Does Solar Power Work in a Blackout?

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There are plenty of benefits that come with installing a solar energy system. From reduced utility bills to greater property value, there’s no denying that going solar makes financial sense. But, many homeowners wonder if having power during a blackout is another potential benefit. It’s a good question, and one that requires a complete answer.

Power outages happen, and that’s just a fact. Whether caused by a storm, local transformer failure or a full-fledge problem with the grid, they happen. And, a solar energy system has the potential to provide electricity during a loss of power, but it does require special steps.

First, it’s important to know that when the grid goes down, most homeowners, including those with solar systems, also lose power. There are two reasons for this. First, the electronics that control a solar system adjust voltage and current to keep panels operating as sunlight changes over the course of a day. So, in a grid-connected system, excess power is transferred back to the grid for others to use, and you get credits from the utility company by supplying that power.

The second reason is that solar shuts off during a blackout for safety reasons. During a power outage, the utility provider has to ensure there isn’t leaking power on grid lines, and shuts off generators, like solar arrays. Solar systems are designed to detect when the grid power is shut down and shuts down, too, to protect utility workers.

But What About Batteries?

Yes, there are battery storage solutions for solar energy systems. While they do add cost to any energy system, they can provide assurance that you’ll have power if and when there’s an outage. Technology continues to advance to enable homeowners to capture and use solar energy even during blackouts. This includes new inverters that deliver a secure power supply that connects to an external socket outlet and provides a limited amount of electricity to a home or business during an outage.

So, Is Solar Worth It?

Even if you choose not to invest in a battery or inverter to ensure you have power during an outage, there are plenty of benefits to be gained by installing a solar energy system.

  • It’s economical
  • It increases the value of your home
  • It enables you to share clean energy with the grid
  • Federal tax credits to offset your investment
  • It’s safe, reliable and long-lasting

Want to Learn More?

Call the experts in home solar energy systems – Cool Blew Solar. We’re here to answer your questions and help you find the right solution for your specific needs.