Solar panels have often been marketed as having the ability to create and even store free, clean energy and you can sometimes be paid to have solar panels in extremely niche circumstances. However, the deeper matter is that the usage of solar panels actually helping during a power outage depends on whether or not they are tied to the grid, as well as have batteries.
Tied to The Power Grid
If your solar panels are tied to the power grid, then they, unfortunately, will not work during a power outage. By tying in directly to the grid, they more or less are extensions of the power grid and follow the rules of the utility provider. It is reasonably common to tie directly into the grid, but it will work the same as every other piece of electric equipment you have, as once there is a power outage – it will not.
While being connected to the grid is great, as you will still maintain power if your solar panels are not generating enough energy, being off-grid may offer better options for you. Essentially, your entire house will be powered solely by the ability of your solar panels to absorb the sun. If there is a power outage, then that probably means there is a storm happening. If that is the case that there is a storm so bad it knocks out the power, then chances are that your off-grid solar system is not really generating any electricity. However, there is a way around that.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to store energy. For example, we offer plenty of batteries to pair with your solar system. Lead acid batteries can provide energy for great lengths of time and have worked well in off-grid systems for decades. They are also the least expensive on the market. Lithium-ion batteries are fairly new technology that are smaller and lighter than lead acid batteries and provide a longer lifespan and more energy density. There are also nickel-cadmium batteries which are an older technology, but still have great energy density and lifespan. However, nickel-cadmium batteries are not as efficient as the other options and are quite expensive and hard to recycle.
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NJ Solar Power is a leader in solar panel installation, so if you are interested in saving money or learning more please call us at (732) 314-7319.