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Thread: Batteries For Home Standby Power

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkgrady View Post
    I have a customer that asked for a quote for a standby generator for his townhouse condo. I gave him the quote for a 16kw unit. It was going to power his entire load with load shedding relays on the electric oven, dryer and AC. Now he says he does not think the condo board will approve a standby because of the noise during exercising or running during an outage. He is suggesting a battery and an inverter.

    My response without any real experience with batteries powering a home is that it would be expensive. He wants me to look into it and I am willing. If nothing comes of it I should still learn something. He has plenty of room in his unfinished basement for batteries.

    He is willing to forget about powering all that a 16kw standby could handle. He listed all the critical things that we can all imagine....gas burner for heat system, refrigerator, tv, WiFi, microwave, a few
    Lights, etc.. I explained that some of these loads are connected to circuits that supply other than the critical stuff and the system would have to be large enough to power whatever is connected or plugged in.

    I’m looking for some feedback on how practical this concept is. I would assume the system would need about 5kw peak load and have an average output of 2kw. These numbers are just shooting from the hip. If these numbers are anywhere near close, how big of a battery would I need to survive a power outage for four days?

    My gut tells me the battery bank would be enormous, the inverter battery charger would cost a fortune and I’m not sure what the transfer equipment would be. Anybody have opinions on this?
    We supplied some UPS systems for emergency egress lighting for public buildings like cinemas. Typically, these were 30kVA, 3-hour units in accordance with the cinematic code of practice here. The 30kVA rating was at 0.8PF so 24kW. Or 72kWh energy storage. The batteries were Yuasa and assembled as a bank on site in their own dedicated switch room. IIRC, they total weight was around one tonne.

    It is close to what you might require. The costs were in the orders of tens of £k.
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gar View Post
    I also believe everyone should have a backup generator.
    Unless you are talking about the Zombie Apocalypse, why? At my house over the last 10-15 years the power has been out for a total of maybe three hours. A generator would be a waste of money for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    Unless you are talking about the Zombie Apocalypse, why? At my house over the last 10-15 years the power has been out for a total of maybe three hours. A generator would be a waste of money for me.
    Yes, covering for four days continuous power outage seems a bit of a stretch. We have lived in our present house for 12 years. I don't recall one. Even if they had occurred overnight that would have reset some of the clocks.
    But then I don't live out in the sticks.........
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

  4. #14
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    I have lost power for multiple hours a number of times since 1986 when I bought my house. Has not happened since they moved the power lines underground a few years ago. Since then the worst has been an hour or so.

    I have not felt the need for a generator although I have considered it.

    people who have medical issues like CPAP machines should probably do something about backup power.

    I have not done so but I am considering one of the lithium battery power stations so I can run my furnace and hot water heater in case of ice storm. I would not need a lot of juice for either. Maybe one of the small HF generators for the fridge and freezer. I know someone who lives in a Chicago suburb that lost power for 3 days one time right in the middle of a wealthy suburb. A tree fell on some power poles and it took that long to clean up the mess. Fortunately they had access to a small generator that they ran for most of the three days to keep their fridge and freezer cold. Neighbors had to go buy generators. Fortunately only about 20 homes were affected and all of the homeowners were able to get generators except for a couple who were too cheap and just tossed out the contents of their fridges when they warmed up too much. I would not want to miss on showering for three days either.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkgrady View Post
    I have a customer that asked for a quote for a standby generator for his townhouse condo. I gave him the quote for a 16kw unit. It was going to power his entire load with load shedding relays on the electric oven, dryer and AC. Now he says he does not think the condo board will approve a standby because of the noise during exercising or running during an outage. He is suggesting a battery and an inverter.

    My response without any real experience with batteries powering a home is that it would be expensive. He wants me to look into it and I am willing. If nothing comes of it I should still learn something. He has plenty of room in his unfinished basement for batteries.

    He is willing to forget about powering all that a 16kw standby could handle. He listed all the critical things that we can all imagine....gas burner for heat system, refrigerator, tv, WiFi, microwave, a few
    Lights, etc.. I explained that some of these loads are connected to circuits that supply other than the critical stuff and the system would have to be large enough to power whatever is connected or plugged in.

    I’m looking for some feedback on how practical this concept is. I would assume the system would need about 5kw peak load and have an average output of 2kw. These numbers are just shooting from the hip. If these numbers are anywhere near close, how big of a battery would I need to survive a power outage for four days?

    My gut tells me the battery bank would be enormous, the inverter battery charger would cost a fortune and I’m not sure what the transfer equipment would be. Anybody have opinions on this?
    I would try to sell him on an interlock kit for the panel and the plug towards the garage door. Run the generator just outside the garage. I don't know if any one would complain about a generator running if the whole complex was out for some reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GerryB View Post
    I would try to sell him on an interlock kit for the panel and the plug towards the garage door. Run the generator just outside the garage. I don't know if any one would complain about a generator running if the whole complex was out for some reason.
    We loose power for multiple days about once a year due to winter storms. Happened twice this past March.

    The condo prohibits any gasoline or even propane operated equipment. No lawn mowers. No nothing.

    I’m thinking I should tell him he should expect to spend 30k or more or forget about it.

    I’m not sure it is even safe to charge that many batteries in the basement of a home. Would it need special ventilation?


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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkgrady View Post
    We loose power for multiple days about once a year due to winter storms. Happened twice this past March.

    The condo prohibits any gasoline or even propane operated equipment. No lawn mowers. No nothing.

    I’m thinking I should tell him he should expect to spend 30k or more or forget about it.

    I’m not sure it is even safe to charge that many batteries in the basement of a home. Would it need special ventilation?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Don't forget about cooling too.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkgrady View Post
    We loose power for multiple days about once a year due to winter storms. Happened twice this past March.

    The condo prohibits any gasoline or even propane operated equipment. No lawn mowers. No nothing.

    I’m thinking I should tell him he should expect to spend 30k or more or forget about it.

    I’m not sure it is even safe to charge that many batteries in the basement of a home. Would it need special ventilation?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So that rules out any generator. Once you tell him 30k you probably won't need to tell him or "forget about it"

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    The RV idea is looking better and better. I stay in my RV when the power goes out. It's awesome.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GerryB View Post
    I would try to sell him on an interlock kit for the panel and the plug towards the garage door. Run the generator just outside the garage. I don't know if any one would complain about a generator running if the whole complex was out for some reason.
    They would all want to come over to the one place that has light, heat, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by mkgrady View Post
    We loose power for multiple days about once a year due to winter storms. Happened twice this past March.

    The condo prohibits any gasoline or even propane operated equipment. No lawn mowers. No nothing.

    I’m thinking I should tell him he should expect to spend 30k or more or forget about it.

    I’m not sure it is even safe to charge that many batteries in the basement of a home. Would it need special ventilation?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    If lead acid batteries and they vent anything it will be hydrogen gas - possibly something to be more concerned about then having a few gallons of gasoline stored somewhere on the premises.

    Maybe the condo needs to look into some sort of generator to supply the entire place. Don't know how to make the cost fair to everyone, as not everyone necessarily uses even amounts of energy when it is needed.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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