On August 14, 2003, the largest utility blackout in history darkened parts of Ontario, Canada and major portions of the U.S. Northeast and Midwest. The event left some consumers without power for as long as four days, while others experienced rolling blackouts for an additional week.
Today, inconsistent power supply is on the rise as hurricanes, ice and snow storms, tornadoes and rolling blackouts and brownouts result in electric utility interruptions lasting anywhere from hours or days to weeks.
Some consumers have turned to fixed standby systems or economical portable generators to provide power during utility outages, and market trends indicate a need for today's alternative power sources to cover sensitive as well as essential loads. For example, loads such as well pumps, lights and furnaces need to be available immediately. And increasingly, homeowners need to power and protect expensive electronic equipment such as computer systems, home theaters and audio systems.
Fixed standby systems are fully automatic and convenient, but they are big and expensive, require a dedicated fuel source and fuel line, must be permanently installed and professionally serviced, and cannot be moved or used for other applications.
Portable generators are lightweight and affordable, but don't always provide sufficient power, especially during prolonged periods. Some consumers also find it inconvenient to handle the logistics involved in manually activating the transfer switch (the device that transfers power generation from the utility source to the generator). In addition, portable generators can be improperly used, back feeding electricity through the utility lines and potentially injuring utility workers.
The Honda Portable Power System (HP2S)
Honda Power Equipment and American Power Conversion designed the new Honda Portable Power System (HP2S) to provide a convenient option during utility outages that is easy to install and use and requires little interaction by the consumer beyond initial setup.
The HP2S is the first portable home back-up system that provides automatic, uninterruptible and intelligent transferof power during outages.
The HP2S, which combines a Honda generator, a smart transfer switch and a battery backup (or UPS) is an unprecedented technological advancement for residential power management.
- The battery back-up maintains power to selected loads, such as emergency lighting or a garage door opener, until the generator is powered up.
- The flagship of Honda's Super Quiet line of portable generators, the EU6500is delivers 6,500 watts of electrical output with a sine wave equal to AC current from a standard household wall outlet. And because the generator is portable, it can be used for recreation or other applications outside the home, and can be transported to another residence when the homeowner moves.
- The smart transfer switch, which is programmed in advance, automatically transfers power without intervention by the user. The transfer switch transfers power intelligently, allowing the generator to shed and reconnect loads on demand. The load shedding capability maximizes generator output and keeps the generator from tripping — in essence, allowing it to perform like a more powerful model. Because the transfer switch manages a flexible system and backs up multiple loads, it allows more user flexibility and customization.
- The vacation mode is a unique, innovative feature of the HP2S that operates independently of a power outage. The vacation mode cycles lighting or other circuits for home security while a family is on vacation or away from home.
In addition, Honda's superior technology means increased fuel efficiency and longer run times for the HP2S. For example, Honda technology can turn down the rating of the generator when the fuel level runs low. And because Honda generators incorporate the use of inherently quiet four-stroke engines and other superior technology, Honda generators boast extremely low decibel levels.