Will Solar Panels Provide Power During an Outage?

by Jan 3, 2020industry news, Residential Solar Panels

When people call us for the first time to learn about the solar power solutions we offer, it isn’t unusual for us to ask them why they are interested in solar energy. The general answer is, “I need a way to turn on the lights when the electricity goes out.” At Kosmos Solar in Grand Prairie, TX our team of professional solar panel installers and consultants understands just how important it can be to have a clear idea of your goals and expectations when it comes to installing a solar panel system in your home or business.

Wanting to add solar panels to your property to be confident that energy will still be available makes sense, but there are some important things to consider. Most people are often surprised to learn that a standard solar system that is connected to the network does not supply electricity when the network is turned off – at least not by default. To help residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area get a better idea of how solar panel systems work, and the steps they can take to keep the lights on when their utility company goes offline, we decided to spend some time exploring this topic. 

Why Standard Solar Systems Won’t Work in a Power Outage

The general assumption is that solar-powered homes should be immune to problems like power outages because solar modules produce energy that is not dependent on the utility grid. Unfortunately, this not the case when it comes to a basic tie-in installation. The panels will produce electricity, but that is only half of the equation. You also need storage space for this energy so you can use it later. Without storage, the energy produced by your panel is immediately lost. 

Fortunately, solar owners can connect their systems to public utilities through agreements called net metering. Energy is sent to the power grid, and utility credits give you a reduction in cost on everything you produce. You can use those credits to take electricity from the power grid so you can supply your home or business with electricity at any time. This agreement can be very beneficial for most homeowners because it means they won’t have to spend more hard-earned money to install an array of batteries to store the energy produced by their panels.

The disadvantage is that your system is still connected to the utility grid, which means that it is still vulnerable to interference. If the electricity is cut off, then the problem will still have an impact on you and your home. This means that your solar system, which feeds into the electricity grid, must also be turned off so as not to give any current to the power lines during the repair work.

Are Backup Batteries the Solution?

Most of our clients decide not to add backup power storage to their systems for one very simple reason. The cost of having a sufficient array of batteries can be surprisingly expensive. Battery storage packages can cost several thousand dollars, and power outages are so rare in many places that there is little to no point in adding backup power solutions. Most people just buy a candle or a flashlight and wait it out.

However, this should not discourage those who need it. If you live in a place with unreliable utility services or have concerns about the potential of unexpected problems such as heavy storms to damage the electric grid for a long time, then emergency power supplies can look even more attractive. This can also be useful if you have larger devices such as well pumps or critical medical devices that must stay online at all times. Under the right circumstances, the investment

Trust Kosmos Solar in Grand Prairie, TX to Help You

If you’re thinking about installing solar panels for your home, and you’re not sure about what type of system to install or whether or not you’ll be able to keep your equipment going through the next power outage, then your first step should be to call our experienced solar professionals. At Kosmos Solar in Grand Prairie, TX our team has spent years working with clients throughout the DFW Metroplex to tackle a wide variety of solar-related projects including full system installation and augmentation. To find out more about our services, or to get started with your project, don’t hesitate to contact our team right away!