September 5, 2017

What Happens to Solar Energy Usage During A Power Outage?

Solar Energy UsageIn the event of a blackout, seemingly basic necessities, such as keeping the lights on, powering the cash register or even just charging a cell phone, become essential. Many business owners, however, don’t have the appropriate source of backup power when the grid goes down during a power outage. Even sustainable businesses that rely on solar energy usage for their day-to-day electricity needs may end up losing power if their system doesn’t include some form of solar energy storage.

Can I Rely on Solar Energy Usage During a Storm, Hurricane or Power Outage?

As long as the sun is shining during a daytime blackout, solar panels will continue to generate clean energy. But whether or not you can rely on solar energy usage is an entirely different story.

If the power goes out, a grid-tied solar system is designed to automatically shut off due to both technical and safety reasons. Unless a solar battery system has been added to your current solar PV system, those directly connected to the utility grid will be left without power. The National Electric Code (NEC) requires (by law) that solar systems automatically shut down if the grid ‘goes down.’ In effort to protect first responders and utility workers from electric shock, the NEC says systems must shut down rapidly as it would be unsafe to have excess electricity production (energy from your photovoltaic solar panels) pushed back to the grid while the local utility repair teams are fixing the points of failure. These dangerous pockets of invisible electrical currents are known as “islands.”

Rely on a Storage for Solar Energy Usage

Instead, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that businesses who have invested in solar energy technology also use a battery system which is designed to stand on its own during a blackout and provide electricity to keep power running strong. Onsite batteries store solar energy collected during the day to deliver uninterrupted power in the event of lost power.

One option to help commercial organizations and government entities weather the storm is with the Tesla Powerwall 2.0. Tesla describes the Powerwall as a “rechargeable lithium ion battery with liquid thermal control” and is an ideal pairing for solar panel systems, especially in the case of off-grid projects where businesses need to rely on a sustained power supply during the day or night.

As with other solar energy storage solutions, entities that produce more solar energy than needed, have excess stored in the battery pack instead of being sent back into the electric grid. So, if your panels aren’t producing enough electricity to power up business needs or you’re faced with a power outage, you can rely on the electricity stored in the Powerwall.

Commercial Solar Energy Usage Services

Don’t risk suffering through a blackout; secure your business against unpredictable power outages by using reliable battery backup power or even an emergency generator power solution.

As a leading engineering firm providing commercial photovoltaic design and solar energy usage services, we know what it takes to keep energy into your projects- even during a blackout. Let us help you make your commercial solar project a reality. Your business will continue to seamlessly run on electricity even when your competition is left in the dark.

Contact the commercial solar engineers at KMB Design Group at 855-755-6234 to learn more.

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