The Best Generators and Power Supplies Buying Guide
Taking personal responsibility for your electricity is a need for the 21st century. Sam's Club is here to help give you control over the power needed for your home and job site. From 15,000-watt portable generators to quiet inverter generators; solar panels, wind turbines and the batteries needed to store that green energy, we have what you need at members-only prices.
What Different Types of Generators Are There?
Classic power generators burn fuel to create a direct current of electricity (DC) for keeping batteries charged.
When it comes to power generators, the biggest questions are fuel and function. Most people think of a classic 7,500-watt electric start portable power generator, like the Black Max with Honda engine. Generators like this use gasoline and are equally suitable on a job site or disaster cleanup operation as emergency power.
However, with advances in propane and natural gas, there are also smaller 2,000-watt dual fuel portable generators. These advancements also allow for permanent backup power from natural gas backup generators. One example would be the 20,000-watt, Wi-Fi-enabled Generac, which is a wireless remote start standby generator with an automatic transfer switch.
Inverters generators burn fuel into DC and also convert it into alternating current (AC) to run tools and appliances, likely via a standard outlet 12V AC outlet.
These provide AC power for normal appliances or outdoor power equipment. One great tailgating option is the CARB-compliant Sportsman 1,000-watt portable inverter generator. For overnight camping, check out the Westinghouse super quiet technology 2,200-watt inverter generator.
What Different Types of Alternative Energy Are There?
Using panels, gather energy from the sun for powering lights, immediate usage, or store it for activity at night. Orient these where it is sunniest for the longest portion of the year.
Wind turbines generate an electrical charge by the rotation caused when the wind blows through them. This can collect energy during the day or night, as long as the wind is moving and able to reach the turbine. Put these up high for best results.
Hydroelectricity generally isn't generated at a household-level because it requires harnessing a lot of fast-moving water to turn large turbines. This is usually generated by large hydroelectric dams. But small hydroelectric water wheel kits can be used to engineer and crafted as a project for homes adjacent to a stream or river.
Tidal electricity is generated by the ebb and flow of water that flows in and out with incoming and receding tides.
Geothermal electricity uses heat from deep in the earth to boil water and turn a steam turbine to generate electricity.
What Different Types of Battery Chargers Are There?
Golf Cart chargers convert standard 12V AC outlet currents into 48V DC current for charging golf cart batteries. Some of these models are open frame and some are covered.
Power stations are versatile units that combine batteries, cables and inverters. They empower you to jump your own car battery, power hand tools or charge everyday electronics. They often have a digital display visualizing the remaining runtime on the power station's battery. These stations generally do not have a generator and need to be connected to a generator or home electrical grid to be recharged.
What Sizes of Generators and Power Supplies Can I Choose?
You can get gasoline, propane and natural gas generators in many sizes at Sam's Club, including the following:
- 2,000-watt Natural Gas Quiet Inverter Generators
- 3,500-watt Propane Generators
- 5,000-watt Gasoline Generator with Manual Start
- 7,500 watt Dual Fuel Generators
- 12,000-watt Portable Gasoline Generators
- 20,000-watt Remote Activated Natural Gas Backup Generators
You can buy alternative energy packages in many sizes at Sam's Club, including the following:
- 6-watt Solar panel kit
- 40-watt Solar panel kit
- 55-watt Solar panel kit
- 100-watt Solar panel kit
- 150-watt Solar panel kit
- 300-watt Solar panel kit
- 3,180-watt Solar panel array kit
- 5,300-watt Solar panel array kit
- 400 watt Wind generator kit
What to Consider When Buying Generators
Do you experience frequent power outages?
If you live somewhere prone to outages, a power generator can make the difference between throwing away a fridge of rotten food or having ice cream after dinner.
How many watts do I need to cover my appliances?
You may need to do some math adding up the wattage pulled by all of the appliances you will want to run for how long. Or, for a backup, look at your electric bill to determine how many kWh or MWh you usually use in a month. Divide that by 30 days, and decide how many watts you want your generator and any batteries to be. That'll tell you how long your backup will keep your home powered.
Should I buy a portable or home standby generator?
Portable generators can be a huge benefit if you're routinely maxing out the length of an extension cord, or if you need to bring power tools to a disaster site. Also, if you're in an area that is prone to frequent power outages, surges or brownouts, a home standby generator can keep your lights on in a dark neighborhood.
What to Consider when Buying Alternative Energy Sources
Is your home suitable for solar panels?
If you get direct sunlight on your rooftops for long durations of the year, you might be able to offset a lot of your utility costs with solar panels.
How much money will you save going solar?
The amount you save will depend on your local utility providers. If the energy costs in your area are high, and then solar panels can generate a large return on investment over 20 years. They also almost always increase your property value.
What Brands of Generators and Power Supplies Does Sam's Club Sell?
- Champion Power Equipment
- Black Max
- Grape Solar
- Nature Power
- Club Car
FAQ - Generators and Power Supplies
What is the quietest generator?
The Westinghouse super-quiet generators are an excellent short-duration generator.
Does solar power impact my property value?
Solar power generally raises the value of your property. It generally negatively impacts the value if you are somewhere that uses a lot of solar power, and you don't have it.
How much does it cost to install solar panels?
Depending on the size of your project, it can range from $2,000 to $20,000 to install solar panels.