How to Use a Generator & Batteries for Electricity for a Cabin


A generator and batteries can be used as a primary or secondary (back up) power source for a cabin. Since most generators are quite loud it is advisable to keep them in a vented storage shed away from the cabin. Batteries are better and can be used in conjunction with solar panels or windmills to collect and store power. Otherwise the battery will need to be charged to be used again. When using either of these power sources as a primary source it is advisable to use them as sparingly as possible to save fuel and battery life.

Things You'll Need

  • Transformer / transfer switch / inverter
  • Power cables
  • Configure the transformer. The most important component when using batteries or a generator for power is the transformer. The transformer is what converts the battery's power to the outlets and sockets used in the house. The transformer will also accept and regulate the power produced by the generator. The transformer acts much like a fuse box. Each transformer is different and a thorough examination of the owner's manual should be done before attempting to use it.

  • Connect the battery. The battery can be housed indoors or outdoors. If it is outdoors it must be protected from the elements, along with wires that are not insulated. The battery has two terminals: a positive and a negative. Attach power cables to both and then attach those cables to the transformer. Make sure to match positive with positive and negative with negative. The transformer will ensure that the power from the battery is not being drained unless it is needed.

  • Connect the generator. Most generators can connect to other devices in a number of different ways, based on the model of generator and transformer; select the most appropriate method. Connect the appropriate power cable to the generator and then to the transformer. Start the generator and test to make sure the connection works.

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