What Happens to Your Home’s Solar Energy System During a Power Grid Failure?

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Living in Peoria during summer monsoon season, you’ve probably experienced an unexpected power failure. Without a doubt, being without power can be frustrating and disruptive, preventing you from cooking, working, and even staying cool and comfortable. One of the most common questions that homeowners have when they are considering the investment of a solar energy system is whether or not they’ll have power when an outage happens.

First, it’s important to remember that there are many advantages to installing a local grid-connected, home solar energy system. Not only will you be saving money on your monthly energy bill, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of the 30% federal solar installation tax credit, the up to $1,000 state of Arizona residential solar tax credit, and you’ll be reducing your dependence on fossil fuels. However, having the advantage of solar power during a brownout, blackout, storm, or power surge is only possible if you have some form of energy storage.

Solar System Technical and Safety Considerations

There are two reasons why most solar systems do not work during a power outage. These involve safety and regulatory issues.

  1. The electronics that control a solar power system continuously adjust voltage and electrical current to keep solar panels operating efficiently. This means the system must be able to produce quantities of power that aren’t dependent on how much your house is using at any given time. With a grid-connected system, excess power is put onto the grid for others to use, and your local utility company credits you for that power.
  2. Because solar power output varies depending on the level of sunlight, the variable levels of power would result in lights blinking and damage to appliances and electronics. The National Electric Code requires that solar energy systems must shut down rapidly for safety. This is to protect your family, home, and workers who are finding and fixing points of system failure. Home solar energy systems have detectors that determine whether power is coming across the grid and when grid power is down. When the power grid is down, the solar power inverters shut the system down.

Solar Backup Batteries

Installing a solar battery backup is a great option to keep the lights on and appliances running during a power grid failure. Integrated with your solar energy system, backup batteries store excess energy for backup protection. When the grid goes down, your home stays powered on.

Have more questions about solar energy for your house? Call our expert installation team at Cool Blew Solar today at 623-234-2836 for your free estimate. Feel the power of the sun.