The latest winter storm in Texas has not only brought plenty of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, it has also caused a series of rolling blackouts. With millions of Texans still struggling without power, many are wondering if a home solar energy system could help in situations of large-scale blackouts or total grid failures.
In the case of the Lone Star state, nearly 50% of their power generated comes from natural gas. Thus, if gas can’t make its way from the ground through the pipes due to the cold, the electricity output is significantly hampered. Yet, Texas is not alone in its power vulnerability. Rolling blackouts have hit other states, including California, which had a series of highly publicized summer blackouts in 2020, due to high-fire-threat conditions.
So, the question is whether or not solar panels can save the day and keep the lights and heat on if and when there’s a power outage. The answer is a definite maybe.
Most home solar systems don’t work during power outages because they don’t store excess electricity. However, there are additional components that you can add to your system that can ensure you do have a steady supply of electricity.
A Backup Generator
Investing in a backup generator can help shield your home from the hassles of a grid blackout. A solar generator can capture and store power for use during blackouts. A gas generator is an alternative.
A solar inverter can also be added to your solar system to provide some power during blackouts. This would need to be flipped on during an outage which would direct electricity produced by your solar energy system to the junction box outlet, enabling you to power lights, electronic devices, or small appliances by plugging them into the outlet.
Solar Battery Bank
While a generator can produce a limited amount of electricity, and an inverter can help during the daytime hours with sun, a solar battery bank can help maintain a continual supply of electricity for your entire home. During an outage, the batteries feed solar energy to a secondary electrical panel that isn’t connected to the grid. The amount of electricity you have is determined by the capacity of your battery bank.
Thinking about adding a generator, inverter, or battery bank to your solar system? Want to find out if solar is right for you? At Cool Blew Solar, we’re here to answer your questions and provide the information you need to make the best decision for your household.