PREPARING FOR THE UNEXPECTED: BATTERIES VS. GENERATORS FOR HOME POWER BACKUP

Solar Power is Growing in the U.S.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, people will install a new solar energy system about every 75 seconds by 2020. Currently, 18.6 million homes are using solar power. This is about 33% of the country’s energy use.

This is a significant improvement on previous years. We can expect to see 13.6% of homes that rely on solar energy by 2025.

You will need a generator or battery when you go solar. They are also gaining popularity. Homeowners are now looking into backup systems to ensure power is maintained during outages due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased danger of natural catastrophes and worsening weather as a result of climate change and aging infrastructure.

According to the SEIA, “[b]]roughly 25% of all behind-the meter solar systems will have storage by 2025, as opposed to less than 6% in 2020.”

What should you look out for in a backup storage solution? You have two options: generators or batteries.

What are the Differences Between Generators and Batteries?

In short, generators and batteries are the two main types of home power backup systems which can supply electricity to your home in case of an outage.

Batteries

To start, batteries run on electricity. They can be charged from either the excess electricity your solar panels generate or from energy from the grid. You can charge a battery using off-grid energy. This gives you confidence in your power source.

However, you cannot recharge all batteries during power outages. This feature may be important to you. Check with your contractor.

Generators

Although some generators are capable of using solar energy to charge, others use fuel like natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel. This fuel is then converted to electricity for your home.
Your generator will continue to work as long as it has enough fuel. Some generators can be connected to natural gas lines if they run out of fuel.

But not everyone has access. To prepare for an emergency, you might consider storing extra fuel in your home.

How To Make The Best Decision For Your Home

You should choose the right battery or generator for you and your family.

Let’s now look at how a solar power system in combination with a generator can help you stay self-sufficient during an emergency.

[Related to Energy Independence through Solar ]

What Can Solarpower Do To Help Me Prepare for Disasters And Outages

It is easy to think of disaster planning as preparing for the worst. We can never predict how fast or when our lives will change, and that’s what we learned from the pandemics and increasing frequency of natural catastrophes.

Backup power options can be extremely useful, as grids are subject to many challenges including car accidents and lightning storms. They also face falling trees, squirrels, and strong winds that can cause havoc on electricity lines.

Traditional energy providers supply electricity to homes primarily through coal and natural gas plants. These plants work differently from solar panels during natural disasters so they shut down immediately when there is a crisis. Homes that depend solely on their utilities can lose power.

The shutdown can last several days if your power grid is or a plant is damaged in a natural disaster.

You can have backup power from the grid or extra power from your home solar energy system to prepare for power outages. You will be able keep the lights on, your food safe, and your computer running for work.

Many people find the appeal of solar energy sustainability. You will feel energy independence and your carbon footprint will be significantly reduced. Solar and backup power can also help you to manage unexpected circumstances and ensure your safety.

[Related to What is Off-Grid Solar Power?”

Why Choose Solar Batteries?

Batteries are great for providing power for just a few hours. This allows you to keep appliances that require less energy, such as lighting, running for longer periods of time. You can also charge your electric vehicle overnight.

If your utility company offers a time-of use plan, you can offset peak demand hours to increase your battery’s storage power. This will increase your stored power, especially during power outages.

While they are more expensive than generators initially, batteries can save you money over the long-term. They run on 100% renewable energy, so they rarely require maintenance.

Experts predict an 8 annual drop in energy storage costs through 2022 according to a 2018 report. According to the report, battery prices will likely fall as more people use independent energy technology in their homes.

Types Of Backup Batteries

Lithium Ion

Lithium ion batteries offer the best backup power. They are long-lasting, can be used for a longer time, reduce power consumption, and allow homeowners to take more control of their home through the ability to connect to smart home software.

The owner can place lithium ion battery behind an electric meter in their garage or outside.

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries look similar to car batteries. They are used most frequently in off-grid solar power system. Tesla Powerwall battery interfaces with the grid. However, the company is working on a battery that can be used with off-grid systems. Your warranty will be voided if you do this.

Battery Options

Tesla Powerwall

Tesla batteries work best for homeowners who have solar panels installed at their home.

The Powerwall from Tesla will provide critical power loads during power outages. It intelligently makes use of solar energy throughout the day, which can help lower your energy bills in areas that have high energy costs.

Consider Tesla’s Powerwall if you have important medical equipment or computer equipment at home.

Sonnen Battery

Sonnen’s battery is very similar to the Tesla Powerwall. It’s best to pair it with solar to store future energy.

This solution is plug-and-play, meaning it can be installed in minutes without the need for an electrician. You can also save electricity with its energy optimization.

Lg Resu Battery

LG Energy Solution offers the RESU home battery, which can be combined with another unit to provide additional backup. It can be placed indoors or outside. The RESU is covered by a 10-year warranty for parts and performance.

Agm Battery

Fullriver’s AGM batteries is a premium-sealed backup power solution that doesn’t require any maintenance. These batteries can be strung together to make a larger storage solution. They are also used in off-grid solar systems. AGM batteries come with a seven year warranty.

This post was written by a professional at Red Solar. Red Solar was started with the mindset of renewable energy being the future. We want everyone to travel through this transition. We can all agree that solar is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint, but it’s not the only way. During a Red Solar energy evaluation, all energy commons in your home will be analyzed for results. Our expert technicians will guide you through the process for better understanding and reassurance. Contact us for more information today!

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