Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

seems like a good option–heard about this one:
Anybody w experience?

This unit supplies 1800 watts which equates to around 15 amps @ 120 volts. (1800/120=15) I just went to google to see what a standard A/C pulls at startup and it is over 15 amps. Check out what size breaker you have dedicated for your cellar A/C right now, it is probably 20A. However, I am stating generalities, depending on the size of your unit, you may be in luck.

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I agree with Rick and Dennis. Motors and compressors have larger starting loads than their running loads. Gas powered generators can start larger loads than their full load ratings partially because of the inertia of the rotating equipment. I doubt that the solar powered generator can since the power is stored in a battery.

That is a piece of junk. If you read through the add you will see it’s only one 100 watt panel. No panel is 100 percent efficient nor is the transfer system. So to make the claim up to 1800 watts there has to be a battery and an inverter.

So long story short even if it could supply 1800 watts, which I doubt, it would only last a very short time because there is no way that panel would replenish the watts drawn by your cooler (at the same rate)

I have one of the Hondas mentioned above, but these days there are decent competitors to that model that are far less expensive.

Junk, great if you want to charge your cell phone and iPad. That’s about it.

Too Small for us Big Winos !

Definitely a piece of junk and marketed toward customers who wouldn’t do their homework. And they make that homework difficult by not providing the right specs. It obviously uses a battery and inverter contained in the silver box. That’s the only way a 100W DC solar panel could be the source for a system that provides 1800W peak power. If that is real… what they don’t tell you is how much sustained power it can produce and for how long. It will be less than 1800W and for what? 1 hour? 4 hours? They conveniently don’t mention that. And how long does it take to charge the battery back up from 50% discharged with the panel getting full sun? Another important spec left out.

Whenever you see something marketed this way “only available on TV” it’s usually an overpriced POS and anyone could put together something better for a much lower price with a little homework.

thanks for the info. The problem is that, here in S Cal, when the big one hits, I won’t have access to natural gas or gasoline beyond the little I can store, so I was thinking solar. What do you guys in the know recommend?

From my reading, off the grid systems have one common draw back. Batteries. Not only are they very costly, they are inefficient

I don’t know how long you want to be able to run your home cellar but a decent solar system designed to be off the grid and to supply non stop 20 am service would be very expensive. You would have to look at the average amp draw over a given (preferably a heavy use day) and size up to accommodate the facts there is no sunlight at night, and it may be cloudy for 5 days to be sure it would cover your usage.

Seems to me storing 10-20 gallons of fuel in your garage would be much better for a multi day outage.

There are propane generators as well and you can have a large unground tank installed, but the cost is going to be a significant portion of your cellar.

If the “Big One” hits…wouldn’t you rather have a Zodiac with a Tohatsu outboard? Or scuba gear?

I recommend a propane generator with an above ground tank. Have an electrician install an ATS so the generator kicks on as soon as the power fails. You would need to size the generator to your specific needs.

I love this line:

“We have a small supply of these amazing systems in our warehouse and we’ve set a few aside for our friends who want to be independent and start to get off the grid.”

Maybe they could throw in a ShamWow too, we are friends after all.

Alan - based on the price of electricity in CA, solar should be a no-brainer, yes?

Love this part of the sales pitch: Great for powering aquariums, small refrigerators/freezers, alarm clocks

Pretty good clue it won’t run a cooling system (with more peak draw than a small fridge). I have a 3500W generator, but wouldn’t count on it running an AC.

Around here (Northeast), I wouldn’t count on solar as almost every outage has been at night or totally overcast. Even if battery is filled, it won’t last forever, and won’t recharge if when sun is shining it’s powering current needs

So SoCal could depend on more sun. But if the “big one” hits and destroys NG lines, what are the chances that your cellar survives? Much more open space for wines to be tossed than buried lines.

Yeah man, you will pay too much money on this thing which will generate not enough power. Why dont you better buy a cheaper permanent fuel generator?

how big a propane tank? Not sure my HOA would allow a big tank, buried or above ground.

when dealing with backups, i recommend also thinking about the circumstances you are trying to mitigate.

Do you want to buy yourself 24 hours of outage on main grid electricity? A week? A month?

What event are you trying to mitigate for? A power grid blackout because of years of lack of investment in infrastructure? Or a 9.5 earthquake that kills roads, gas pipes, and the wider power grid?

You can spend a near infinite sum of money mitigating all the various scenarios, you need to work out where you’ll draw the line on worth mitigating vs not.

We have solar panels, just enough to cover our total electrical consumption for the year with no batteries.

I did the math with battery backups versus generators and the battery backup just didn’t make economic sense 2 years ago. Maybe as batteries get cheaper, but the unit for my size house was $11k installed, whereas you can get a very nice, quiet Honda 7kW for $5k with enough to run most of the house. But that said, we only really needed the fridge, deep freeze, a lighting circuit, and the furnace but not A/C. That would get us through a winter outage or summer (albeit probably a bit hot). We haven’t lost power for more than one day in years and the worst was 3 days a long time ago. So these aren’t frequent events. Also, the batteries degrade over time and in 15 years I’d be buying new ones whether I used them often or not.

In the end we bought a pair of small 2kW generators that we can link for under $1k. It meets our needs and as of yet I’ve only used them to run power tools away from the house. Even if those crap out on us after a few years it’s still way cheaper than the battery solution. And they’re pretty fuel-efficient and should run 24 hours on one tank (which I believe is a gallon capacity) although I have not tested that yet (thankfully).

I think the effort of planning for an earthquake devastating enough to wipe out your natural gas supply is better spent looking into buying insurance or getting off site storage in a less “seismically interesting” location. NG generators are relatively cheap and can power your whole house – not just the cellar – for an extended outage.

This is a subject I have been interested in for the last year. We have a decent sized house (7,800 feet) and my concern is where we might have an outage of a day or more. Anyone have experience with similar specs?