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Enjoy power while your neighbors sit in the dark.
Oct19

Enjoy power while your neighbors sit in the dark.

This year in the USA, there have been countless natural disasters that have had many Americas sitting in the dark for weeks without access to the energy resources we don’t even appreciate everyday, until they are gone. From the flooding in the Midwest to the hurricanes in Florida and Texas many people that had gas generators thought they would be safe but found themselves paying ridiculous prices at the pump or found it hard to fill up their gas tanks due to the availability of gas during a natural disaster. A solar powered generator can provide reliable electricity for emergencies without the need to refuel. A solar powered generator can recharge itself through the sunlight and can be a tremendous source of electricity for your most critical loads when you most need it. Many customers just don’t like the fumes that traditional gas generators and rather switch to a clean solar powered backup generator to just avoid noxious fumes. Based on customer feedback, we have created a new kit to help people get started with a solar power generator. Our 80W Solar Electric Backup Generator Kit is affordable, easy to setup and includes a high quality battery, inverter, Sharp Solar Panel and charge controller to keep your home or business going through a blackout. Obviously this generator does not have the capacity to power your air conditioner or your entire home for long but its great to keep the lights on, have access to a computer and a cold refrigerator when the electric gird is gone. During an extended blackout, its best to conserve energy and make temporary lifestyle changes until the power is restored. The solar powered backup generator will keep you prepared for the worst case scenarios and being prepared will pay off when your home is the only one on the block that has it’s lights...

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Grid Tie Solar Power System w/ Battery Backup Drawing

Earlier this week we featured a drawing of a simple grid tie system. A common misconception about grid tie solar electric systems is that you will have a power source when the power goes out, although unless you have a battery backup system your system will go down when the grid goes down. Some people who need backup power and don’t mind the maintenance and replacements every few years of a battery bank consider a grid tie system with battery backup. Today’s drawing also comes from the Guide to Photovoltaic System Design and Installation by the California Energy Commission and features a battery backup system. As you can see compared to the simple grid tie system, the battery backup system is a little more complex. It includes a battery system, which is typically a group of lead acid batteries, a charge controller to keep the system from cooking the batteries from an overcharge and a critical load sub-panel. The point of a battery backup system is not to power you entire house through a blackout but to provide backup power to your most important electrical loads in your home or business. The downsides of a battery backup system are the increased cost of the overall system, the maintenance of the batteries and the installation time of the system with batteries jumps up 40% compared to a system without batteries. So it really depends on where you live, how reliable your utility company is and if you have loads in your house that need to be redundant. What do you think? Is adding batteries to your system...

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Three Types of Solar Power Systems

There are three major types of solar power systems that are unique to each solar power shopper. Let’s get into a quick overview of the options you have as a consumer looking to produce electricity from the sun: 1. Grid Tie Systems These systems are connected to the grid which interact with your utility company, when extra power is generated it is fed back into the grid and you receive a credit from the utility company for every kWh (kilowatt hour) you contribute. You can only install a grid connected system in areas, which utilities offer “net-metering”. Grid tie systems do not provide backup power when there is a power outage. 2. Grid Tie Systems with Battery Backup Similar to a grid tie system, this system feeds back into the grid and spins your meter backwards when you are producing more than you are using. Although the interesting part of this system is it has an inverter that can connect to a battery bank. Batteries can store solar juice for your critical loads during a power outage. This type of system will keep your home or business running during a blackout. Adding a battery backup sacrifices efficiency of the system, although the trade off of having power during a blackout may meet your needs. 3. Off-Grid Systems Off-Grid systems are independent of the utility. These types of systems are typically found in remote areas which have no access to electric service. Off-Grid Systems can be made up of solar panels, wind turbines, micro hydroelectric or a combination. Off-Grid systems are very dependent on the battery bank, so when designing an off-grid system, a load calculation with the specific appliances (down to the model numbers of the appliances) need to be conducted. Often off-grid system owners combine fossil fuel generators for backup when the off grid system cannot meet the entire needs of the...

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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...

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I’ll have power when during a blackout because I have solar panels!

Probably not, the majority of solar power systems installed in the USA are typically grid tied systems, meaning they connect to the utility company to push any extra electrons you product back into the grid. These types of systems have a significant advantage because they qualify for extra rebates provided by the state on top of the federal tax credit. The downside to gird connected systems is that when the utility company encounters a blackout, so do you, even if you have a solar power system. Due to utility company regulations, a solar power system must shutdown when the power goes out due to safety regulations and the fact since with a grid tied solar electric system is using the grid as a battery to store the electricity you produce. One way to avoid a blackout is adding a battery backup system to your grid tied solar electric system. Which means you solar panel system in addition to sending electricity back into the grid charges a battery system just in case the grid goes down you start drawing power from the batteries. As great that sounds, being the only person on your block who has power when there is an outage. A battery backup system not only requires yearly maintenance but it adds a significant increase in the final cost of a system. Also the batteries need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years depending on the brand and quality of the battery you use with your system. Check out our grid connected systems that can help you reach your energy goals:...

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