As power outages become more common with climate change, solar power is becoming an increasingly attractive option for power. With the right equipment, you can still have power during a power outage!
Solar power is a great option for homeowners in the event of a power outage because you can switch to battery backup and continue powering your home – just as if there were no interruption in service!
In this guide, we will explain how solar power can help during a blackout and outline 9 important steps to help you survive a power outage using solar panels.
- What Is a Power Outage And how Does Solar Power Help?
- How to Survive a Power Outage Using Your Solar System at Home
- Will Solar Panels Work During a Power Outage?
- Storing Power Using A Solar Battery System
- Important Solar System Equipment You Need for A Blackout
- The Benefits of Using Solar Power During a Power Outage
- Final Thoughts
What Is a Power Outage And how Does Solar Power Help?
A power outage is a loss of power and electrical supply. It can happen because of storms, accidents, or damage to the power lines.
Power outages are becoming more common as climate change causes extreme weather events like hurricanes and tropical storms that knock down power lines.
Solar power provides electricity during a power outage by storing it in batteries for use when sunlight isn’t available. With the right equipment, you can still have power during a power outage!
Solar power provides electricity during a power outage by storing it in solar batteries for use when sunlight isn’t available. With the right equipment, you can still have power during a power outage!
This makes solar batteries a must-have during power outages, especially if you live in an area prone to extreme weather events.
How to Survive a Power Outage Using Your Solar System at Home
To survive a power outage, you need to take the following nine steps:
Step One: Check your power source. Go outside and check which direction the panels are facing, as well as how much sunlight they’re getting.
Step Two: Gather extension cords from various appliances in your home that run on electricity (lights, TV, computer). You can also use power adapters to connect appliances directly to solar power if you have them handy.
Step Three: Attach these cables to a power inverter box so you can plug the devices into an available outlet inside of your house. Be sure not to overload it with too many items plugged in at once!
Step Four: Plug all of the necessary electronics into this power converter box using an extension cord, then turn it on. It will convert power from the solar panels to electricity you can use in your house.
Step Five: If there is more than one power converter box, be sure that each device has its own extension cord or power adapter plugged into it, then plug all of the cords into another power strip. That way if one outlet doesn’t work (for whatever reason), you know which devices need to be moved around!
Step Six: When using this method for a long period of time, batteries will eventually drain and have less stored power with every hour they sit unused. In order to keep them at optimal strength, charge up your batteries when sunlight hits them during peak hours of sun exposure. Then unplug everything from the inverter boxes and store them in a safe location.
Step Seven: Keep power converters and power boxes in your home (stored away safely) for future emergencies! If you feel like the power isn’t coming back on soon or it doesn’t seem likely, keep your electronics plugged into these devices to use them as an alternative energy source until power is restored. This will help save battery life so that they can be used when needed most.
Step Eight: Don’t forget about appliances that run on gas! You can still cook food during a power outage by using camping equipment such as stoves, grills, and pans with propane tanks attached. Make sure there are no pilot lights left burning before trying to turn any power supplies on.
Step Nine: If power hasn’t come back after several days, it might be time to take action! You can always call your power provider to check the status of power in your area. Sometimes power companies are able to give you an estimate for when electricity will return, but this isn’t guaranteed because outages happen without warning due to weather conditions and other factors that could hinder restoration times.
Will Solar Panels Work During a Power Outage?
Solar panels will not be able to produce electricity for your home or business during a power outage. This means that during a blackout, solar panels will not be able to provide you with energy.
There are two exceptions: The first option is to use an off-grid solar system, while the second is to utilize a solar battery system.
Off Grid Solar System
If you have a solar system that is off-grid, meaning it has its own power source independent of the power grid, then your panels will still be able to provide energy during a power outage.
This option may only make sense for those who live in remote locations or want complete independence from their local utility company.
In addition, an off-grid solar system requires additional equipment and expense because there are more components involved than with a simple grid-tied setup.
For example, batteries need charging before longer blackouts happen so they don’t lose all capacity. Batteries also require maintenance depending on how long they sit without use (usually every few weeks).
A charge controller is needed to keep everything running smoothly by regulating electricity flow from the solar panels. If you want backup power during a power outage, then an off-grid system may be best for your needs!
Grid Tied Solar System
If you have a grid-tied solar power system, then your panels will not be able to provide electricity during blackouts. This type of setup is designed for houses that are connected directly to their power company’s power lines and meters.
All the energy produced by the solar panels gets sent into the power grid so it can power other homes in addition to yours!
If there is no power coming from outside sources (such as another house on your street), this means that nothing else flows back onto your property either.
It also means that if someone turns off their own meter or breaks the line near them, they essentially cut off all power flowing through those wires at any given time. Even with standalone batteries, these systems won’t function without power from the power company.
Storing Power Using A Solar Battery System
A solar battery system is an off-grid system that allows homeowners to store energy when the grid goes down. This is achieved by installing a battery bank with enough storage capacity for several days of backup power.
Battery banks are usually composed of one or more deep cycle batteries which can be recharged in different ways depending on your needs and preferences – either through solar panels, generators, or even regular electrical outlets!
Once stored within the battery bank, this electricity can then be used during blackouts just like an emergency generator would provide you with gas-powered electricity during emergencies after natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.
Solar battery systems have their own sets of pros and cons:
- The system is completely off-grid so it will work during a power outage. In addition, these systems can help you save money by reducing your reliance on the local utility company!
- There are different types of batteries available for use in battery banks which means that they can be customized to meet your needs and preferences.
For example, if you have an electric car then using deep cycle lead-acid batteries could provide extra storage capacity when charging up at home – making them perfect for renewable energy users with EVs!
- These systems also come with their own set of cons as well including higher installation costs due to additional equipment required to make everything run smoothly (inverters, charge controllers, etc.).
- Solar battery systems are also responsible for their own maintenance in addition to your solar panels – so you’ll need to check on the batteries regularly and perform any necessary cleanings/check-ups.
Depending on where you live and how much energy storage capacity you require, a battery solar system will either be an excellent investment or just another purchase that adds up without providing real value. Be sure to do plenty of research before making such a large decision.
Important Solar System Equipment You Need for A Blackout
The solar system equipment you need during an outage is dependent on your situation and what kind of lights or appliances you want to use.
The following is a list of items you will need to power with solar panels in the event of an outage.
A solar generator: This will be the main power source for your home. It should have enough capacity to run your fridge, a few lights, and any other small appliances. Some solar generators can even power an entire house but these will be more expensive.
Inverter: The right sized inverter and MPPT charge controller, to correctly and safely charge your batteries.
A regulator/rectifier system: if you want to supply household alternating current (AC) devices such as lighting and small electrical motors through your batteries at night when there’s no sun available
Portable charging battery: if you have portable equipment that requires direct DC output from the solar source rather than being plugged into a wall socket Solar panel(s), if it is impractical to run wires from the solar panels to your appliances or you want continuous power when there is a blackout.
The Benefits of Using Solar Power During a Power Outage
One of the main reasons that people use solar power during a power outage is to provide themselves with a way to stay warm and continue living their day to day life.
These are some of the benefits of using solar power during a blackout:
- being able to charge cell phones and laptops
- staying warm when there is no heat source available
- Solar energy can be used as an alternative form of energy for cooking if the grid goes down
- Solar panels can provide emergency lighting during a blackout
Solar power is an excellent source of energy to use during a power outage. One of the main benefits it provides energy even when the grid is down.
The equipment you need will depend on your situation but usually includes solar panels, a battery bank system (deep cycle lead-acid batteries), inverters/MPPT charge controllers, and regulators/rectifiers if necessary.
Depending on where you live and how much storage capacity you require, installing a new solar panel system may not make sense financially – so do plenty of research before making such a large purchase.
If you do decide to go ahead and have excess energy stored in your batteries you can actually use this to generate additional income by selling it back to the grid! Read more about this in our post: How does solar power feed back into the grid?