Gasless Generator or Natural Gas Generator?
LESLIE: John in Texas is calling in with a power question. What can we do for you today?JOHN: I was curious about this device. I was looking on the internet. It’s called the Power Wagon. It’s a gasless generator and it’s 5kw. I went ahead and called the company and did a little research and I understand they’ve got a 10kw also. And I was looking at potentially modifying some of the electricity used in my house with something like that; not only hunting, fishing and other uses I could think of. But what are your thoughts on the availability of that? It’s got these big batteries that apparently are valid for like five years. They’re bigger than car and pickup truck batteries.TOM: Yeah, but doesn’t this product have to be driven around to charge? It’s basically a trailer …JOHN: Yeah. Yeah, they said it does. They have two other options: a wind option and a solar panel. But their look of it is, you know, it takes 40 minutes totally to recharge and you’re going to be going to Wal-Mart anyways. And so I’m looking at it as, you know, clean energy.TOM: Yeah.JOHN: If you’re going to go somewhere and you have the vehicle that can tow it, because it’s not very heavy …TOM: Yeah, well let’s think about that. Now, you’re going to spend a lot of energy towing this thing around for 40 minutes to charge it up; so you’ve spent a fair amount of gasoline doing that. You know, there’s a lot of stretching of the term “green” these days and that just kind of feels like what this is. I mean I guess “green” is what it means to you personally but, for me, you know, that’s not feeling real green at the moment.I have a backup standby generator for my house. I have a Generac and I like it because it runs off of natural gas. I mean I’m fortunate because I have natural gas. It could also run off propane, though. And it’s automatically wired into my electrical system so that if I have a power failure, the entire house is repowered within about 15 to 30 seconds. So, I mean that’s a pretty convenient, efficient, way of supplying backup power.Now, if you were a contractor and you were driving around all the time and you didn’t want to use a gasoline-powered generator, this seems like it could be an option. I mean basically it’s a couple of batteries on a trailer; you drive it around; the wheels of the trailer seem to charge the batteries and that’s fine. I don’t think it’s a good option for a house.JOHN: Yeah. Well, thanks a lot for the feedback.TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.