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How to Use Solar Panels During Power Outage

Although solar panels harvest energy from the sun, they are not invincible to outages. If your home solar system is tied to a grid system, your home system may experience an outage when the rest of the grid does. The only way to avoid outages is to invest in solar batteries or change to an off-grid system. Powerworks Electric wants to help you understand your solar energy and how to use it when you need it.

How to Power Your Home with Solar Panels in an Outage

Whether you are on or off the grid, having solar batteries can be helpful. If an outage occurs or you have not had enough sunny days recently, your batteries can provide a backup option to keep your home powered. Depending on the capacity of your battery or batteries, you may not be able to operate normally when on battery power, but you can have some of your essential needs met, such as using home lighting, charging your phones, cooking, powering medical devices, and keeping your fridge/freezer running. You will probably not be able to power your HVAC unit with battery power though. Essentially, the greater battery storage capacity you have, the longer your home will be powered amid an outage. You can conserve your energy by watching it on a battery management app. 

Benefits of Grid-Tied or Off-Grid Solar Power

Being grid-tied can be beneficial for maintaining consistent energy. When you are off the grid, your power is dependent on your panels. Therefore, it is possible that your system may not have enough power at night or during inclement weather days. An off-grid system can be a reliable source of energy if you have solar batteries to store energy when sunlight is not readily available. Having a battery can still be valuable even if you are grid-tied because you will have access to power during an outage with your battery reserves. Conversely, a grid-tied system can pull from the grid source to supplement energy if needed. It is important to note that your fees for being grid-tied could be reduced if your battery supplies power in the evening or during inclement weather. Ultimately, batteries give you the reassurance that your power needs will be met regardless of the weather conditions. 

Turning on Solar Power During an Outage

Every home solar system runs a little differently, so we can help provide guidance about your specific system if needed. If your system is grid-tied, this is the general process for switching to your solar battery power.

  • Find the switch to shut off your home from the grid near or in your breaker box.
  • Turn on your solar power breakers in or near your breaker box. The inverter that converts the energy may take a few minutes to become fully operational.
  • Keep an eye on your battery usage via your app to conserve energy until the outage is over. Solar batteries provide a reliable and safe source of energy, much more so than a backup generator. 

If you are interested in powering your home during an outage with solar energy, reach out to Powerworks Electric. We can help you access the power you need.

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