2 min read

Welcome to the battery solutions era.

By Eric Clarke on Jun 24, 2020 3:39:17 PM

Topics: Insider

So if you've looked into grid tied solar before or maybe even have a system already installed you probably know about the very unfortunate National Electric code that makes your solar system worthless during a power outage.

What Happens When the Grid goes down?

National Electric code does not allow a grid tied PV system to back feed energy into the grid during a power outage. The basic reasoning for this a line worker could be unexpectedly shocked or killed by the PV power sent into the grid during an outage. For this reason, all Grid tied systems are equipped with a safety measure that shuts down the energy transmission from the solar cells on your roof during an outage. So what happens to that power in the middle of the day? It basically gets grounded out and disappears, becoming a complete waste. You are still producing power but it cannot be sent into your electric panel or through the utility meter for credit due to safety constraints, so it just gets wasted.

What if I want to still use my solar during a power outage?

This is a common request; in fact, some homeowners purchase solar for the peace of mind it provides against grid dependence. So, if the power goes out and the solar has to turn off, how do we find a way to still meet NEC code and use our solar power?   The simple answer is whole home, battery backup storage solutions. A DC coupled home battery solution will allow you to continue production energy from your solar array and feeding power from both that solar array and your battery into your home. During a power outage the Solar can charge the battery, send power to your home, or both. This allows most properly sized systems to provide power to critical loads in the home such as heating and cooling, lights, fridge, small appliances, and water heating.  In this case the grid could be down for a long period of time and the home could self-sustain as if it were almost an off grid solar system.

Why Would I need a Battery and Solar solution for my home?

Batteries and solar go together like peas and carrots. While you can easily have one without the other, choosing to integrate both in your solar package affords you the best of both worlds.  The solution offers true energy independence from the grid. Insurance so to speak against power outages and the ever-increasing uncertainty of our current environment and grid concerns. What does that include? How about hurricanes in FL that have historically plagued the grid and its reliability. How about Covid pandemic challenges and potential lineman worker shortages. How about rolling blackouts during summer demand spikes leaving you with a hot home and a spoiled fridge. Welcome, battery solutions.

What do you offer?

PE is proud to offer the Generac PWRcell battery product line. Unlike the Tesla battery option, Generac can be custom sized in a multitude of options to fit your individual needs. We know a one battery size option is just silly and wont work for everyone. Generac, a well-known name in generators and batteries comes with the experience and quality you would expect from a company in the industry since the 1960s.

Eric Clarke

Written by Eric Clarke

Eric Clarke, PE Solar - VP, a licensed general contractor holding a BPI accreditation with over 8 years experience overseeing over $100 million in renewable tech projects nationwide.