Most homeowners in the United States experience power outages in their homes at least once. These outages can range from inconvenient to actively dangerous for those relying on electricity.
Some people are turning to solar power in response. But can solar panels help during a power outage? Learn everything you need to know about solar panels and power outages below so you know how to prepare your home for the next blackout.
Can I Lose Power With Solar Panels?
According to UL Standard 1741, all solar photovoltaic (PV) systems connected to a grid must have an anti-islanding system. This requirement means your electricity will go out even if you have a solar PV system.
Solar anti-islanding is a safety feature in every solar system that shuts off the power and disconnects it from the grid during a power outage. The islanding detection system can sense when the power grid is down, allowing it to shut off the solar system automatically. The reasons for equipping solar systems with this feature include:
- Ensuring worker safety: When the power goes out, a working PV system can create safety concerns for utility workers trying to fix the grid. Active systems can burn or shock linemen, which could potentially be life-threatening. This automatic system prevents these injuries.
- Increasing grid equipment safety: Solar islanding protection prevents your solar system from sending voltage to the grid until the equipment and hardware are prepared to handle it.
- Preventing inverter damage: Solar islanding can cause damage to inverters. Solar anti-islanding prevents your inverters from overloading, saving you money on costly repairs.
How Solar Battery Storage Can Keep Your Power Running
Solar backup batteries can provide power for your entire home when the power goes out and creates an inconvenience in your day-to-day life. While grid-connected solar systems won’t work during an outage, a battery backup system can store the excess power your panels generate, allowing your electricity to keep running during an outage. Using a battery keeps your solar PV system disconnected from the grid, protecting workers from injury and your equipment from overloading.
When you use a backup battery, your solar inverter will store your excess energy there rather than sending it back to the grid. You can use that stored power when you’re not producing enough solar energy to meet your home’s electrical needs or when the power goes out. Storing your excess energy is particularly useful when a power outage lasts for long periods, whether due to a downed power line or a storm surge.
For example, the Tesla Powerwall is a reliable solar backup battery that’s sleek and inconspicuous, making it an ideal power solution for homeowners. The battery will store electricity while the sun is shining and send clean energy through once your system detects an outage. You can use the Tesla Powerwall to power your appliances for multiple days, helping you get through tedious, lengthy outages.
How Much Do Solar Batteries Cost?
The cost of your solar battery will vary depending on its capacity. Larger batteries with the potential for more storage will cost more, while small-capacity batteries will be more affordable.
The amount you pay for your battery will depend on your needs. For example, you’ll need to pay more if you want to power your entire home throughout an outage. However, if you experience frequent power outages, the price tag may be worth knowing that you’ll have reliable power. You’ll also become more independent from the grid, allowing you to save more on your monthly utilities.
On average, homeowners pay between $200 to $15,000 for solar battery installation. The Tesla Powerwall sits at about $8,500, making it an ideal choice with its large capacity and reliability.
To help make your decision, consider the frequency and duration of outages where you live. If you live in an area with frequent, prolonged outages, it’s a good idea to invest in a large-capacity battery to help keep your power running until the utility restores the grid.
Benefits of Solar Batteries
Choosing to invest in a solar battery for your PV system has many benefits, including:
- Energy independence: Using a backup battery reduces your reliance on the grid, allowing you to become more independent from utility companies. You can continue to charge your phone, power your appliances and keep the lights on, even when the power goes out. Backup solar batteries give homeowners peace of mind, knowing they’ll still have the energy they need when the grid is down.
- Reduced carbon footprint: By reducing your reliance on the grid, backup batteries also contribute to a minimized environmental impact. Solar batteries give you more control over your solar generation and consumption. You can optimize your use to help reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to help the environment.
- Emergency power: One of the most significant benefits of solar batteries is that they provide emergency power during an outage, which is vital for some individuals. Many people need a constant stream of electricity to power essential items. Solar backup batteries give homeowners peace of mind that their equipment will have the electricity they need to continue functioning during a power outage.
- Utility savings: You can pull from your backup power supply when electricity rates are high, saving even more on your utility costs. Net metering also lets you sell your stored energy back to the utility company, giving you an increased return on your solar investment.
- Energy monitoring and optimization: The Tesla Powerwall allows you to monitor your energy consumption for a deeper understanding of your generation and usage patterns. Once you understand these factors, you can set your solar system to optimize during outages. Optimizing your system also increases your savings and helps you become more energy-independent.
Contact 8M Solar to Learn How We Can Help!
We know how inconvenient a power outage can be when you rely on electricity for comfort and health. 8M Solar can help prevent you from losing power if you experience a power outage with solar panels. We have backup solar batteries, including the Tesla Powerwall, that you can install with a new or existing solar PV system.
We can help you through every step, including design, engineering and installation. We’ll help you find the best solution to fit your energy needs, whether it’s keeping the power on, reducing your carbon footprint or lowering your monthly utility bill. Contact us today to learn more about our solar solutions!