Solar Enthusiast
I’m not sure why everyone is wiling to spend a lot of up front costs for an AIO, and then treating it as a generator. It’s better to consider it a UPS. On my 3 bedroom home, a 3000 watt generator has satisfied my needs during multi week power outages in New Hampshire. No fun filling jerry jugs!
A 3000W AIO will serve all my 120v needs and then some. I run gas appliances for oven and dryer so I have limited 240v needs. Their electrical requirements can run off the AIO too.
All of my 120v circuits are being served by my 3000W LVM. All critical load breakers were relocated from the main panel to a new $80 Siemans subpanel. With a family of 5, I am usually under 1 KW throughout the day.

As long as you monitor your usage, the default settings should satisfy your needs. When / If I need 240v, I’ll purchase a parallel unit to grow. In the end, AIO’s should be a whole house UPS where one should not have to overthink the maintenance.
How in the heck can you stay under 1KW a day? Do you not have a refrigerator?

Edit. Sorry, I read that as 1KWhr!


New Member
When I finally realized I needed to get serious about a home back up system my steps went kinda like this... (not recommended for everyone)
Buy a big generator and some extension cords... (worked but not very convenient )
Installed a interlock switch and generator breaker in main panel outside on my power pole... (better but still inconvenient in the middle of a storm)
Realized I didn't need to power the entire house during a blackout after I installed the Emporia energy monitoring system (only needed 3000W)
Sold the big generator and bought a 3000W gen/inverter that was much quieter and I could use propane to fuel it (better yet)
More research found the Connecticut Transfer switch panel...(much more convenient inside the garage) powers my essential circuits as I choose...
Light bulb went off one day and I tried an old inverter that I had and plugged into the inlet box on the transfer switch panel powered by some of my electric bike batteries...(just a test)....realized that is much quieter and perfect for a short term outage
Safer LifePo4 batteries for longer power outages...Started looking for a new inverter...
Found the "all in one" inverters and bought a 48V Growatt 3000 ES and plugged into the transfer switch...(very convenient when used on utility/battery backup ...I don't even have to get out of bed during a power failure now)
Why not solar panels to charge those batteries? Installed 15 used panels on top of my pergola for a 3000w array to charge the batteries and power my AC in the garage during the hot hours of the day
No solar?...No Utility?...No problem...I just plug my external battery charger into my Gen/Inv and keep the battery bank charged as needed...
If the inverter crashes I have a backup by unplugging it and plugging in the Gen/Inv directly to power my essential circuits
It's been a learning experience...who knows what might be next?
For tinkerers, this is the standard approach which I identify with as well. The industry at large has become a lot more cost effective. My suggestion for newcomers is prior to pulling the trigger, write up your wish list for your design and do an energy audit. In the end, you’ll spend less and have a system that serves your needs.

Harry E

New Member
Thanks for all the input. It looks like the Sol-Ark 5K will fulfill my requirements. It is designed to connect directly to the grid (I spoke to a Sol-Ark engineer). It also has an output to a essential circuit breaker panel and can provide 120 volts AC to both legs of my home's electrical panel. So I will need only one unit, unfortunately it is more expensive than 2 Growatt SPF 3000TL LVM-ES. The Sol-Ark 5K also has an input for a generator if needed.