Backup Solar Power: Battery or Generator?

Florida homeowners are no strangers to power outages due to hurricanes and severe storms that can cause outages for a few hours or up to a few days. Traditionally, homeowners use portable or whole-home standby generators to keep their power running when the power goes out.

However, in recent years, there has been an increased interest in using solar PV (photovoltaic) systems with solar battery storage as an alternative.

Though there has been a lot going on that has been out of our control in the past year, we can control how we get our energy and how we prepare for power outages.

So, solar battery vs. backup generators, which one is best for your home, and how exactly do they work?

Solar Battery Backup

Solar battery systems store excess energy from your solar panels or the electricity grid and save it for later use.

When you combine energy storage from a solar battery with a solar PV system, the battery will save any of the excess energy generated by your solar panels for use during a power outage or at night when solar output is low.

During an outage, a grid-tied solar PV system won’t be able to work, and you will be left without power just like your neighbors. When you combine your solar panel system with a solar battery, your solar panel system will disconnect from the grid, but the solar battery will begin to power your home without interruption.

You can size your battery backup system to power essential energy loads such as just your HVAC system and refrigerator, or your entire home.

You might use a solar battery backup:

  • At night or during low solar output
  • During a power outage
  • Times of high-electricity costs


  • Quiet operation
  • Operate on renewable energy when used in combination with solar
  • Increases daily solar consumption 24/7
  • Extremely low maintenance
  • Automatic operation during an outage


  • Can be costly
  • Limited power capacity (if connected to the grid)

Backup Generators

Portable and standby generators are the backup power solution that most homeowners turn to during a power outage. Backup generators create electricity by burning fossil fuels such as propane, natural gas, and diesel.

Backup generators are installed outside of a home and can automatically operate during a power outage. While backup generators may be more affordable to purchase, they do have monthly costs such as fuel and maintenance that need to be considered.


  • Less expensive
  • Can be connected to a natural gas line
  • Can provide 24/7 steady power
  • Flexible options from portable to permanent standby generators


  • Noisy
  • Higher carbon footprint
  • Required maintenance
  • Monthly fuel costs

Choosing the Right Backup Power

Which option is the best for your Florida home? Here are Solar Bear’s recommendations:

A standby backup generator may be best if:

  • You are only looking for emergency power
  • You are not planning on installing solar panels in the future
  • You have an existing gas line

Solar battery backup may be the best for you if:

  • You want to combine backup power with your solar energy system
  • You are looking to power your home 24/7 and in an outage from completely renewable energy
  • You want to reduce peak electricity charging

Choose Solar Battery Power

If you want to make the best backup power choice for your Florida home, Solar Bear is here to answer your questions and help you determine which solution is right for your unique needs.

Keep the lights on during a power outage with solar. Choose the right backup power solution with Solar Bear. Call us today for a quote407-904-7585