Just a quick note – again, we are delighted with our system. The other day I was showing it off to a friend and I was puzzled as to why it had generated much less power that day. And it turned out that the power had been out all day and we hadn’t realized! (And it was out for just us and our immediate neighbors.)
Solar that Keeps the Lights On: Grid Hybrid Solar
With larger storms, longer fire seasons, and preventative outages by some utilities, it is easy to understand why so many people are looking for a reliable option to supplement their grid power. As many of us have learned the hard way – once disaster strikes it is too late to prepare. If you want the security and comfort of a stable, consistent power supply even when your utility fails, a grid-hybrid solar power system may be just what you are looking for!
What is a grid hybrid solar system?
It takes all the advantages of grid-tied solar and adds energy storage (in the form of batteries) and sometimes supplemental power production (like a generator) for use when there is a grid outage. Here we’ve outlined the additional steps when you decide to add an emergency backup power system to your solar project:
1. Select what you will need to power during an outage.
While it is possible to provide backup power for an entire home, for most people it is not economically feasible. Instead, think about what items you would definitely need to power no matter how long or short a power outage might be. These are called essential loads. It could be items like a refrigerator and/or freezer to keep food, several lights, your internet router, and an outlet to where you can charge your cell phone. It’s up to you!
READ: Essential Loads in a Nutshell
2. Decide on a backup battery system, generator, or combination.
Depending on what you need to have backed up, the length of the outage you want to prepare for, and your budget, you may want a backup battery system, a generator, or both. Fire Mountain Solar has worked with hundreds of full-service and DIY clients that wanted backup power and we are happy to review your needs and recommend options to fit your goals.
3. Have your solar plus backup system installed.
Whether you are having our expert team install your system or doing it yourself, your system has to be installed for you to take advantage of your solar energy and backup power. As you prepare for installation ask questions, review product information, and feel great about your decision to provide power security for your home!
4. In the event of a power outage, your backup system will take over and keep your essential items powered while the utility company works to bring the grid back online.
You can have a manual transfer switch to activate your backup system yourself, but most of our clients love the ease and convenience of automatic switching from grid to backup power. This seamless change over keeps your essential loads running, no matter when the outage happens!
Interested in installing a grid hybrid solar system yourself? View our DIY Grid Hybrid Solar Kits.