What you can do to have electricity in a prolongues blackout.
Wind Power
Fuel Cells and Alternatives
Solar Photovoltaic
Standby Generators
Portable Generators
 
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Slide 3 of 5
Solar Photovoltaic

A good-size solar electric array can keep you in electricity—as long as the sun is out and your system is producing enough electricity for your home. About a 2500-watt system can suffice to power a few things in an emergency, but to power most or all of your home, look for about 6 kw system, says Ken Erdmann of Erdmann Electric in Springville, Utah, which has been installing solar systems for 12 years.

Some homes in rural areas that are prone to power outages employ batteries to store solar electricity, though these systems will increase your costs by about a third for good batteries. Unfortunately, batteries are the weakest parts of the system, says Erdmann. Deep-cycle batteries needed for solar power storage are measured in amp hours (Ah), which will tell you how much amperage is available when discharged evenly over a 20-hour period. Erdmann says a $30,000 solar PV system with about eight batteries should produce 6 kw. Erdman recommends Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries and dual inverters for handling hybrid grid-tied and off-grid systems.

Here’s a good primer on solar PV batteries.

Read more: 5 Ways to Beat Power Outages