My parents live in rural AR and have been seeing a slight uptick in commercial power failures. They’ve been mulling a generator for some time, however their power requirements are rather modest - a refrigerator, a deep freeze, personal electronics (phones, tablets, a laptop) - and they’re more than willing to manual mode the switchover with extension cords so as to avoid the various and many problems with suicide cords and not pay the money to get a transfer switch installed. A relatively small inverter generator could handle all of these things, however it needs stabilized fuel storage, periodic anti-atrophy usage, absolutely has to be run outside, and will require periodic maintenance.
I’m wondering if a modest deep cycle battery (or batteries), decent inverter, and lead-acid battery charger wouldn’t meet their requirements better, for less, with the option to supplement with a generator or even solar if they so desire. The deep freeze and refrigerator can be run for a few hours a day; electronics operation and charging can also be similarly pulsed. I feel like the entire setup can be put into a rack in the corner of their garage with a voltmeter across the battery leads and some guidelines on when to stop running the inverter. I’m not sure what kind of lifetime to expect from the deep-cycle batteries, whether such a setup can be easily upgraded, nor what my support liability will be from afar.
A downside of this approach is that some of the folks’ stretch goals - operating a small window unit as well as running their pellet stove - is unlikely. The former because of the sheer power requirements of air conditioning and the latter for reasons of medium power demands as well as being hardwired into the house.