:38 AM EDT
Honda EU2200 or a used 2000.
Link Posted: 3/31/2021 7:29:07 AM EDT
The solar generator is soundless, but is totally dependent on the battery at night.  The real answer is that you need both.  

The Honda is a great generator, but lots of people have had great results from the 2kw compact generators that cost about half what the Honda does.  For the price of one Honda, you could have a Predator, Powerhorse, Champion, etc... AND and the Jackery.  The solar panel may not fit in that budget.
Link Posted: 3/31/2021 7:59:44 AM EDT
Very hard to beat a 2000(ish) watt inverter generator for usefulness.  Honda, Yamaha and Champion seem to be the go to manufacturers but there are others who have their fans.  If you have propane available then look for dual fuel.  I’m a Honda 2000 fan and have converted mine (Hutch Mountain kit) but the Champions have a pretty good reputation and they have dual fuel models right from the factory.  

I have no experience with solar generators.
Link Posted: 3/31/2021 9:20:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2021 10:24:31 AM EDT by lasnyder]
it is nice to have an inverter style 2200W system that can be thrown in the back of the pick up...mine is an inexpensive HF that really got a work out during Hurricane Irma... it is converted to use a remote fuel source... a T is plumbed into the fuel line between the fuel pump and and fuel shut off valve, which can isolate the on board fuel tank... an external port is blocked unless connected... a drop tube with a squeeze bulb prime system fits on my 5-6 gallon fuel cans... the inverter has a fuel pump, so once the line is primed the fuel can be at the same level... the system works well as a gravity flow system for my older Honda
Link Posted: 4/14/2021 12:38:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/14/2021 12:52:53 AM EDT by gitarmac]
A "solar generator" is a battery. I have a jackery 1000 but it pisses me off the way these companies mislead consumers into believing they are a single viable option for emergencies for a home.

One brand claims it ran a whole house for a week on one charge. Uhhh, no it didn't.

The solar panels are a doomsday luxury. They are called 100 watt panels but both hooked up to the jackery will input 125 watts at best. This is normal, it's limited by the battery so not to damage it.

The website says you can do pass through charging but the Facebook page (where they actually respond to customers) says it will damage the battery over time.

For the price you can get a nice honda inverter or several chinese knockoffs.

But like I said, I have one, because I can afford one and because I already have a couple generators. I test it from time to time. I can run the bedroom (tv and lights) for a few hours and still have a good bit left, over 60%. It takes a day with the panels to get it back up over 90%, that's in full sun.

Oh, and there is a fan that kicks in when you are on AC power, it's not exactly soundless.

There are a lot of options for charging phones and power cells using various cords. I like that. I run my inverter on the open patio with cords, I don't find it as inconvenient as some people. I can use the jackery as a portable source to run something a short time without fucking with cords, say I want to waterpik my teeth, I take the jackery into the bathroom and plug it in.

I have non electrical methods for heating and cooking. Some people choose to run down their fancy battery to heat for one night, then run the car a few hours to charge it, that seems ridiculous to me but a lot of them are convinced generators are evil gas machines and "solar generators" are a deity. It funny to read some of the Facebook comments. People really think they have a magic power thingie and can run a house indefinitely. They don't consider how long it takes to recharge.

There are a lot of fake reviews and claims, you have to be careful what you believe. Different power sources are suited for different things. I have several power banks (those phone charging bricks) that I can keep topped off and use to power usb led lights. Plus my rechargable eneloops. I like knowing I can charge that separate from the generator.

If you don't already have a generator you don't need an expensive fancy battery. You can use the generator to charge the battery for use at night if you want quiet, as long as you understand it's limits.

I like the item but the level of deception from these companies is unreal. They really mislead people to make a sale. They also shouldn't be called generators.
Link Posted: 4/14/2021 1:08:50 AM EDT
Oh, if (and you should) decide on an inverter or other portable generator you can use a pool noodle or other piece of foam to seal the window the cord comes through.

The way my house is layed out makes it very easy to lay at most 3 cords for everything.  It's also easy to refuel and make a roof with plywood and sawhorse. It's away from the house yet by the mudroom where I store it. I just roll it out the door. (The predator 3500, it's too heavy for me to carry)

I power 2 freezers, 1 fridge/freezer, tv, coffee, a light maybe. I have a lot of headlamps and led lanterns, light isn't an issue. The little wen 2K is the backup in case that fails or gas is an issue. That's when the jackery might really be handy. The priority is the food. The wen can handle that.

You'll want to keep non ethanol gas on hand with stabilizer. I run both of mine once a month under load. I have a rubbermaid container with everything I need to maintain them, spare plugs, spare air filter, gap wrench, stabilizer, antisieze goop, everything. Including the manuals and little spiral notebook where I make maintenance notes.
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