[nSLUG] Power Loss and UPSs

Stephen Gregory nslug at kernelpanic.ca
Mon Nov 5 14:17:41 AST 2007

On Mon, Nov 05, 2007 at 10:41:39AM -0400, Greg Estabrooks wrote:
>  Anyone know what decent generators run these days that run for at least 
> 6 hours? If they are cheap enough I might pick one up and keep it around 
> for days like this.

Instead of a generator you may want to look into Canadian Tires Noma
branded 400w and 1800w back up power units. These are basically a UPS
with a largeish battery. These battery backed units are easier to use
then a generator. The battery is maintance free. With a generator you
need to worry about oil and gasoline, and it should be started about
once a month. On the downside once the battery in the Noma units are
drained you have to wait for the power to come back. With a generator
you can keep adding gasoline for a long time.


If you would prefer a generator don't worry about the run time. Most
of the inexpensive sets have tiny gas tanks. A spare tank of gas tanks
fixes this this problem. Even the cheapest of cheap generators with
produce reasonably clean power. Canadian Tire has a no-name 1kw
generator for $300. The 5kw Coleman for $900 has a claimed run time of
9 hours. More expensive generators will be quieter (but still
freakishly loud), and have larger gas tanks. The most expensive
generators use electronic inverters, are quieter, burn less fuel at
partial loads, and are just all around nicer then the older convention
generators. The inverter generators are rather expensive. A great
Honda EU1000iC 1kw generator has a list price of $1100. Apart from
price the key difference between a conventional generator and one with
an inverter is that the conventional generator has to run at full
throttle regardless of the ammount of power required. An inverter
generator can vary the throttle from idle to full depending on the
power load.

If you live in a region prone to power outages consider spending $4k on
a nice Honda 7kw generator and another $1.5 to have an electrician
hardwire the generator into your house. (Don't wire it up
yourself. Some generator salesmen have been giving out very bad


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