In search of heat, or solar generator review

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,852
Media
2
4,714
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
I have been very concerned about how to keep my Fids (not to mention my human family)
warm enough in a “grid down” situation.

I had been pursuing the idea of electrical backup as the way to go but reality bit me in the rear end
putting it to a test.

I have a gas generator, 6.5 Kw I think but it’s LOUD.
running it at night to power a heater is not practical.
using it during the day might be doable and can use extra power for charging.

But I live in the desert and one thing I get plenty of is ☀️.
I have always liked the idea of solar power, at least since the 70’s.
I remember trying to make a sizzler (toy car) to run on a solar panel (tiny one).

Anyway I have had a solar generator for, I don’t know 2 years without using it much.
A few short term power outages but until yesterday I always charged the thing on house power.
The generator I bought was the EcoFlow Delta max 1600.
I thought I was buying the 2000 Wh version but was my mistake.
And it came with a 160 watt portable solar panel.
Using my EcoFlow to power my oil filled heater it will run for a whopping hour and a half.
The heater uses the same amount of power at any setting, about 820 watts.

I guess I was kind of stupid.
I threw good money after…… well not bad but maybe not wise.
With all the Black Friday sales I thought I just needed a little more power.
So I bought the extra battery for the Delta max, 2000watts.
So that gives me a total watt hours of 3.6Kw of power.
And that Ladies and gentlemen let’s me run my heater for almost 4 hours.

Yesterday I charged the battery with solar.
I bought a 200 watt solar panel (on sale) at the time I got the extra battery.
I actually have 3 panels but I didn’t use the lowest power panel thi time, it’s only 100 watts.

If you’re going to charge with solar you better not plan on doing anything else.
If I had a backyard free of trees and storage sheds it would be easier.
With the 200 watt and 160 watt together my max charging input was 278 watts.

the EcoFlow did work well and I would recommend it but….

you can’t charge the extra battery separately, it must be connected to the main power station.

It would be better if the software was more flexible.
example
If you have the extra battery connected you can’t control where the power comes from during discharge
and where charging power goes
Like maybe you want to gharge the extra battery first but there is no way to set that up.
 
OP
texsize

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,852
Media
2
4,714
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
I have ever seen solar panels made pretty before.
I didn’t look at the price but the amount of moving parts and if it jams up.

My solar panels are made to be portable although they don’t need to be for my use.

the limiting factor on my “system” is how much power I can put back in. Through solar I think I am limited to 400 watts in.
More solar panels isn’t a solution.

And for me it’s not so much about power.
It’s keeping my babies warm.

I have something else on order.
I don’t really like it .
It would be a last resort kinda thing.
I have what’s called a Buddy heater on order.
runs on propane. Supposed to be safe indoors.


If it’s a choice between trying something, even something that might be dangerous it’s better than doing nothing and letting them freeze.
 

Jcas

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2023
501
828
Parrots
Quaker, 2 budgies
Where I live ( kind of the middle of nowhere) multi- day power outages occur at least once a year. We’re at the end of the line so the power company always gets to us last. In a big power outage, we can count on at least 2-4 days without power, often in the dead of winter. In my experience, nothing is going to be better than a gas or diesel powered generator. Ours runs for 8-12 hours on a tank of gas and can power the furnace blower, water pump, 2 fridges, a freezer and still have just a little left over. Yes it’s loud, but in a choice between noise and freezing to death, there’s not much competition 😉. I like the idea of solar but where we live in the Midwest it’s not very practical. Just my two cents 🙂
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
17,612
9,932
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
I looked at solar and walked away from it! But, now it looks like our Idiot Governor is going to force our State to go Green! To power our home with Solar I need to place something like thirty panels and that would cover all of our South facing roof area. We would then need to remover all of the trees on the South side of our home.

Since you live in a Desert area clouds are less of a problem! Where I am at, based on a year around bases of 53% of the time, we are cloudy and add the effect of night time and we are screwed. With great news, it seems that Tesla has foreseen the nightmare of going solar as they have developed a Battery (power) storage system that can use solar during the day to change the storage system and a combination of the storage system and the homes AC electrical service to charge your electric car at night. With good luck (or excellent business plan) Testa has created the system to be modular, which allows you to connect additional usage, which can be used to power one's home.

The huge amount of dollars just keep mounting as one becomes aware that in the Great White North we have this season called Winter where its gets really cold and those amazing batteries do not like cold and one needs to set them in an insulated area that is heated. Oh, yes and the snow needs to be removed from those solar panels or they are useless when covered and when it's not snowing, about once per quarter (every three months) you need to wash their top surface to assure maximum abilities.

Yaa, I am not a big solar guy!

Although they are noisy and are a general pain to deal with, Gas Powered Generators are the lowest cost solution available to most folks! There are the potable one's that can be purchased to run on gasoline or diesel. Or, can be connected to available Natural Gas or Propane for continuous operation. And, yes, they can even be attached to one's home and the homes natural gas or propane supply.

Cold weather sucks and is dangerous when one's choice become limited. We may have to consider reverting to the activities of Native America's when they migrated from the Great White North to the Deep South seeking warmer weather during the Winter and back North for Cooler weather during the Summer.

FYI: Our idiot Governor just announced that they are planning to restart one of our Nuclear Power Plants as it seems that since they have successfully shutdown all the coal plants, our State no longer has enough electoral power to support the current load of the States electric grid!
 
Last edited:
OP
texsize

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,852
Media
2
4,714
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Well I am not out to try to solve the world’s energy problems.
And I am not trying to sell anyone on any product in particular.

I just want to be prepared as best as I can afford because it’s clear you can’t depend on the government.

I do have a gas genny, 6.5 Kw I think.
400cc single cylinder.
Running it at 2 in the afternoon may be just fine.
running at 2 in the morning……. Not so much.
But it can be used to do a quick change on the batteries or when it’s cloudy.
We do get rain even in Southern California (despite the song)

Right now I use the EcoFlow early morning 4 am ish to run
the oil heater help warm up the house.
solar charging till early afternoon 3 pm
in afternoon/ evening use EcoFlow to power microwave/fridg.

the next day repeat.

I am trying to get a feel for how long it takes to recharge.
placement of solar panels and stuff like that.
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,959
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
I have ever seen solar panels made pretty before.
I didn’t look at the price but the amount of moving parts and if it jams up.

My solar panels are made to be portable although they don’t need to be for my use.

the limiting factor on my “system” is how much power I can put back in. Through solar I think I am limited to 400 watts in.
More solar panels isn’t a solution.

And for me it’s not so much about power.
It’s keeping my babies warm.

I have something else on order.
I don’t really like it .
It would be a last resort kinda thing.
I have what’s called a Buddy heater on order.
runs on propane. Supposed to be safe indoors.


If it’s a choice between trying something, even something that might be dangerous it’s better than doing nothing and letting them freeze.
I wouldn't use the Buddy heater indoors with birds. They say it's indoor safe and perhaps for humans it is, but birds are far more sensitive. The company surely didn't test the Buddy product on birds and you would want your own birds to be test subjects!
 
OP
texsize

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,852
Media
2
4,714
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
I wouldn't use the Buddy heater indoors with birds. They say it's indoor safe and perhaps for humans it is, but birds are far more sensitive. The company surely didn't test the Buddy product on birds and you would want your own birds to be test subjects!
Then how can I produce heat to keep my birds from freezing?
Battery won’t last long enough.
generator at night is too noisy. I have neighbors.
I can’t burn anything.
So what’s the answer, rub two sticks together.
If I had unlimited funds I would have our fireplace
replaced by a pellet stove.
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,959
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Then how can I produce heat to keep my birds from freezing?
Battery won’t last long enough.
generator at night is too noisy. I have neighbors.
I can’t burn anything.
So what’s the answer, rub two sticks together.
If I had unlimited funds I would have our fireplace
replaced by a pellet stove.
You can get a small pellet stove for about $800 but it only holds about 24 hours worth of pellets. Use the wood stove? I don't know. Where do you live that your power goes out in the winter for more than a half day and your birds are at risk of freezing? I thought you lived in So Cal but perhaps you've moved to Oregon to be near your folks. I realize it happens in a lot of places. Here in Maine it happened last Christmas while we were in NJ and we had to have a friend come over and start up our generator and come back every 8 hours to add fuel (gasoline). But in the six winters I have been here the power went out for more than 24 hours maybe four times and we were only away out of town once. The big risk for long power outages in winter is wet heavy snow plus wind. I don't think Oregon gets many wet heavy snowstorms, at least not in the western part of the State.
As for your neighbors and your noisy generator- don't they have the same problem? I would think that during a power emergency everyone would be understanding of extra noise from neighbors' generators. If you could run the generator from 7am to 10pm your home should stay above 60 during the sleeping hours.
I wish you had a better option than the "Buddy Heater".
Parrots have a pretty good ability to keep themselves warm in colder (but not freezing cold) weather. As long as the room temp doesn't drop below 50 and there are no drafts, they can fluff up their feathers, sit low on their perches, and alternate their "landing gear" to stay warm. Look at climate stats for your birds' natural ranges for nighttime low temps.
 

Jcas

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2023
501
828
Parrots
Quaker, 2 budgies
Being close to other people does make it harder, but would your neighbors be mad at you for running a gas generator at night during a serious power outage? Where my Grandma’s house is it’s a pretty upper class neighborhood ( the kind of place that fines you if your grass is too long) but when they had a power outage that lasted for days, people with generators were like heroes! There were extension cords running across properties as people offered the power from their generator to use for necessities. The neighbor was humming constantly with the noise but no one complained. I don’t know what the people in your neighborhood are like though! Another option with solar is to have it powering directly ( rather than from a battery) so you could have one set of panels to power during the day when the sun is out and a second set that is collecting and storing energy in batteries for use at night. That might be too expensive though. Hope you find something that works ❤️
 

Jexnell

Supporting Member
2x Parrot of the Month 🏆
Jul 28, 2019
273
884
Portland Oregon
Parrots
Phoenix - Sun conure
I saw on commercial for the news last night how they have made a solar powered heaters for people of cold climates.
 
OP
texsize

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,852
Media
2
4,714
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #12
You can get a small pellet stove for about $800 but it only holds about 24 hours worth of pellets. Use the wood stove? I don't know. Where do you live that your power goes out in the winter for more than a half day and your birds are at risk of freezing? I thought you lived in So Cal but perhaps you've moved to Oregon to be near your folks. I realize it happens in a lot of places. Here in Maine it happened last Christmas while we were in NJ and we had to have a friend come over and start up our generator and come back every 8 hours to add fuel (gasoline). But in the six winters I have been here the power went out for more than 24 hours maybe four times and we were only away out of town once. The big risk for long power outages in winter is wet heavy snow plus wind. I don't think Oregon gets many wet heavy snowstorms, at least not in the western part of the State.
As for your neighbors and your noisy generator- don't they have the same problem? I would think that during a power emergency everyone would be understanding of extra noise from neighbors' generators. If you could run the generator from 7am to 10pm your home should stay above 60 during the sleeping hours.
I wish you had a better option than the "Buddy Heater".
Parrots have a pretty good ability to keep themselves warm in colder (but not freezing cold) weather. As long as the room temp doesn't drop below 50 and there are no drafts, they can fluff up their feathers, sit low on their perches, and alternate their "landing gear" to stay warm. Look at climate stats for your birds' natural ranges for nighttime low temps.
This is for Southern California, Oregon might be a little easier in some ways but solar in winter up there…… I don’t think it would work.

we have a fireplace.
We first moved in here in 1987 with just 2 Amazons (Plumas and Bingo).
we were excited going from apartment to home with fireplace.
I don’t think we had more than 6 fires.
No mater what we did the house would get smoke in it.
Even if we could get it to draw or breath properly it’s really decorative, not meant to provide heat.

The fireplace in Oregon was MADE to heat the place up.
it puts out lots of heat and we got lots of fire wood.
We are on 15 acres and we have neighbors but none that would object to running the diesel generator my dad set up.

I have never lost power for more than a few hours.
But just because I have never been in a car accident doesn’t mean I drive without insurance.

One scenario that concerns me is the Santa Anna winds.
When the windy conditions are predicted the power company threatens to shut off power to prevent wildfires.

That’s just one example, I have more good reasons for wanting to be prepared for emergencies.

I live within a few miles of the San Andreas fault.
What if……..

I got food for months.
I have a plan for cooking with solar as well as solar energy.
I have some water (not enough).

I didn’t think I really needed to spell it all out.
It’s just keeping warm that I don’t have solved.

I admit I haven’t looked into pellet stoves.
Ithink it might be a good idea.
But it’s not something I can just buy and set in the living room floor.
I think it will need specialist installation.
And that would probably make it out of budget (and I would have to talk the wife into it).
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,959
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
This is for Southern California, Oregon might be a little easier in some ways but solar in winter up there…… I don’t think it would work.

we have a fireplace.
We first moved in here in 1987 with just 2 Amazons (Plumas and Bingo).
we were excited going from apartment to home with fireplace.
I don’t think we had more than 6 fires.
No mater what we did the house would get smoke in it.
Even if we could get it to draw or breath properly it’s really decorative, not meant to provide heat.

The fireplace in Oregon was MADE to heat the place up.
it puts out lots of heat and we got lots of fire wood.
We are on 15 acres and we have neighbors but none that would object to running the diesel generator my dad set up.

I have never lost power for more than a few hours.
But just because I have never been in a car accident doesn’t mean I drive without insurance.

One scenario that concerns me is the Santa Anna winds.
When the windy conditions are predicted the power company threatens to shut off power to prevent wildfires.

That’s just one example, I have more good reasons for wanting to be prepared for emergencies.

I live within a few miles of the San Andreas fault.
What if……..

I got food for months.
I have a plan for cooking with solar as well as solar energy.
I have some water (not enough).

I didn’t think I really needed to spell it all out.
It’s just keeping warm that I don’t have solved.

I admit I haven’t looked into pellet stoves.
Ithink it might be a good idea.
But it’s not something I can just buy and set in the living room floor.
I think it will need specialist installation.
And that would probably make it out of budget (and I would have to talk the wife into it).
Definitely need professional installation of a pellet stove.

I agree with being prepared. Having lived in So Cal for 23 years, losing my home in a wildfire, and living through the Northridge Quake two months later, I get all that. Never having been in a serious accident I still have way more auto insurance than required.

Since your supplemental heat question is for So Cal, and you probably won't need to actually use it, I'm not sure what the problem is. Get the Buddy Heater knowing you won't have to use it is probably okay in So Cal. A $1,000 pellet stove in So Cal is probably unnecessary.
 
OP
texsize

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,852
Media
2
4,714
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #15
Definitely need professional installation of a pellet stove.

I agree with being prepared. Having lived in So Cal for 23 years, losing my home in a wildfire, and living through the Northridge Quake two months later, I get all that. Never having been in a serious accident I still have way more auto insurance than required.

Since your supplemental heat question is for So Cal, and you probably won't need to actually use it, I'm not sure what the problem is. Get the Buddy Heater knowing you won't have to use it is probably okay in So Cal. A $1,000 pellet stove in So Cal is probably unnecessary.
Well you do remember SoCal has many different……ecologies mountains/beaches/deserts all within what 100 miles.
I am at close to 3,000 ft elevation and daytime temperatures are quite pleasant even in winter.
But we do get below freezing temperatures and even snow on occasion.

How cold would my house get without power and heat over night.
I never tried that experiment.
I did once have the heater fail to turn on.
My fault, the filter interlock didn’t catch.
Inside temp was down to 58F.
I don’t think my birds even noticed TBH.

There was a store I use to frequent in the area.
They had a sun or nandy conure (something like that) as a mascot.
They didn’t heat the store at night.
They told me the bird froze to death.
It sure wasn’t there anymore I I sure never went back.

Maybe it’s an irrational fear.
I know this isn’t Mane but it gets cold enough to be a valid concern.
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,959
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Well you do remember SoCal has many different……ecologies mountains/beaches/deserts all within what 100 miles.
I am at close to 3,000 ft elevation and daytime temperatures are quite pleasant even in winter.
But we do get below freezing temperatures and even snow on occasion.

How cold would my house get without power and heat over night.
I never tried that experiment.
I did once have the heater fail to turn on.
My fault, the filter interlock didn’t catch.
Inside temp was down to 58F.
I don’t think my birds even noticed TBH.

There was a store I use to frequent in the area.
They had a sun or nandy conure (something like that) as a mascot.
They didn’t heat the store at night.
They told me the bird froze to death.
It sure wasn’t there anymore I I sure never went back.

Maybe it’s an irrational fear.
I know this isn’t Mane but it gets cold enough to be a valid concern.
I lived in Malibu in the winter in an unheated house for five months after the fire and it was cold at night. I used those oil filled electric space heaters to make it tolerable for us and our two birds (a budgie and a cockatiel) and we survived but it was pretty unpleasant. We lost power there after the Northridge earthquake in January and we had no heat source but we got it back after a few days. Fortunately, events that cause long term power outages in So Cal are pretty uncommon.
 
OP
texsize

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,852
Media
2
4,714
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #17
I lived in Malibu in the winter in an unheated house for five months after the fire and it was cold at night. I used those oil filled electric space heaters to make it tolerable for us and our two birds (a budgie and a cockatiel) and we survived but it was pretty unpleasant. We lost power there after the Northridge earthquake in January and we had no heat source but we got it back after a few days. Fortunately, events that cause long term power outages in So Cal are pretty uncommon.
That’s a long time to go without power.
did you get a generator or something for that long.

I remember a few years ago a big wind storm came through…. Pasadena….. I don’t remember for sure but it took the power company 2 weeks to restore power.
It was after that I realized you have to be able to take care of yourself, not sit around waiting for someone else to fix the problem. That was when I bought the gas generator as I recall.

If I could put electric warmers in all the cages it would use very little power and put heat right where it’s needed.
I have thought about it.
A lot of my birds are too scared of new.
the amazons all have heaters.
I tried the K&H with the Cockatiels.
too scared.
Bella, too scared.

And even if I got them to accept them they might not use them.
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,959
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
That’s a long time to go without power.
did you get a generator or something for that long.

I remember a few years ago a big wind storm came through…. Pasadena….. I don’t remember for sure but it took the power company 2 weeks to restore power.
It was after that I realized you have to be able to take care of yourself, not sit around waiting for someone else to fix the problem. That was when I bought the gas generator as I recall.

If I could put electric warmers in all the cages it would use very little power and put heat right where it’s needed.
I have thought about it.
A lot of my birds are too scared of new.
the amazons all have heaters.
I tried the K&H with the Cockatiels.
too scared.
Bella, too scared.

And even if I got them to accept them they might not use them.
The house in Malibu that we rented after the fire had power- it just had no heating system, so we used electric space heaters, but they were very expensive to run. The longest I've ever gone without power is about a week, and that was here in Maine about six years ago. We used a gasoline generator that didn't run the whole house and had to be fueled every eight hours or so.
If money were no object I would have a full back up generator system at my home run off a large propane tank but that would cost at least $15k to install. That's what "people with money" have up here.
 
OP
texsize

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,852
Media
2
4,714
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #19
The house in Malibu that we rented after the fire had power- it just had no heating system, so we used electric space heaters, but they were very expensive to run. The longest I've ever gone without power is about a week, and that was here in Maine about six years ago. We used a gasoline generator that didn't run the whole house and had to be fueled every eight hours or so.
If money were no object I would have a full back up generator system at my home run off a large propane tank but that would cost at least $15k to install. That's what "people with money" have up here.
My mother’s place (also in Oregon) is slightly more remote than my dad’s.
They (my mom and her partner) had one of those Generac I think they are calling.
It ran on propane and I was told it was so noisy they would mostly rather do without power than have to listen to it screaming.
But….. they had a cast iron stove (function not decorative) so the well pump and fridge was all 5hat had to have power.

I didn’t ever mention this before.
Earlier this year my stepmom showed me a video clip from one of her outside security cameras.
It was early morning dark so camera was using its poor infrared.
But they recorded a cougar walking on the driveway on their property .
I been going up there since the 60’s .
Never ever seen a cougar. deer, skunk, lizards &snakes, hawks and eagles.
never a cougar before.
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
17,612
9,932
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
That family of large cats are far more common than near anyone will admit too.

A last year I saw two about three miles from our cabin and their normal range places our cabin well within their range.
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top