Solar charged battery backup started coming to the fore of the minds of Houstonians and others along the Upper Texas coast during the extended outages that many experienced in the wake of Hurricane Ike. If you already read our page on grid-tied solar systems, then you are already aware of the many benefits of generating your own clean energy from the sun. However, you probably also learned that a grid tied solar system will NOT supply power when the grid goes down… and here’s why.
In the event of a power failure on the grid, it is required that any grid-tied inverter attached to the grid disconnect automatically. This prevents the inverter from continuing to feed power into small sections of the grid known as ‘islands’, because these powered islands then present a risk to workers who may be working in that area to restore power.
Including a solar charged battery backup to your grid-tied solar system WILL keep the lights on, and other loads identified as critical, such as the refrigerator, fans, some sockets for recharging phones and computers, and watching a TV etc. However, expecting to run the home as ‘normal’ including the HVAC system is not a realistic expectation for most homeowners due to the costs associated with the amount of storage capacity (batteries) required. Most importantly though, a solar charged battery backup will allow your family to stay in touch with the outside world and maintain a moderate level of comfort during a routine outage or natural disaster.
Adding solar charged battery backup enables a level of peace of mind, but it also adds more components, costs and complexities. To discuss your needs and the pros and cons of a battery backup, please contact us. For more information give us a call in Houston or Austin today.