Natural disasters and storms are great at exposing the vulnerabilities of our infrastructure. The electricity grid in California is no exception, vulnerable in an emergency situation such as wildfires and large storms. Even in times of extremely high energy consumption, like a heat wave, blackouts and brownouts sometimes happen.
Generators have traditionally been the go-to for avoiding residential power outages, but since the rise of residential solar electric systems, is there now a better way to keep your home energized in the event of a power outage?
Avoiding Blackouts—The Old School Way
A traditional backup generator runs on combustion fuel — usually natural gas, propane, or in some cases diesel fuel. These small combustion engines start once power loss is detected, and generate power for your home as long as there is a fuel source. This sounds easy enough, but generators are far from a “set it and forget it” appliance. There are numerous annoying issues with combustion generators.
The noise from an operating backup generator is between 60 and 70 decibels, which is the equivalent to a busy street, or a really loud air conditioning unit. You and your neighbors are definitely going to notice.
A combustion backup generator needs regular maintenance and actually has to run on a test cycle once a week. That means guaranteed weekly noise pollution and fuel costs just to maintain your generator.
Anytime you are running a generator on combustion fuel, you will have carbon emissions. This is increasingly harmful to the environment, and it also pollutes the air directly near your home, potentially affecting the air you breathe. (Carbon monoxide is a common byproduct of an improperly functioning backup generator.)
Peace of mind in a blackout is important if you don’t want to lose the food in your freezer, damage any electronics, or go without any of your heating or cooling appliances. But there is a safer and better option, especially with the advances in solar and battery technology in the last ten years?
Grid-Tied Battery Storage: Silently Saving with Solar
A grid-tied battery storage system combined with the renewable energy of solar offers the peace of mind of a backup generator, without the noisy operation, maintenance, or fuel cost.
The concept is pretty simple—your professionally installed photovoltaic (PV) solar panels generate energy from the California sun during the daytime and provide your home with power. But since solar panels are much more efficient now, your system could generate more power than you actually need. That excess energy is stored in batteries that are installed in your home for use overnight, or when power is not available. And as a grid-tied system, the batteries can be charged from the grid if the sun isn’t shining, so no matter what, you’ll have full batteries when the grid unexpectedly goes out. This means your home is protected from:
Unexpected power outages
Rising energy costs (no more electricity bills!)
Increased environmental & noise pollution
Generator maintenance costs
Is Solar Right for Your Home?
Knowing if your home is right for a backup power system using solar energy depends on many factors, like roof angle and direction, available ground mounting space, and surrounding shade obstacles. But with a professional solar quote from a local solar professional like Pure Power Solutions, the information you need to keep your home powered in an outage is just a phone call away.
Pure Power Solutions has been professionally installing solar PV systems in Sonoma County and the surrounding counties for over 21 years. Our specialists know how to overcome the challenges each individual installation presents. We strive to remain available to answer all your questions, so when you call you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to wait more than 24 hours to hear from one of our solar experts.