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Bigfoot

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I have spent the last month or so watching youtube videos like crazy on Solar generators. Being that I live in an apt that is really my only viable option for power in a loss of electricity type event. They are expensive but sometimes your best motto is "buy once cry once" when it comes to expensive items. It looks like I will spend just under $3000 on a unit with 400watts of solar panels and a faraday bag for it.

Im trying to convince myself this will pay for itself in the long run. A gas or propane genny will not work in an apt at all so it is get a solar genny or get nothing at all.

Being a newlywed I am concerned how my wife will fare in a grid down situation so I am wanting to make things as comfy as possible for her in case some type of event happens. Hurricane, tornado, tsunami, grid collapse etc

Ive got it down to 2 solar generators but Im leaning towards one in particular.

The bluetti 240 is my second choice. cost is aprox $2400-2500 with everything I need. it has 2400W of battery to use but the inverter is only 1000W so it isnt very strong. It will give me 1500 or more charges before 80% of battery is left. However it will run my refrigerator for a day or more. That will work!

My first choice is the Bluetti 200P which has 2000W of battery storage and a 2000 W inverter. it is capable of 3500 charges before going down to 80% battery capacity. This unit also has quicker recharging abilities and more ways to recharge it. at a cost of $300 more so far this is my choice because of the superior battery and more ways to charge.

Does anyone have any real world experience with any of these products? Both will fit my needs I think
 

M0del_31

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Make sure the refer compressor will start with the 1000w inverter and that the inverter is pure sine wave. Honestly, I'd probably ditch the plan to run the refer on the solar generator. There are cheaper ways to keep food cold longer. I know space is limited in an apartment. For about $200, you can get a small chest freezer. Line the bottom with near full 1 gallon milk jugs of water and freeze them. Add 2 -10 lb bags of ice, unopened. Get a 65 quart yeti cooler for about $350 and a refer thermometer. When the power goes out, add your refer contents to the yeti with 1 bag of ice and the thermometer. It will last at least 3 days. Add your freezer food to the chest freezer. This may last up to a week, but plan on eating the freezer stuff first if you think the power will be out longer than that. On day 4, empty the water out of the yeti and add the second bag of ice from the freezer. On day 7, empty the water again and add remaining ice from the jugs to the yeti. Always consume the perishables first, save canned, freeze dried and shelf stable meals for after the cold storage is warm. You could keep lunch meat, milk, juice and eggs for about 10 days. When you can't keep the yeti below 38 degree F. You're done with it. Frozen stuff tends to need cooking and you don't want to be cooking more than 3 days into a power outage in an apartment around unprepared people anyway. If at possible, get out of the city.
 
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Bigfoot

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Make sure the refer compressor will start with the 1000w inverter and that the inverter is pure sine wave. Honestly, I'd probably ditch the plan to run the refer on the solar generator. There are cheaper ways to keep food cold longer. I know space is limited in an apartment. For about $200, you can get a small chest freezer. Line the bottom with near full 1 gallon milk jugs of water and freeze them. Add 2 -10 lb bags of ice, unopened. Get a 65 quart yeti cooler for about $350 and a refer thermometer. When the power goes out, add your refer contents to the yeti with 1 bag of ice and the thermometer. It will last at least 3 days. Add your freezer food to the chest freezer. This may last up to a week, but plan on eating the freezer stuff first if you think the power will be out longer than that. On day 4, empty the water out of the yeti and add the second bag of ice from the freezer. On day 7, empty the water again and add remaining ice from the jugs to the yeti. Always consume the perishables first, save canned, freeze dried and shelf stable meals for after the cold storage is warm. You could keep lunch meat, milk, juice and eggs for about 10 days. When you can't keep the yeti below 38 degree F. You're done with it. Frozen stuff tends to need cooking and you don't want to be cooking more than 3 days into a power outage in an apartment around unprepared people anyway. If at possible, get out of the city.

That is how we get by now but I am hoping to upgrade from that and allow my wife a little more comfort in case we have an extended grid down of even a week or more from hurricanes or anything else. Ive done my research and these 2 units will run refrigerators for about a day and the 200P will run a small 5000BTU a/c's for a few hours. I was really hoping to find something to run an A/C for longer than that but we are looking at major bucks for that. A cooler of ice and a fan blowing off of it will be our A/C for now if we do have a grid down problem. Cold weather is not our problem down here in Houston, The heat is our problem!
 

M0del_31

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That is how we get by now but I am hoping to upgrade from that and allow my wife a little more comfort in case we have an extended grid down of even a week or more from hurricanes or anything else. Ive done my research and these 2 units will run refrigerators for about a day and the 200P will run a small 5000BTU a/c's for a few hours. I was really hoping to find something to run an A/C for longer than that but we are looking at major bucks for that. A cooler of ice and a fan blowing off of it will be our A/C for now if we do have a grid down problem. Cold weather is not our problem down here in Houston, The heat is our problem!
I'm very familiar with south Texas heat and humidity. I'm not saying no to the idea of a solar generator; just thinking you're spending a ton to run freon compressors off of batteries. Batteries are nowhere near the energy density of gasoline and generators consume lots of gasoline while running air conditioners. I get there are unforeseen power outages and I won't be surprised if ransomware is the cause of your next outage. There aren't really any surprise hurricanes anymore and unless either of you are bedridden, I'd get the h3ll out of Houston if one was inbound. I'd also load my wife, yeti and go bag and get out if ransomware hits your water or electric utilities. You don't want to be around a lot of hot hungry people who got no water, food or AC. You sure don't want to be seen as the only one with those when everybody else around you is without...but you got to do what you think is best.
 

Brent S

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Make sure the refer compressor will start with the 1000w inverter and that the inverter is pure sine wave. Honestly, I'd probably ditch the plan to run the refer on the solar generator. There are cheaper ways to keep food cold longer. I know space is limited in an apartment. For about $200, you can get a small chest freezer. Line the bottom with near full 1 gallon milk jugs of water and freeze them. Add 2 -10 lb bags of ice, unopened. Get a 65 quart yeti cooler for about $350 and a refer thermometer. When the power goes out, add your refer contents to the yeti with 1 bag of ice and the thermometer. It will last at least 3 days. Add your freezer food to the chest freezer. This may last up to a week, but plan on eating the freezer stuff first if you think the power will be out longer than that. On day 4, empty the water out of the yeti and add the second bag of ice from the freezer. On day 7, empty the water again and add remaining ice from the jugs to the yeti. Always consume the perishables first, save canned, freeze dried and shelf stable meals for after the cold storage is warm. You could keep lunch meat, milk, juice and eggs for about 10 days. When you can't keep the yeti below 38 degree F. You're done with it. Frozen stuff tends to need cooking and you don't want to be cooking more than 3 days into a power outage in an apartment around unprepared people anyway. If at possible, get out of the city.
All sound advice, except freeze bottles of water instead of bags of ice. They last longer and you can drink the water in them too.
 

Brent S

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That is how we get by now but I am hoping to upgrade from that and allow my wife a little more comfort in case we have an extended grid down of even a week or more from hurricanes or anything else. Ive done my research and these 2 units will run refrigerators for about a day and the 200P will run a small 5000BTU a/c's for a few hours. I was really hoping to find something to run an A/C for longer than that but we are looking at major bucks for that. A cooler of ice and a fan blowing off of it will be our A/C for now if we do have a grid down problem. Cold weather is not our problem down here in Houston, The heat is our problem!
As you said, without a lot of money you can forget running AC. Work with a fan, it’s more realistic. A damp scarf and a fan can make a huge difference in the heat.
 

Brent S

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You can build your own solar system too. Portable solar panels, deep cell batteries and an inverter purchased online will get you a lot more power vs a pre built unit. You can keep the batteries charged by the grid and then use the panels during power loss to recharge.
 

Bigfoot

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Ive given up the idea of an A/c because most of them are just too power hungry for a solar generator. But I can build an external battery for the solar generator if needed. Plenty of youtube videos on it. The solar generator already built has lots of advantages over building one myself. Keeping the fridge going at night while solaring up during the day will be the plan. ANd yes I do need one more quality fan and even though my apartment is super shady and super dark with no light son it will still get crispy hot with no A/C. I might have to try some of these smaller h20 portable fans that cool the air down and blow damp air on you.

Anybody have ways they stay cool in the hot summers with no electricity?
 

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Stay out of the sun and stay in the shade. Use manual fans and cool mists of water.
 

M0del_31

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The human body has been engineered to operate in Houston just fine without clothing. You can feel very cool by wiping your whole self down with a wet wash cloth and laying in front of a medium size fan on low. During an extended outage, get up early and get all your moving around done before noon. Around 2pm while your solar generator is charging, plug in your smallest TV and watch DVD movies like Frozen until night fall to keep your mind off the heat. Get a police scanner to listen to local reports of all the peaceful looting, block-wide campfires and polite shootings to help pass the time at night. Unless it's your block on fire, at some point during the night the temp outside should get lower than inside. When it does, open some screened windows and set the fan to suck air in -after everyone else in the complex got drunk or shot and gone to sleep. You want the windows screened so no mosquitos (also known as the Louisiana state bird) get in. When you get cold, shut of the fan. Close the windows about 7:30am.
 

Bigfoot

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there is no such thing as getting cold in summer in houston. There is just hot and hotter. Summer starts in May and lasts till late october here. Even in early october you wake up to 80 degrees sometimes. It sucks here in summer! November through April however is fantabulous!!!
 

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