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How To Use Solar Panels During Power Outage ?

In our high-tech world, it’s impossible to say enough about how important a steady power supply is. Power outages are annoying and can make it hard to go about our daily lives. Thanks to the development of renewable energy sources, especially solar power, homeowners now have a safe way to deal with these problems. This complete guide is meant to go into great detail about how to use solar panels during power outages, including the types of systems, and reliable options you need to know to make a smart choice.

Why Solar Panels Do Not Work During Power Outages?

How To Use Solar Panels During Power Outage

Power outages used to happen rarely, but lately, they’ve been getting worse because of big events. Compared to 2013–2016, power cuts rose from 2017 to 2019. People in the U.S. who use energy saw even more power outages in 2020 than in 2019.

A new study by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) found that in 2024, many parts of North America may need more electricity. The study says that from 2024 to 2028, power outages could affect more than 300 million people in the US and Canada. This scary prediction is based on the fact that the tech industry uses more energy, and more buildings and cars are becoming electric.

When the power goes out, solar systems connected to the grid are turned off. This is a rule that companies put in place to keep electricity safe and stable for several reasons.

Using Solar Power During Outages

How To Use Solar Panels During Power Outage

Grid-Tied Solar Systems with Backup:

Grid-tied solar systems are the most common, where excess energy is fed back into the grid in exchange for credits. A grid-tied system with battery backup is recommended to enhance resilience during power outages. This configuration allows you to store excess energy during the day and use it when the grid is down.

The backup capability ensures that essential appliances, such as refrigerators and lights, remain operational even when the grid is offline. It’s important to note that grid-tied systems without backup capabilities shut down during outages to prevent back-feeding into the grid and endangering utility workers.

Off-Grid Solar Systems:

Off-grid solar systems are independent of the grid and are designed to meet all a household’s energy needs. These systems are suitable for areas with unreliable or no access to grid power. When considering an off-grid system, sizing becomes crucial – it must produce enough energy to sustain your household even during cloudy days or extended periods without sunlight.

Off-grid systems typically include a larger battery bank to store surplus energy during nighttime or low-sunlight conditions. A backup generator may also be added for assurance during prolonged periods without sunlight.

Batteries-based solar system (or connected to the grid and backed up by batteries)

A battery-based solar system is similar to off-grid solar systems, with a critical distinction – connected to the grid. These systems often incorporate a Smart Home Battery solution like the Tesla Powerwall or LG Chem RESU. These intelligent batteries seamlessly function with or without the grid connection. This type of solar system is perfect for homeowners aiming for energy independence without completely severing ties with the grid, offering a dependable solution for maintaining electrical stability during power outages.

During daylight hours, the solar panels in a battery-based PV system generate energy. The unique feature here is that you control how much energy is sent back to the grid and how much is stored in your batteries. When night falls and the panels aren’t producing energy, you can use power from your solar batteries or draw from the grid. If your batteries are fully charged, any surplus energy will be sent back to the grid, with the utility meter keeping track of the excess energy contributed.

How do I choose the best battery bank or smart home battery system?

It is important to pick the right battery bank or smart home battery to keep your home’s power stable during a power loss. The most important thing to think about is how many days of independence you will have with the energy backup system you choose (find out about different ways to store solar energy).

In the United States, houses use an average of 893 kWh monthly. If you divide that amount by 30, you get 29.76 kWh daily. This means a 30 kWh home battery system and an off-grid or battery-based solar system would provide enough power for the average U.S. home for a whole day. Since this would make the price go up a lot, most people install a home battery system with a capacity of about 10 to 15 kWh, which should be enough to power critical loads during power outages.

If you want your smart home to be entirely self-sufficient for at least two days, you should look for a battery. Homes with solar systems that use batteries will be fine for one to two days without power to handle power blackouts, natural disasters, and bad weather.

Which One Is the Best Solar System for Your Home?

It depends on what you want to do and what your home needs to decide whether you go with an off-grid, battery-backed, or grid-tied solar system. We’ll compare the different solar systems here so you can choose the best one for your home.

System Type

Off-grid solar system

Battery-based solar system

Grid-tied solar system

Energy Source

It can directly use energy from the solar panels or the batteries.

It can get power from the grid, the batteries, or the solar cells.

Power comes from the grid or the solar panels (except when the power goes out).

Utility Bill

Results in $0 electricity bill

Can lower the electricity cost (or even make money by selling the extra energy they produce)

Can lower the electric price (or even make money by selling the extra energy they produce)

Cost For The System

It costs a lot and you need a big power bank.

Costly (you need a battery setup at home)

Cost on average

Overall Performance Against Power Outages

Not changed when the power goes out

Can get power from the grid when it’s bad weather and from the batteries when the power goes out.

Doesn’t work when the power goes out

In this table, we’ve compared three types of solar systems: Off-grid solar systems, Battery-based solar systems, and Grid-tied solar systems. The table highlights critical aspects such as energy source, utility bill impact, cost, and overall performance against power outages for each type of system.

Conclusion for Power Outage

It’s easy to get your house ready for power outages. To make your setup stronger, add a battery-backed solar system. It’s more valuable than off-grid systems in suburban places. Pick a smart home battery that lasts one to two days to keep the power on even when it goes out.

Contact Solar Earth Inc for more info about solar system intallation in 

  • Buellton 
  • Santa Barbara
  • Goleta
  • Lompoc
  • Santa Ynez Valley
  • Los Alamos
  • Santa Maria
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