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Solar Power During Power Outage
Solar Power Centers or Backup Batteries Often times consumers who are new to solar energy have a misconception that in the event of a power outage that their solar panels will keep their house powered. There are a couple reasons this is not the case. One is that the owner of the solar power system doesn't actually consume the energy being produced on their own roof. The electricity being produced is actually being fed back into the main electrical grid and the home or business is still powered from the grid. Voltages from your solar panels vary throughout the day and can even vary quickly as clouds pass by. You would not want the electronics in your house to be affected by varying voltage drops or surges. The owner of the panels is in fact producing energy that the power company is buying back from them in the form of a credit.
When an outage occurs the flow the solar energy system is shut off as well so that any electrical workers are not in harms way as they work to solve the issue.
The Truth About Solar Batteries Solar power banks are still very expensive and in the greater Sacramento area, power outages are both relatively rare, and when they do occur it is rare they last more than an hour or two. If a constant flow of electricity is crucial to your home or business, generators are likely to be more effective and much more cost efficient. The best usage for solar back up batteries is for energy consumers who are off-grid in rural areas and want to store energy for evening usage.
The above diagram shows the flow of electricity in a system using a backup battery bank. In this type of system it is necessary to use charge controllers to keep the flow of electricity steady into the battery bank. As mentioned, actual voltage from the panels can vary greatly. This setup would be typical of an off-grid system. Keep in mind that if a power bank was installed in an on-grid system, the flow of energy after the inverter would be switched back into the grid when the battery bank is fully charged, and then back to the home when the solar panels are not producing due to lack of sun. In an off-grid system, once the batteries are used up, lights are out. In an on-grid system, once the batteries are expended, the consumer would go back to using power from the grid. They would likely still have excess energy credit from their daytime power production and would likely not be charged by their energy company for their consumption at this point.