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Build a cheap and easy backup battery bank.
When the power goes out its not the end of the world, but it is inconvenient. A backup battery bank will keep you in power while the power is down without the noisy engine of a generator. You can build a battery bank with just a few items and a little know how, and enjoy emergency power without a huge investment.
|The first thing you will need is a battery. I have a deep cycle marine battery laying around so that is what we will use for this post.|
Your battery bank can be scaled up to fit your needs. I am going to use this one for an example because that is what I have laying around. If you want to expand your power reserve all you have to do is add more batteries. To add a battery to this system you will use battery cables to connect positive to positive and negative to negative. When building a bigger bank it is best to use batteries that are the same size and within six months of age.
|The next thing you will need is a way to keep your battery. This can be accomplished with a battery charger, make sure you get one with a safety feature that won’t overcharge your battery.|
Take your battery charger and hook it up to the positive and negative terminals on the battery. Then plug it into the wall, your charger should have a maintenance mode that will keep your battery charged all the time so when the grid fails you are at full charge.
|At this point you have your battery and a way to keep it charged. This does no good without a way to plug in your devices so you will need a power inverter.|
I wouldn’t go too big on an inverter for a system of this size, due to the fact your battery reserve will not support the draw of higher watt devices. 400 to 800 watts should do just fine, that will power you personal devices, some lights and if needed you could run some medical devices like a nebulizer for people with breathing problems. To hook up your inverter simply attach the red clamp to the positive terminal and the black clamp to the negative terminal.
|This is now a complete system the battery will hold your power, the charger will keep the battery full, and the power inverter will convert the dc to ac power so you can plug in and use or charge your devices.|
This system is really easy to install on the bottom shelf in a laundry room or in closet so it is not in your way, but be sure to check in on it from time to time to make sure that when you need your backup power it will be there for you. If you want to take it a step further you could attach a solar panel for long term power outages. I will cover how to build a solar backup system in a later post.