Grid Tied Solar Power with Battery Backup
There is a common misconception with solar power systems, many consumers are under the impression that their grid tied systems will keep them up during a blackout. A grid-tied system hooks up with the grid and requires no batteries to store the power because the power generated is sent to the utility who gives you a credit for the power you send into the grid, therefore when there is a blackout your grid tied solar power system has no place to store the power and goes down with the utility company.
One way you can have backup power when the utility shuts down is through a battery backup system. In conjunction to your grid tied inverter, you would have a battery bank in which power is stored so in case the grid goes down you can power critical loads such as your refrigerator, computers, phones, and tv….etc.
The down side to adding a battery backup to your grid tied solar power system is the batteries significantly increase the upfront cost of a solar power system. The batteries also require maintenance, could be a fire hazard, and need to be replaced every 5-10 years depending on the type of battery. Today, batteries are a headache until the technology evolves to make it more user friendly and cost effective.