Solar power use is on the rise in the United States. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, people installed a new solar energy system every 75 seconds in 2020. Currently, 18.6 million homes use solar power.
When you go solar, you’ll usually need a battery or generator. However, grids are also experiencing a surge in popularity. The COVID-19 pandemic, risk of natural disasters and worsening storms due to climate change and not to mention an aging electric grid infrastructure, have prompted homeowners to explore backup systems.
So what are your options? The main choices are batteries or generators.
What’s The Difference?
For starters, both are home power backup systems. These will power electricity in your home should there be a power outage.
Most generators run off a fuel source, such as diesel, liquid propane, or natural gas. The generator then converts this fuel into usable electricity to power your home. Some newer models of generators do run on solar power.
Generators however need not only the correct fuel but enough to keep the generator running. A generator is useless during a power outage if there is no fuel inside. Some generators can connect to a natural gas line. But not all homes have access to natural gas lines. This is why it’s essential to have fuel set aside in the event of a possible power outage.
Batteries run on electricity and charge from your excess solar energy or via the grid. A battery that can run off the grid can be used during a power outage to restore power. Not only that, but since batteries are charged via solar energy as well, the battery can even charge during an outage.
How Can Solar Help with Disasters and Outages?
It’s easy to dismiss disaster planning, as it’s usually considered a worst-case scenario. But as we’ve learned over the past couple of years we never know when or how quickly our lives can change.
Backup power is helpful for more than just weather-related incidents. Power outages can occur from things like falling trees and car accidents, even squirrels can damage power lines.
Standard home energy is transported via natural gas plants, which means when the grid goes down they do too. Homes that rely on natural gas for their utilities could be without them for days during a disaster.
Storing solar energy can spare you the discomfort of being without essentials for an extended period. Stored solar energy can keep your house running, which means hot showers, no food spoiling, and even keeping medical equipment running.
Why Choose Solar Batteries?
Overall batteries can provide instant power for a few hours during an outage. This is helpful for items that require less energy, like refrigerators and lights.
You can also increase your batteries’ stored power by offsetting your energy use during peak hours. This will increase the amount of stored energy you have when the sun goes down and when there is a power outage in your area.
Although solar batteries have a higher cost upfront, they save more money. Natural gas can be expensive, especially if it is being purchased frequently over time.
Since batteries run off solar there’s no paying to refill its power supply as a generator requires. Batteries also require far less maintenance and repair than generators.