Do Solar Panels provide power during a blackout?


Without a doubt, electrical power is certainly an indispensable part of our modern-day life. Our economy, work, healthcare, leisure, and livelihood are dependant on a constant supply of electrical power. A temporary halt of power can lead to chaotic setbacks as well as the possibility of a loss of life.

Our cities thrive on electricity and without its supply from the power grid, let’s face it things would be a whole lot different to put it politely. Power outages can be specifically disastrous when it comes to facilities such as in airports, train stations, and traffic control, not to mention life-support systems in places like nursing homes and hospitals.

During a blackout, your grid-connected solar energy system will cease generating solar power and shut down automatically. Your solar system’s inverter, the device that converts direct current (DC) electricity from your panels to produce alternating current (AC) electricity that in turn powers your home, will shut off to prevent power from going back into the grid. If the solar power system was still producing 230V AC, the linesmen working to repair the grid could be seriously injured if not worse. They can’t have live power going through the lines while trying to repair. That is why this is required by law.

There is no way for your panels to keep feeding your home’s electrical needs once your inverter shuts down. The inverter signals to the power optimizers to enter a state of safety that prevents the energy from getting to the building.

Your solar power system automatically reboots and comes back to life as soon as it detects the connection to the grid is back, so don’t worry.  In a battery-backed solar power system, the batteries will power your home until the connection to the grid, allowing you to be entirely off the grid. Hopefully, the batteries don’t run out of power before then but you will have power while your neighbors won’t. Solar production should resume once power to the grid is restored to its former glory.

While solar energy can be used during blackouts, having a battery-plus-storage system will allow this and it won’t be cost-effective for you. Net metering, the process that provides credits for your solar system’s excess energy production, will do the same thing as storing without the additional costs. The power is pushed back to the grid when your panels produce more electricity than your home needs at any one time. This means you receive the full benefit of all the power your panels are producing.

As you can see below I have attached an article. I found it to be a nice read but saying that this could easily happen in Florida or somewhere else for that matter. It is better to be prepared especially in this day and age when so much is reliant on electricity.

Can Solar energy power our homes through blackouts?

By Evan Dube

Isaias caused 1.4 million people in New Jersey to lose power this summer. It is shocking that a storm much less powerful than Hurricane Sandy caused a significant number of blackouts. Thousands of New Jerseyans were left without power even a week later after this storm. What you may not know is that hundreds of households were also able to power through these power outages using solar power generated on their roof and stored in batteries at their home.

I am glad to see that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is investigating what went wrong, but it’s clear they must act now to advance local clean energy technology that can help people keep their lights on and reduce the demand for electricity on our overall grid.

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), the owner of the leading utility servicing New Jersey and parts of New York, recently announced a plan…..Continue Reading

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