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Electricity outages, especially in storm season, are commonplace. While battery/solar backup helps, there is no substitute for a Briggs & Stratton generator.

And GadgetGuy, ever concerned at how generators mistreat IT equipment went looking for IT friendly ones. Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart inverter generators fit that bill.

I do not know about you but my candle bill over the past few months has been horrific. While it may seem romantic to eat a candle-lit salad you can’t help but worry about if and when the power will come back on. In some cases, especially where falling trees have bought down lines, outages can be a day or more.

Food Safety Information Council says a refrigerator, if you do not open the door, will keep goods cold for about two to four hours (depending on its insulation efficiency and seal condition). Open the door and halve that. If power is out for four hours or more, then perishables should be thrown out.

Briggs & Stratton

Freezers are a little different and depend on whether they are chest or door types. As the food is frozen there is a -15° ‘mass’ to help slow rising temperatures. Again, depending on efficiency and freezer load that food can stay below zero degrees for between one and two days. When it crosses the 5° threshold should be consumed immediately or thrown out.

Conversely, if you are cooking food on the stove or oven – if you can’t finish that process within two hours – throw it out.

Then there is the smart home!

No power means no internet, no OK Google, no TV, no computers – even worse if you are on NBN because that means no home phone either.

Why the long preamble?

I owned a Briggs and Stratton generator in the 80s to help keep my business and home going while Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson had a prolonged power union dispute. To this day it’s still going strong and keeping a former family home alight.

But it was thirsty, smelly, made copious C0 and loud and while that was fine in the office carpark or garage things have come a very long way.

Enter Briggs & Stratton have introduced a PowerSmart Inverter Generators

These are up to 60% quieter than standard generators (7m ISO 3744 test), have run times of 5-9 hours (under 50% load) and use unleaded 91 RON or E10 petrol and separate engine oil.

While they focus on at the Grey Nomad RV market and campers, they are also use leading-edge sine-wave output technology that works with smart homes and sensitive electronic devices like laptops or smart TVs.

You can even link to another P2200 or P3000 PowerSmart generator via an optional Parallel Kit ($120) to add more power.

Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Inverter Generators come in three models

  • P2200, 230V/2200W (1700W running, 9A over 2 sockets), 12V/5A 60W DC (supports cigarette lighter plug such as USB), 24Kg
  • P3000, 230V/3000W (2600W running, 15A over 2 sockets), 12V/5A 60W DC and USB charging port, 44kg
  • Q6500, 230V/6500 (5000W running, 1x 32A or 2 x 15A sockets), 12V DC 60W and 2 x USB 5V/2.1A ports, 58kg
Briggs & Stratton

All models ratings are higher start-up loads and things like fridge compressors cycling. QPT (Quite Power Technology) will increase/decrease engine as electrical loads increase/reduce.

The Q6500 has Bluetooth functionality via an InfoHub Android or iOS app. The app monitors total power, run time (hours until empty), total unit hours and maintenance reminders.

The Q6500 has an option of a manual transfer switch to provide power to the home in the event of a power outage.

Briggs & Stratton

Grant Buck, Business Development Manager – Power Generation, Briggs & Stratton Australia, said

Electricity supply has become a hot-button topic in recent times. With unpredictable weather and challenges associated with mainstream electricity suppliers, many people are seeking an alternative solution during times of a power outage.

The Q6500 Inverter Generator is large enough to keep essentials such as refrigerators and lights operating during times of power disruption. It is ideal for other functions such as recreational or semi-commercial applications.

How much power do you need?

  • Incandescent light blub – watts stated on the bulb
  • Typical 300-400l Refrigerator – start up 2000 and running 800
  • Microwave – 1000W
  • Desktop computer – 800-1000W
  • Colour LCD TV from 300-600W

Just ensure that you have sufficient Wattage to cope with start-up drain – or you will need to add appliances sequentially.

Maintenance

Like all petrol engines, you will need to change oil, clean air filters etc. This is usually on a six-month cycle.

Price (from Bunnings)

  • P2200          $1199
  • P3000          $1744
  • Q6500         $2955

GadgetGuy’s take

I am not suggesting that you all rush out and buy one. The Inverters ability to put two in parallel starts to make great sense for Grey Nomad and those that need 24/7 power.

As it is the first look and not a review we won’t rate them but from what I can see these are well priced, great performers from a long term, respected company.

Briggs & Stratton

Pro

  • Great backup from Briggs & Stratton
  • Quiet Power Technology and quiet running although this limits load to 25%
  • Inverter power for IT stuff

Con

  • Manual pull start