Having made it through another Winter without an extended power outage - I grew up in the country, where this is noteworthy -- I still find myself thinking of emergency power.
You can pick up a little gas*-engine genset for not much, depending on how ambitious you are; if you want to run the air-conditioner and dryer, that'll cost more, ditto handy features like autostart and a transfer switch. They run. They're noisy and it's a lousy idea to refuel 'em while they're running.
Or you can go old school. Ever hear of a Lister Cold-Start Diesel engine? Me neither, not until a reader sent me a marvelously gadgetary link. Upshot: it's a 1929 design, slow-revving and well-suited to stationary applications. Well-executed examples have very long service life and, once you've chased the bugs out, they just run and run.
Downside? Well, the weight-to-horsepower ratio is shockingly bad. And if you're going to assemble one from a barebones engine and generator, it is a learning process. But as one Floridian found it, it pays off, and in far more than simply electricity when the hurricanes howl. Read. Enjoy. Admire!
Semi-related, the alcohol-burning desk fan:
Can't afford. But do want.
* Petrol, that is. You can get LP/NG versions, nifty fixed thingies that live outdoors in an unobtrusive metal housing -- but will the heating-gas be on when you need it?
2 weeks ago