Do Solar Panels Work During a Power Outage?

If your solar system is grid-tied, you will have access to the power grid to offset any power that your solar panels do not produce. But when the power goes out, will you have power?

The quick answer is no, your solar panels will not be able to power your home or business during a power outage. An exception is if your system is equipped with energy storage such as a solar battery, then you can use your solar energy for power during a power outage.

Our team at Solar Bear Orlando explains!

What is On-Grid Solar?

If your solar system is grid-tied, you will be connected to your local utility’s grid. You will be able to draw power from the electrical grid when your system isn’t generating energy, and you in turn can send excess energy to the grid for credit, in a system called net metering.

An off-grid system is not connected to the utility grid. In this case, you will not have access to electricity from a utility other than what is generated by your solar system or stored in solar storage batteries. The benefit here is that you will be able to power your home if the power is out.

The caveat here though is that to have a solar system in the city limits of Orlando, it has to be connected to the grid. 

Why Do Power Outages Happen?

We get it. Power outages are pretty inconvenient no matter the time of day, but have you ever wondered why they happen?

Lightning is one of the most common causes of outages, but other weather-related occurrences such as heavy winds or rain could also wipe out your power.

Car accidents can also lead to power outages if power lines or poles are damaged.

If natural causes weren’t enough, utility companies often have routine outages due to maintenance.

Living in areas that are prone to hurricanes and natural disasters doesn’t help. We know that these storms often cause the power to be out for days, weeks, or even months.

How to Use Solar Panels During an Outage

If you want to be able to draw electricity when the power goes out with a grid-tied system, you will want to install a method of energy storage, such as a solar storage battery.

Installing one or more solar batteries will allow you to store the unused power that is generated by your solar system. You will also be able to draw on that power without putting utility workers in danger in the event that the grid is down. 

By diverting the excess solar energy from your solar panels to a backup battery, you can power essential appliances and the most important rooms in your home during an outage.

While a generator can be a temporary solution, they run on fossil fuels and can be quite dangerous to use. Solar storage batteries make storing excess energy safe. Plus, you have the freedom to choose how much you want to back up in case of a power outage.

Solar Batteries

A solar energy storage battery stores the unused electricity in the battery. During a blackout, they can power:

  • Lights
  • Mobile devices
  • Refrigerators
  • Cooktops
  • Medical devices

However, it is important to note that backup batteries don’t provide enough power for the average HVAC system, since that requires a lot of electricity to keep going.

How long your battery lasts will depend on its storage capacity. The higher it is, the longer you can weather through an outage, given conservative energy consumption. Most solar batteries have apps that will also let you monitor real-time usage.

Stay Powered During an Outage

If you want greater peace of mind during a power outage in Florida, it might be time to have a solar system installed by our team at Solar Bear Orlando. We can help you decide which size is right for your property and get you set up with a solar storage battery system so you can use your excess energy in a blackout.

Ready to get started? Call us today at (727) 471-7442!