At this point, most of us probably have more than a few external battery packs kicking around. These are handy for topping off phones, or other devices, while you’re out and about, or in the case of a short term power outage. But what if you’re in an area that gets hit regularly with outages? You might want something a bit more robust. Something like the GoalZero we talked about last week could do it, but this Generark seems like it’s getting closer to being a “whole home” sort of a generator.
Now, in their campaign page, they are careful to say that’s not a true whole-house generator replacement (such as the ones that you can get installed and rely on natural gas to keep running in the event of an outage). The Generark HomePower 2 gives you a 1566 Wh / 1800W (or 2060 Wh / 2200W) backup battery, which can power a ton of things via it’s standard electrical outlets and USB ports. Another nice thing is, once you have it charged up, it should be able to retain it’s electrons for about a year, which means you can have it ready to go in case of an emergency, and not have to worry about topping it off every month or two.
Speaking of topping it off – the Generark is powered up via a few different methods. The simplest, of course, would be to plug it in and charge up the battery. If you’re in an extended outage, or just want to be a bit more eco-conscious, it’s setup to be paired with solar panels (their SolarPower 2). This gives you a way to keep the electrons flowing, even in the face of an extended outage. Depending on the tier you back at, you can either get 2 panels that will get you a theoretical max of 400W, or a four-panel setup for 800W. Then again, the big thing with solar panels is their efficiency. Which, as anyone who’s bought an inexpensive solar charger knows, that can be rather hit or miss.
Here, though, at the prices they’re asking, I’d really hope they’ve got some good panels involved. The lowest tier of the Generak SolarPower 2 comes in at $1,399. Bumping to the first version with solar panels (two of them) lowers the battery capacity, and hits $1,899. If you want to retain that bigger battery, and go with the four panel setup, then you’re talking $1,899. So, as you can see from those prices, this is not something you sort of get on a whim, for the day-long outage you get once a year. This is a more robust application for those recurring situations, or if you really need to get power somewhere that you can’t easily run extension cords. The campaign is fully funded at this time, and runs through July 15. You can check out all the details at the campaign page.