If you live in a place with extreme weather or regular power outages, it’s a good idea to have a backup power source for your home. There are different types of backup power systems on the market, but each serves the same main purpose: keeping your lights and appliances on when the power goes out.
It might be a good year to look at: Much of North America is at The North American Electric Reliability Corporation announced on Wednesday that thanks to an ongoing drought and expected higher-than-average temperatures. Parts of the United States, from Michigan to the Gulf Coast, are at high risk, making power outages even more likely.
In the past,(also known as whole house generators) have dominated the backup power market, but reports of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning have led many to seek alternatives. Battery backups have emerged as a greener and potentially safer option over traditional generators.
Although they perform the same function, backup batteries and generators are different devices. Each has a specific set of pros and cons, which we’ll cover in the comparison guide below. Read on to learn about the key differences between backup batteries and generators to help you decide which option is right for you.
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Home backup systems, such as the Tesla Powerwall or the LG Chem RESU, store energy that can power your home in the event of a power outage. Battery backups are powered by electricity, either from your solar array or the grid. This makes them much better for the environment than fuel-powered generators. They’re also better for your wallet.
Regardless, if you have a usage schedule, you can use a battery backup system to save money on your utility bills. Instead of paying high electricity rates during peak periods, you can use energy from your backup battery to power your home. Outside peak times, you can use your electricity as usual – but at a lower rate.
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On the other hand, standby generators plug into your home’s electrical panel and turn on automatically when the power goes out. Generators run on fuel to maintain your power during an outage – usually natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel. Other generators have a “dual fuel” feature, meaning they can run on either natural gas or liquid propane.
Certain natural gas and propane generators can be plugged into your home’s gas line or propane tank, eliminating the need to manually refill them. However, diesel generators need to be refilled to keep running.
Battery Backup vs Generator: How Do They Differ?
In terms of cost, battery backups are the more expensive option up front. However, generators need fuel to run, which means you’ll have to expend more over time to maintain a constant supply of fuel.
With battery backup, you have to pay upfront for the backup battery system as well as the installation costs (each running into the thousands). Exact prices depend on which battery model you choose and how many of them you need to power your home. However, it is common for an average-sized home battery backup system to cost between $10,000 and $20,000.
For generators, the upfront costs are slightly lower. On average, the price to purchase and install a standby generator can range from $7,000 to $15,000. However, remember that generators need fuel to run, which increases your running costs. The specific cost depends on a few factors, including the size of your generator, the type of fuel you use, and the amount of fuel used to run it.
Backup batteries have a slight advantage in this category as they can be wall or floor mounted, while generator installations require some extra work. Regardless, you’ll need to hire a professional for both types of installation, both of which require a full day’s work and can cost several thousand dollars.
Aside from setting up the device itself, installing a generator also requires pouring a concrete slab, connecting the generator to a dedicated fuel source, and installing a transfer switch.
Battery backups are the clear winner in this category. They are quiet, run autonomously, produce no emissions and require no ongoing maintenance.
On the other hand, generators can be quite noisy and disruptive when running. They also emit exhaust fumes or fumes depending on the type of fuel they run on – which may irritate you or your neighbors.
Keep your home powered
As far as they can power your home, standby generators easily outperform battery backups. As long as you have enough fuel, generators (if needed) can run for up to three weeks at a time.
That’s just not the case with battery backups. Let’s take the Tesla Powerwall as an example. It hasStorage capacity that alone can provide power for a few hours. You can get additional energy out of them when they are part of a solar panel system or when using multiple batteries in a single system.
Estimated Life and Warranty
In most cases, battery backups have longer warranties than standby generators. However, these guarantees are measured in different ways.
Over time, battery backup systems lose their ability to hold a charge, much like phones and laptops. For this reason, battery backups include an end-of-warranty capacity rating that measures how effectively a battery will hold a charge through the end of its warranty period. In the case of Tesla, the company guarantees that the Powerwall battery should retain 70% of its capacity until the end of its 10-year warranty.
Some backup battery manufacturers also offer a “throughput” guarantee. This is the number of cycles, hours, or energy output (known as “throughput”) that a company guarantees on its battery.
With standby generators, it is easier to estimate the service life. Good quality generators can run 3,000 hours as long as they are well maintained. So if you run your generator 150 hours a year it should last around 20 years.
Which one is right for you?
Battery backup systems come out on top in most categories. In short, they are better for the environment, easier to install and cheaper to run in the long term. They also have longer warranties than standby generators.
Having said that. Unlike battery backup, you only need a single generator to restore power in the event of an outage, reducing upfront costs. Also, standby generators can last longer than battery backup systems in a single session. This makes them safer when the power goes out for days.
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https://www.cnet.com/home/energy-and-utilities/battery-backup-vs-generator-which-backup-power-source-is-the-best-for-you/ Battery Backup vs Generator: Which Backup Power Source is Best for You?