Here are a few technical toys for getting and using power in an off-grid home.
Starting with the NiMH battery Charger, it holds 4 AA or AAA NiMH batteries, and charges from 120vac housepower or 12vdc car power as input. About $20 from Walmart, and came with 4 AA NiMH batteries.
That gives me power for all those battery sucking devices like flashlights, remote control vehicles my boy’s like, clocks, and caller ID phones.
Next up in the Power toolbox is my Kill-A-Watt. This 120vac, 15amp monitor can measure the volts, watts, hz, watt hours, and power factor of most AC loads in the house, RV or boat. Its indispensable in an off-grid setting, for determining how much power an item uses and for how long it runs. $30 from J&R Music World.
The last item in the picture above is the Power Center, $99 from BJ’s Wholesale. It contains a battery, a 400 watt inverter, jumper cables, air compressor, flashlight, two 12vdc power receptacles, and two 120vac receptacles. Great for portable emergency power, or, as we are using it, as a temporary UPS to keep the satellite box from losing sync and the clock radio/stereo from losing programming during inverter/generator/inverter switching. We will plug a 20 watt PV panel into it shortly, and give some real life run time/load numbers.>