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Cheap portable generator

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Rgarner, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. Rgarner

    Rgarner Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I'm looking for one that wouldn't run on diesel. Renewable energy would be good. Solar would be great. It would have to be small.

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  2. olbriar


    Good luck in your quest. No matter size or fuel, number one consideration should be the amount of demand you will place on the generator. That should be your priority when shopping. I've seen small units that sustain a small amount of power but they were gas fueled. Coleman made a great small unit years ago.
  3. Rgarner

    Rgarner Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    It shouldn't be too much. Mostly I would want to keep the fridge and lights on, maybe ac or microwave. It would also be nice to charge a phone or two. There might be a fan or oven, but probably not both at the same time.
    MrJavi and Dannydet like this.
  4. olbriar


    Taken from the net for you. Here is a link to calculate your wattage usage desires to give you an idea of how large a generator you will need. Good luck
    MoodyBlues, Dannydet and Rgarner like this.
  5. Rgarner

    Rgarner Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for that chart, but I have no idea how to calculate wattage etc. I have only a vague notion of how much energy it would take to run those items. I guess it would be a good idea to have as few on at a time as possible.
  6. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    Rgarner likes this.
  7. olbriar


    To use the calculator I linked to, just check the items you wish to supply with a generator and the number of each and a good estimate of Kw is provided when you click calculate at the bottom of the calculator. It might not be exact but will give you a fair guess on what you need. A small window AC, 4 incandescent lights, and a refrigerator yields a 3.8 Kw generator as its estimate.
    Rgarner likes this.
  8. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    I have a storage container outside of town on undeveloped land.

    I spent $130 (retails for $223) on a huge marine battery (for RVs) and $70 on a solar panel with a controller.

    I run 8 60w equivalent LEDs, a boombox, a cellphone charger or two, and still have some juice left over.

    The power inverter I use (12 VDC to 110 VAC) is small, only 140w continuous.

    I can run all the lights for about 8 hours or so during the day (the panel puts out about 30w).

    I also connected an automotive fuse box to the battery, so that I can run 12 VDC if I want to.
    Maybe I will put a car stereo in there.
    I already have a CB out there, I just haven't really messed with it yet.

    That is about as cheap as you can go and have anything useable as far as lights and radio.

    I probably could have done better if I stayed at 12 VDC, but most of what I want to run is AC.

    One thing, a fan like you use in the house puts a huge strain on a small system. Something about inductive motors and a modified sine wave inverter.
    The fan just won't spin as fast as normal, it will get hot, and use more power than it should.

    In such a case, it is probably much better to use 12 VDC fans and run them right off the battery, but they seem disappointing.

    It is not right only having one large battery, either.
    You are suppoaed to use multiple batteries, and 6VDC batteries at that- hooked up in series/parrallel combination.
    This gives you more power (amps) at the same wattage.
    But it also costs more, so I did what I could.
    Rgarner likes this.

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