Power outages come with many inconveniences, and it can be scary being left in the dark for a prolonged period of time. Beyond not being able to have light in your house, power outages mean no heating, air conditioning, and lots of spoiled food.

Solar panels help you generate clean energy to use for your home. Although they come with many benefits, such as saving on rising utility costs, a significant concern many people still have is whether or not they'll help keep the lights on during blackouts. The answer to that depends on the type of system you have.

Grid-Tied

This question may be especially important for grid-tied systems since they're somewhat dependent on the grid. 

Being grid-tied ensures that you have access to electricity, even when your panels aren't producing enough. With net-metering programs available across the country, being grid-tied allows for an affordable solar solution for those who might not want to invest in off-grid systems.

Unfortunately, that also means you won't have power during blackouts. You might be wondering why that is since your solar panels should be able to supply power to your home directly, even if the grid can't.

For safety reasons, your grid-tied system is designed to shut off during power outages. This is necessary to protect technicians working to repair the utility lines. A working system actively sending excess electricity back to the grid during these repairs could cause severe injuries to the technicians working on the lines. 

There is, however, a common solution that allows grid-tied systems to work during an outage that we'll discuss later in this article. 

Off-Grid

Off-grid offers complete independence, which means your system will still be perfectly functional during blackouts. You can continue on as usual without having to worry about power outages or the grid. 

It's nice in theory to be completely off-grid and in charge of your own energy supply, but it's hard for many homeowners to achieve a completely off-grid system due to the expenses that come with the batteries needed to maintain it.  

Batteries

Even if you have a grid-tied system, there are still options available during power outages—the most common one comes in the form of batteries. Having a battery for backup during outages can still be more cost-effective than purely off-grid systems since you don't have to worry about powering your entire home. Backup batteries are usually limited and can supply power to a few selected loads. Essentially, you can get the best of both worlds with access to the grid and a backup solution in case anything goes wrong.

Batteries work by storing excess energy from your panels for future use, usually during the night. When power goes out, instead of sending electricity to the grid, you can safely use your panels to power your home first, with any additional leftover energy going to your battery instead of the grid. 

We understand the demand for batteries during blackouts and the importance of feeling safe during times of uncertainty. We also understand the high cost of having a battery can feel financially burdensome to homeowners who would otherwise like to have batteries included with their system.

At Polaron, we're working on an affordable home battery solution for our customers to have absolute peace of mind the next time an unexpected blackout happens. 

Join our growing solar commuity by qualifying for a free quote today. 

Sources:

What Happens If You Have Solar And The Power Goes Out? (solarreviews.com)

Solar batteries: How renewable battery backups work - CNET