As the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic is changing our lives, preparedness is coming to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Coronavirus is proving how fast global events beyond our control can threaten the basic infrastructure that we normally take for granted.
While Coronavirus is not likely to cause power outages, it does remind us that bad things happen and a little prepping can go a long way. Other recent reminders include the 5.7 magnitude earthquake on March 18th which left 73,000 people without power and the tornado in Mississippi on March 24th which took out the electricity for 16,000 people.
Ready.gov is a great resource for learning what is best to keep on hand based on what threats you might be preparing for. In many of the scenarios they suggest having several days of food on hand. With the current Covid-19 quarantine guidelines, you should have two weeks of food on hand which is causing many Americans to purchase additional freezers to store the extra food. But what happens to that frozen food stash if the next emergency includes a power outage?
This is where the combination of solar and batteries can really shine. A generator is also an option but they require fuel (typically gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane) and depending on the emergency that is happening, you might be out of luck once you run out of the fuel you have on hand. The benefit of solar with batteries is that the batteries get recharged every day and the system can run for years without requiring anything to keep it going.
Doomsday preppers have long understood the requirement to have power to weather the worst that could happen. This doesn’t mean you have to forsake your normal life and move out to an off-grid homestead.
There are already millions of standard grid-tied systems installed on homes and businesses across the United States. In general, if they don’t have batteries, they don’t currently provide back up power. The only exception to that is the newer SMA inverters which can provide up to 1,800 watts of power (enough to run a refrigerator) but only when the sun is out.
The good news is that if you already own one of these systems, all you have to do is add batteries. There are a variety of ways to do it, depending on what equipment you have in place already. Any system can be retrofitted by AC Coupling a battery based inverter like an Outback Radian which will operate with any 48 volt battery bank. If you have SolarEdge equipment, you can add the SolarEdge StorEdge inverter with an LG Chem battery. If you have Enphase IQ microinverters, you can add the new Enphase Ensemble battery back up system to be released this May that is capable of running the entire house instead of just a limited amount of back up loads.
If you don’t have solar already installed, you can get the batteries and solar installed together. Not only will you be prepped for the next disaster, you can save money on your electric bill in the meantime. It might be good idea to help offset the cost of running that new freezer for your stored food.
To get help deciding what solar and battery system is best for you, just call the experts at GoGreenSolar.com.