How Does Solar Storage Help with Rolling Blackouts 76 11zon
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How Does Solar + Storage Help with Rolling Blackouts?

Over the past year, the United States has seen an unprecedented amount of power outages, leaving millions without electricity and vulnerable to catastrophic weather conditions. The majority of disruptions occur during severe temperatures, such as tropical storms and hurricanes—and during wildfires.   As a result of more recurrent power outages, Americans have begun to look at backup power sources for their homes that they can rely on in an emergency.

The two primary energy solutions that they consider for their backup power needs are backup generators and solar battery storage. While both alternatives can be useful during a power loss, we believe that solar combined with energy storage is the greatest option for households who do not want to be affected by blackouts.

Frequent Power Outages Have Increased the Need for Backup Power

Outages caused by natural disasters and other weather-related events have a serious impact on the U.S. economy, costing the country more than $20 billion per year.

Winter storms with severe winds force trees and telephone poles to topple, resulting in fallen power lines. Furthermore, the ice and snow that accumulates during storms can weigh down trees and force them to fall into electrical lines.

During high-wind winter storms, falling trees and telephone poles can damage electrical cables. In addition, ice and snow accumulation on branches during such storms can cause them to sag and collapse into electrical lines.

Summertime issues include brownouts and brief outages caused by increased electricity used to run air conditioners. The energy system literally cannot keep up with the number of individuals who just want to keep their houses cool while it is sweltering outside.

Furthermore, the summer season increases the likelihood of major storms, tropical cyclones, severe rains, and wildfires, all of which can cause short-term power outages and long-term damage to the energy infrastructure. Even after the main storm has gone, the resulting storm surge can disrupt electricity distribution for many days.

Power outages are not just caused by bad weather, as aging infrastructure contributes to the problem. The U.S. power grid has not been fully updated since its inception, meaning sections of it are no longer strong enough to withstand severe weather or meet rising electrical demand from a growing population.

Replacing the electricity grid's old infrastructure can help it endure adverse weather conditions. However, improving the grid's productivity and resilience will not happen overnight. As a result, homeowners are turning to onsite power solutions like battery storage and backup generators to ensure they have power during blackouts.

Given the reality of climate change, we should expect a significant rise in weather-related power disruptions until we address the core causes of global warming. As a result, the necessity for a backup power source during outages will only grow in the future years.

How Solar + Storage Can Help

When a residential solar panel is combined with energy storage batteries, homeowners can provide electricity during a blackout.

If you have solar panels installed but no battery backup, the solar system is shut off during a blackout to protect grid employees. But if your home contains a battery, the solar system can continue to charge the battery while the battery is supplying electricity to your house.

Batteries come in a variety of storage and power capacities, each adapted to a certain need. The battery that a homeowner chooses will be determined by the circuits that need to be backed up and how long the homeowner wants the backup power to endure.

Solar Batteries vs. Backup Generator

Backup generators have long been a popular source of electricity during blackouts. However, we'd like to explain four particular reasons why solar battery storage is superior to home generators in the event of a power outage.

1. They Aren't Reliable

In the event of an outage, a generator will keep your appliances running. However, this comes at a financial cost including maintenance and fuel.

It is important to keep your generator in good condition. This will ensure that the warranty, which typically lasts five to 10 years, is maintained. Generators must be maintained and tested on an annual basis to ensure they are in good operating condition and ready to provide energy when needed. If you do not properly maintain them, they may not operate when you need them the most.

Even if you do everything necessary to maintain your generator, you may find yourself without fuel if an unforeseen occurrence strikes. For example, during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) shut down the natural gas supply. Tens of thousands of people were left in the dark, including those who used natural gas for backup generators. Diesel generators have similar challenges, since adverse weather may make it impossible to leave your home to get gasoline for the tank if you run out.

Furthermore, generators may be less effective throughout the winter, especially when temperatures are projected to drop. When temperatures fall below freezing, many generators lose their capacity to start and run correctly. As a result, if your location often experiences extremely low temperatures, generators may not be the greatest answer to power shortages.

Solar battery storage, on the other hand, requires no maintenance and no fuel to create electricity, can operate in sub-zero conditions, and most come with a 10-year warranty, compared to a 5-year standard for gas generators. Furthermore, if the grid fails, your battery storage may ensure that you have enough electricity to power your house without having to worry about fuel refills or when a damaged gas line will be repaired.

2. They Create Pollution

They are Dirty

Backup generators use fossil fuels, which harm the environment by emitting Carbon dioxide into the air. Generators emit this gas into the atmosphere while operating, contributing to climate change.

Solar panels with battery energy storage devices, on the other hand, are an environmentally beneficial source of clean energy that does not affect the environment.

They Smell

Generators are well-known for contaminating the environment. Natural gas and diesel fumes are unpleasant to the nose and damaging to the lungs, and they include a high concentration of carbon monoxide, which your nose cannot detect.

Once battery storage is added, unpleasant emissions become a thing of the past since battery power is safer and more environmentally friendly.

They create too much Noise

When a generator is running, it produces sounds that most people find irritating over time. You could operate the generator only when you need backup power, but the extra noise won't be helpful in a tense scenario like a power outage.

Solar battery power, on the other hand, is a reliable and low-cost solution that ensures you have access to a power supply when you need it, without adding any additional stress due to noise.

3. They are Expensive

Generators need fuel to generate electricity. If power outages are prevalent in your location, you will need to acquire that fuel, which will have an influence on your budget.

Solar systems can store the sun's energy and automatically recharge batteries, so you don't need to budget for fuel.

4. They have Limited Use

A backup generator is only useful when it is producing electricity during a power outage. While the thought of having a generator on hand in case of a power outage is enticing, acquiring such a device is expensive and provides no additional benefits in your daily life. You will only use the generator when necessary, and you will not receive any additional benefits while it is not in use.

A solar panel system plus battery storage, on the other hand, will provide electricity continuously, even when power disruptions are not a worry, providing a superior return on investment. If you create more energy than you need in a day, you can store it in your battery so you can access it on a cloudy day, at night, during power outages, and other times when your solar panels aren't producing electricity.

Once your batteries are charged, you may utilize the excess power generated by your solar panel system to offset your utility bill if you participate in a net metering scheme.

The Benefits of Using Solar Batteries with Your Solar Panels

Solar power batteries are indeed worth the investment and are one of the greatest energy storage alternatives available, offering a consistent power supply and assisting you in maximizing the benefits of your panels.

Provides Reliable Power

Once power has been stored in your battery system, you may utilize it whenever you choose (including at night). That is not the case when you use a generator as a backup. A generator cannot be used if there is no fuel or gas available.

Maximize Generation

A solar battery system ensures that no power generated by your solar panel system is wasted. Excess energy is saved for later use and is available at no additional cost.

Achieving the Full Potential of Your Panels

Once you added a solar panel battery, it guarantees you that you will get the most out of your solar energy system. Whether there is a power outage, it is midnight, or it is a rainy day, your house may use all of the electricity generated by your solar panel system. If you want to save money on your power costs, a solar-plus-storage system might be the ideal option.

Key Takeaways

Because of climate change and an aging system, power disruptions in the United States are on the rise. While backup generators are a frequent solution for emergency electricity, they are not a long-term answer because they are expensive in the long run. Solar battery storage, on the other hand, allows you to reap the benefits of your solar panels all year.

Working with Forme Solar guarantees that you have the best power alternatives for your house, no matter what happens to the grid around you. From discussing your solar power and battery storage options and organizing all installation details to providing necessary solar maintenance for the life of your system, our professionals will walk you through the whole process and beyond.

Get started with a free quote, and we will assess your specific situation and offer helpful advice to ensure your power generation and storage capacities meet the demands of your house.