Alternative Technology at Home in Suffolk
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A medium sized petrol generator provides an emergency electricity supply for the whole house.
The generator is an old Honda ES3500 petrol 3.5 kVA model. It was not designed to run on unleaded fuel but Honda told me the valves would be OK. It is reasonably stable but is very noisy even though I have routed the exhaust outside the store room with some flexible pipe work. The great thing is that it is an electric start model. Check eBay auctions for generators
When in use, the store room gets quite warm, as I don't think the air cooled Honda is very efficient. There is enough power for the whole house and I have an armoured cable buried under the patio feeding an 80A changeover switch before the mains consumer unit. There is a set routine to follow when a power cut strikes, involving starting the generator, making sure the cat is not around and then throwing the changeover switch. A small portable generator would be an alternative solution as they are now quite cheap, but it would not have the luxury of electric start and the noise would probably be worse.