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Predicted Power Blackouts, EcoFlow units, etc.

WillieTheKid

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The missus tells me that she's been reading everywhere about possible blackouts, power grid problems, etc. coming this summer.

With these uncertain times, we've got in the habit of keeping our refrigerator and freezer full. Probably got $3-$500 worth of stuff in them all totaled.

Our area is prone to occasional power interruptions anyway, so we're worried a bit. The last one lasted about 12 hours and it was miserable trying to use a small generator to do the trick. It was so loud that we would only turn it on occasionally--ever couple of hours or so to let the refrigerators get to the proper temperature. (We didn't want to wake up the neighborhood.) Finding propane for the generator was a pain, too.

Anyway, we're looking at buying an Eco Flow Delta Pro power storage device to handle the situation. (They are on sale at Costco.com right now.) Just wondering if anyone else had experience with them or other devices to avoid loss of food, etc.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

........Willie
 

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What's the price on the thing?

What is it? I bought a Li-I battery inverter a year ago. It was not cheap, but it seemed just the thing to take camping. Of course I had no idea that the inflation I've been waiting for for twelve years, would spring on us this year; but that's neither here nor there.

My refrigerator draws 150 watts, and this thing will keep it going for 18 hours. It will charge up in two with an (extra-cost) 600-watt fast charger. I can charge it with my Honda suitcase inverter...not even that small tank of gas used.

That was how I lived in February, off to Florida and back. Between the campsite and the home turf, I had only the Honda and the other; but it powered everything fine. Even my microwave - short uses, to defrost a few things. Probably running an hour would run down the battery inverter.

But...yeah. Cost aside (I paid $1899 for it) it works well. I know there's cheaper interpretations out there. And real cheap, is just to fire up the generator a couple hours a day, run until the fridge thermostat turns it off. But that's not so elegant.
 

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WillieTheKid

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Casey Jones

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The missus tells me that she's been reading everywhere about possible blackouts, power grid problems, etc. coming this summer.

With these uncertain times, we've got in the habit of keeping our refrigerator and freezer full. Probably got $3-$500 worth of stuff in them all totaled.

Our area is prone to occasional power interruptions anyway, so we're worried a bit. The last one lasted about 12 hours and it was miserable trying to use a small generator to do the trick. It was so loud that we would only turn it on occasionally--ever couple of hours or so to let the refrigerators get to the proper temperature. (We didn't want to wake up the neighborhood.) Finding propane for the generator was a pain, too.

Anyway, we're looking at buying an Eco Flow Delta Pro power storage device to handle the situation. (They are on sale at Costco.com right now.) Just wondering if anyone else had experience with them or other devices to avoid loss of food, etc.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

........Willie
Another option is to buy an inverter that wires up to your car battery.

Now, you can't power any heavy load with your car battery. That's obvious. What you do, is wire it on - it will attach to the battery cable bolts - and then fire up your car or truck. You will have to use a stick or snow scraper to jigger the gas pedal to hold engine speed at about 1200 rpm. No faster - it's no good to race an engine lightly loaded - but no slower, because you won't get enough charging to power the inverter.

12v inverters range from 150 watts to over 2000 watts. The bigger ones are BIG - like a small satchel. The intended use is to bolt them up to a truck's fender or frame, and run power cords to where you're using them. You don't need to, but be aware of where you set the thing down. Dry and off the ground.

Back before I got my power gear, about 14 years ago, I powered my suburban home for two days with one like that. Didn't use THAT much gasoline, either.
 

WillieTheKid

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They have some cheaper products, too, but from watching some YouTube videos, this is the best unit of the bunch--and for that price, I hope it would be.

It is pretty hard to justify spending three grand to protect five hundred worth of groceries in the first place without worrying whether it works or not.

It can also be used to collect solar energy for use later, so that's a bonus.
 

Casey Jones

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WillieTheKid

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Is there a gasoline engine in there? Because I don't see any mention of it.

You'll need a generator to use it more than a day or so.
They sell an add on generator, which I wouldn't buy. You could probably charge it using any generator. I could use the generator during the day and this thing at night. (After charging it from the generator.) It also has the capability of being charged up at an EV station if the outage is localized--like the one we had this last year was.
 

WillieTheKid

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BTW, most of our outages have been less than a day.

A friend used to live in Lacey, WA about 100 miles away and his power went out for over a week though about 5 years ago. He moved to a warmer climate in CA, and has since move on to Arizona. He's in his 90s, too! Last time I moved I was in my 50s, and that was really a tough move. I couldn't imagine moving at 92 years old.
 

Casey Jones

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They sell an add on generator, which I wouldn't buy. You could probably charge it using any generator. I could use the generator during the day and this thing at night. (After charging it from the generator.) It also has the capability of being charged up at an EV station if the outage is localized--like the one we had this last year was.
Yeah, that's what I do with mine.

Of course I'm not going to power an entire house with it. My aim, like yours, is to keep the refrigerator going. Electric lights, in my house, are all LEDs - negligible power use.

Of course, if it's a SHTF situation, you don't want to be advertising that you have electric power. And there will be no reason for lights after dark - if it's a real crisis, your cable and ISP will be down, regardless of what's going on in your home. So, refrigerator...maybe the coffeemaker in the morning...and, with the good light of day next morning, fire up the Generac.
 

viking

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You are paying a lot for convenience.

3.6kWh
 

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I'd get this

Honda Power Equipment EU3000IS1AN 3000W 120V Portable Home Gas Power Generator​

$2,499.00

I'd want it to be gas and propane swapable
 

Cigarlover

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They have some cheaper products, too, but from watching some YouTube videos, this is the best unit of the bunch--and for that price, I hope it would be.

It is pretty hard to justify spending three grand to protect five hundred worth of groceries in the first place without worrying whether it works or not.

It can also be used to collect solar energy for use later, so that's a bonus.
I'd say it doesn't make sense to spend the money unless your going to get a freezer and fill it full of meat. Between my freezer and wine cooler I have a considerable investment and no generator. I do have a gas stove and smoker though so in the event of a prolonged blackout I have a plan.
Chicken and pork get wealth with 1st. Then canning the beef. It would take several days but it is doable. Beef is the one thing you have to worry about the least.
 

WillieTheKid

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You are paying a lot for convenience.

3.6kWh
Yeah, but also to avoid a lot of discomfort and inconvenience. Like trying to gather a fridgeful of food to replace it. It's a close call, and there will probably be better units out there later, but the rolling blackouts might be coming sooner rather than later.

It would also be a learning experience. We could even fool around with some solar panels, etc.

Your comment is right on though. I really don't know how much 3.6 kWh of storage really is, viking. If we buy it, then I will have some first hand knowledge to share.

Thanks for the comment.
 
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WillieTheKid

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Yeah, that's what I do with mine.

Of course I'm not going to power an entire house with it. My aim, like yours, is to keep the refrigerator going. Electric lights, in my house, are all LEDs - negligible power use.

Of course, if it's a SHTF situation, you don't want to be advertising that you have electric power. And there will be no reason for lights after dark - if it's a real crisis, your cable and ISP will be down, regardless of what's going on in your home. So, refrigerator...maybe the coffeemaker in the morning...and, with the good light of day next morning, fire up the Generac.
Sounds like you have one of these? If so, do you like it?
 

Casey Jones

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Sounds like you have one of these? If so, do you like it?
I have a Yeti/GoalZero 2000-watt model. It served me well on the one month-long road trip I took.

I justified in my mind, using it as a computer-power backup battery. It's less fit for that; because it doesn't just feed power in while using relatively low draw - 35w computer; 50w monitor; a couple more for my router and the like.

Instead, it cycles; and those Li-I batteries have a predictive life based on cycles. It will draw down to 90 percent; and then start charging up; and cut off. Given the price of that thing, I don't want to needlessly cycle the batteries. I'd rather just have it charged and standing by.

Otherwise...for what it is, it's good. It's not a heavy-duty gizmo - if you have a 300-watt draw, or thereabouts, you might get 3 hours or so out of it.

Charging it is easy, with my small generator. While traveling (I'd stealth-camp in truck stop lots) I'd charge up the inverter after a night of using it, with the generator running in the pickup bed (strapped down) and a cord running through the back window to the inverter. I had bought a cigarette-lighter trickle charger, but it didn't work.
 

viking

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Yeah, but also to avoid a lot of discomfort and inconvenience. Like trying to gather a fridgeful of food to replace it. It's a close call, and there will probably be better units out there later, but the rolling blackouts might be coming sooner rather than later.

It would also be a learning experience. We could even fool around with some solar panels, etc.

Your comment is right on though. I really don't know how much 3.6 kWh of storage really is, viking. If we buy it, then I will have some first hand knowledge to share.

Thanks for the comment.

I meant convenience of the device being essentially plug-n-play for the trade off of lower capacity. Here is an example of something you could build for less then that price with over 2 times the capacity and expandable (3 times capacity for about same price). And when I say “build” it is just some simple wiring, not a true DIY build, which would be cheaper yet.

 
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Casey Jones

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I meant convenience of the device being essentially plug-n-play for the trade off of lower capacity. Here is an example of something you could build for that price with over 2 times the capacity and expandable. And when I say “build” it is just some simple wiring, not a true DIY build, which would be cheaper yet.

Well...here's the thing. If you have a talent, it's probably fun to design and build such a setup...

...but then, real-life testing often reveals flaws or mistakes.

If that happens with an emergency, the cost can be, as mentioned, a freezer full of food when there's no replacement.

Maybe paying for one that's already been engineered and (hopefully) tested, might be a reasonable cost. That doesn't mean you can't also build one, to increase capacity later...but have one that you know has had most of the bugs worked out.
 

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I'd get this

Honda Power Equipment EU3000IS1AN 3000W 120V Portable Home Gas Power Generator​

$2,499.00

I'd want it to be gas and propane swapable
The Li-I battery pack gives flexibility.

With me, 90 minutes every MORNING - when people are up and about and not sensitive about routine noises - provided power for a full night. As opposed to those brain-dead RV owners who run their generators up past midnight.
 

viking

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Well...here's the thing. If you have a talent, it's probably fun to design and build such a setup...

...but then, real-life testing often reveals flaws or mistakes.

If that happens with an emergency, the cost can be, as mentioned, a freezer full of food when there's no replacement.

Maybe paying for one that's already been engineered and (hopefully) tested, might be a reasonable cost. That doesn't mean you can't also build one, to increase capacity later...but have one that you know has had most of the bugs worked out.

I said that. What I linked to is not really a DIY. Already designed and built. Just connect wires. It has been tested and there is tech support for the product(s).
 

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Have any of you had a solar-powered generator? I've been considering it.
 

WillieTheKid

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I meant convenience of the device being essentially plug-n-play for the trade off of lower capacity. Here is an example of something you could build for less then that price with over 2 times the capacity and expandable (3 times capacity for about same price). And when I say “build” it is just some simple wiring, not a true DIY build, which would be cheaper yet.

Watched the video, and you are correct this unit has a lot more stuff to do to get it to work properly. In the video, for instance, the fellow who seems to know his stuff, took over an hour to figure out how to get the phone app to work. So something like that would probably take me even longer.

I've had problems with rechargeable batteries (like AA & AAA batteries for flashlights, etc.) So I think that something like this would be a lot more difficult to manage.

I watched the video for the Ecoflow Pro that was done by this same guy, and he seemed very impressed with and positive about the EcoFlow unit--a lot more than he was with this unit.

I think that I probably will need to take some baby steps into this type of knowledge. I used to repair coin-op video games, so I'm not totally ignorant about power and circuits, etc. But when you get into this type of voltage and amperage, something in an enclosed case seems safer to me. Keep in mind that my wife is not at all comfortable with attaching wires, etc., and there might be times when she would be doing the charging. And simpler would be better in an emergency situation.

So, thanks again, viking for taking the time to post that video! I think that given my neophyte nature in this arena, we will probably go with the Ecoflow unit. (In fact, we have already ordered one, but since it was Costco, we know that we can return it if we find something in the next couple of weeks that changes our mind.)

Here is the video for the Ecoflow Pro by that same guy in case you (or anyone else) wants to see it:

Thanks once again for your comment.

.......Willie
 

WillieTheKid

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I'd say it doesn't make sense to spend the money unless your going to get a freezer and fill it full of meat. Between my freezer and wine cooler I have a considerable investment and no generator. I do have a gas stove and smoker though so in the event of a prolonged blackout I have a plan.
Chicken and pork get wealth with 1st. Then canning the beef. It would take several days but it is doable. Beef is the one thing you have to worry about the least.
We have a natural gas stove and a couple of natural gas fireplaces, too, and they have come in handy in outages.

Our area has announced that after a certain date, there will be no new houses with gas connections allowed to be built. (It might already be in effect for all I know.)

That seems a little short sighted to me, but what do I know? They say that we need to kick the fossil fuel habit because of climate change. I say we need to use those fossil fuels to make the transition to other things.
 

viking

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Watched the video, and you are correct this unit has a lot more stuff to do to get it to work properly. In the video, for instance, the fellow who seems to know his stuff, took over an hour to figure out how to get the phone app to work. So something like that would probably take me even longer.

I've had problems with rechargeable batteries (like AA & AAA batteries for flashlights, etc.) So I think that something like this would be a lot more difficult to manage.

I see where you are coming from, just wanted to make you aware of your options.

And that app is for remote monitoring and control. But those functions are also done on the unit(s), so not necessary.
 

viking

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Opps, I nuked the rest of my response. Anyway, solar equipment qualifies for up to a 26% tax credit. So if you are a taxpayer, don’t forget to claim that solar generator on 2022 taxes. Maybe buy at least one solar panel before the end of the year?

 

WillieTheKid

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Opps, I nuked the rest of my response. Anyway, solar equipment qualifies for up to a 26% tax credit. So if you are a taxpayer, don’t forget to claim that solar generator on 2022 taxes. Maybe buy at least one solar panel before the end of the year?

Thanks again, viking. I didn't know about that tax credit stuff. As mentioned in earlier posts that was one of the purposes of buying this unit to evaluate and try out solar, and to have that as an additional backup. If the matching solar Ecoflow unit that Costco hadn't got so many bad reviews, we probably would have purchased it as well. I hope we can find something compatible that is a little more durable than Ecoflow's option.

One thing that bothered me a bit is that some of the "reviewers" mentioned that Ecoflow had given them the product that they were testing. The sponsored vids seemed to be a little less critical than the unsponsored ones. That's a nice gig if you can get $5-6K worth of stuff just to do a half hour video about it. (Maybe they have to send it back, but I doubt it.)

Sounds like I've got a whole lot of learning to do with the new gadget. Thanks again!

......Willie
 

viking

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Thanks again, viking. I didn't know about that tax credit stuff. As mentioned in earlier posts that was one of the purposes of buying this unit to evaluate and try out solar, and to have that as an additional backup. If the matching solar Ecoflow unit that Costco hadn't got so many bad reviews, we probably would have purchased it as well. I hope we can find something compatible that is a little more durable than Ecoflow's option.

One thing that bothered me a bit is that some of the "reviewers" mentioned that Ecoflow had given them the product that they were testing. The sponsored vids seemed to be a little less critical than the unsponsored ones. That's a nice gig if you can get $5-6K worth of stuff just to do a half hour video about it. (Maybe they have to send it back, but I doubt it.)

Sounds like I've got a whole lot of learning to do with the new gadget. Thanks again!

......Willie

He is an Admin of a DIY forum too. I think Will is a straight shooter. He would get torn to shreds there if he wasn’t being honest, IMO.

Just do a search for Echoflow Delta there, here are some examples:


 
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Thecrensh

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I'm looking at a Jackery 1500 package with 2 or 4 100w panels...somewhere in the $3k range. I strongly feel we're going to see some fuel rationing in the coming months/years and since I live in Hurricane central anyway, a backup power option for my chest freezer isn't a bad thing to consider.

I want something that I can fold up and stick in my car if I have to evacuate and although I'd get more "bang" for the buck with a house system, if we get a hurricane here that rips my roof off, I'm screwed.
 

Thecrensh

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Here is a jackery review:

 

SilverCity

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Our latest addition. It will keep our freezer and refrigerator working @120 watts with a couple of lightweight Renolgy 100w panels indefinitely.

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA, UPS Power Supply 1260Wh Battery Pack with 6 1800W (3300W Surge) AC Outlets, Solar Battery $1099 w/free shipping from Amazon.

61s0F+Rj+QL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

viking

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Must be a real growth market, making/selling those.

I have been really deep into studying solar for my project. Made contacts in China, etc. I thought about doing a side business. But with the unpredictability of our government and dealers/installers already out there…not sure trying to be competitive in that market would be very profitable right now.
 

WillieTheKid

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Our latest addition. It will keep our freezer and refrigerator working @120 watts with a couple of lightweight Renolgy 100w panels indefinitely.

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA, UPS Power Supply 1260Wh Battery Pack with 6 1800W (3300W Surge) AC Outlets, Solar Battery $1099 w/free shipping from Amazon.

View attachment 263822
Hi Silver: I think that same unit is for sale @ Costco during the Ecoflow "Special Limited Time Event" (according to the website "while supplies last" and through 6-19-22). A few caveats, however: Some purchasers/reviewers think that the ones that come from Costco might be refurbished units or units that haven't been fully upgraded, etc. I've purchased a lot of stuff from Costco, and I don't think they would knowingly do that, but it sounds like these units are being shipped directly from the manufacturer.

Anyway, here is a link to the above unit on Costco.com (I'll be posting a video about this unit and refrigerators and solar panels soon.)

 

WillieTheKid

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Here is a video I watched this morning regarding Ecoflow and keeping up a refrigerator, but with solar panels, etc. The unit he uses in this video is about 1/3 the power/capacity of the unit we've ordered (we ordered the Pro). It looks like he could probably get nearly a day of refrigerator use out of one full charge. We have an older refrigerator (~11 y/o) so ours is probably not as efficient as his, but we'll have about 3x the power to work with so we're hoping somewhere around 1 to 2 days of buffer while the outage is corrected without any solar or generator input. We plan to get some solar panels too, so that might work well in some emergency situations.

I found the chart posted in the video @19:27 to be very useful for comparison. Here is the video:

 

WillieTheKid

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He is an Admin of a DIY forum too. I think Will is a straight shooter. He would get torn to shreds there if he wasn’t being honest, IMO.

Just do a search for Echoflow Delta there, here are some examples:


Thanks once again for the information viking. Those links will help in choosing some solar panels to buy.

Yeah, he looks like the real deal. You don't get that many views and subscribers on YouTube unless you are doing something right--REALLY right in this case.

I watched a video last night where he had received some batteries from a manufacturer for making your own power rack where he proceeded to talk about why nobody buys them anymore. Let me see if I can find it....here it is!...

 

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I'm on that forum too. Will Prowse, boy genius. He talks too fast for me.

SC
 

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^ They're not spinning as they have seized up.
 

Thecrensh

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Our latest addition. It will keep our freezer and refrigerator working @120 watts with a couple of lightweight Renolgy 100w panels indefinitely.

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA, UPS Power Supply 1260Wh Battery Pack with 6 1800W (3300W Surge) AC Outlets, Solar Battery $1099 w/free shipping from Amazon.

View attachment 263822
what is the battery for that and how many charging cycles is it rated for?