"You don't know what you got til it's gone..."

I got to the office this morning and we don't have power! With all of the weird weather we had this weekend, lightning in the area has caused an outage that has extended to today affecting a massive 163 customers (and our office).  Oddly, the only light that worked in our office was the bathroom light. Strange. I think someone got the "back up" wires a little switched, or maybe he didn't. Ha.

As I started to work through the darkness by morning light through the one window, the fear of afternoon summer sun started to creep into my mind causing me to get a little warm already. Thank goodness for clouds, long battery life, and a personal wifi hotspot on my phone! 

Only one thing was missing ... COFFEE! And it is MONDAY MORNING! Ah!

This got me thinking... How can I get power so that I can brew coffee in the dark? 

So, here are my top 3 ways to provide backup power!

1. Battery Backup Surge Protectors

There are TONS of battery backup surge protectors/power supplies on the market these days. When they used to say, "1 hour" or "4 hour" but now they tell you the amount of power they provide because they quickly learned that power usage differs per device and we have more devices than ever! Click here to see all of the "battery back up" systems listed on Amazon. "CyberPower" is Amazon's pick.

2. Generators - Gas and Natural Gas

Many of us are familiar hum of the motors starting up through the neighborhood in the winter as the snow starts and lights flicker out. The gas powered generators are a reliable source of power when you need it. With the right electrical set up, you can power your entire home and in a pinch, you can run extension cords into your house to power individual appliances (like a coffee pot)! Be sure to operate the gas powered generators outside and away from any crawl space vents or soffit vents that could put the carbon gasses into your home! 

You can also install a natural gas generator that can be permanitely built in and switches automatically when the power goes out!

[Still no coffee... Getting warm... Transitioning to a coffee shop... ]

3. Solar + Wind + Battery Banks

I am most excited about these options! They seem to be better for the environment a great solution for back up power, and hopefully a future solution for long term energy!

Depending on how much power you need, you can calculate the size and type of solar panels to install. A small wind turbine can provide some power on cloudy days. Your solar and wind power I hooked up to a large bank of batteries that stores your power and releases energy as your demand requires it. There is some power loss through the inverter and through long term storage. This is one reason why proponents of solar and wind energy suggest calculating your actual usage and staying as close to the actual usage number as possible for both storing and generating power. Contact your local power company. It may be possible that you can sell energy back to them that cannot be stored or used!


From battery backups, to generators, to solar powered backups or complete "off grid" energy solutions, this is a friendly reminder to consider back up power options through the storm season and before winter icing!

Cheers from my office away from office...

By Ray Ellen