Does Solar Power Work When the Electricity Goes Out?

Does Solar Power Work When the Electricity Goes Out? 

January 31, 2023

How Solar Energy Can Help You Prepare For the Next Nor’easter 

As solar power is considered an alternative to traditional electricity, many people often question whether solar energy is able to function even in situations when the power goes out, such as during winter storms or intense heat waves. Although the short answer is no, solar energy will not continue to function during a power outage, there is a potential for your home to continue to to be powered from solar energy during an outage, keep reading to find out how. 

Power Blackouts and Solar Energy 

The relationship between solar energy systems and electricity can be a bit confusing because they are not entirely separate from one another. Although your solar energy system does not use electricity to function, most systems are tied to the electricity grid and therefore will go down with it during outages. Solar systems that are tied to an electrical grid function using a solar inverter that is able to take energy from the sun and convert it to usable electricity for your home. 

Another reason that solar energy systems go down with the power grid is largely due to safety concerns, as repair workers who are working on power lines during storms need to be sure there is no electricity running through them (solar or otherwise) that could pose danger. 

How Can I Use Solar Power During an Outage?

Although the only way to continue to generate solar power during an outage is by the use of an off-grid system, these are rare and can be more expensive to purchase. Additionally, off-grid systems are not ideal as they do not have the fail safe of utilizing normal electricity if and when the system fails to generate energy.

Traditional systems that are connected to the grid are programmed to resort to using normal electricity when they fail to meet your home’s energy needs, ensuring that your home does ever go dark due to a solar system failure. 

Now onto the real solution for keeping your home powered by solar energy during a power outage: solar battery storage. 

What is Solar Battery Storage and Why Do I Need It? 

Solar battery storage is essentially a resource to save up extra energy generated by your solar system for a later time. There are certain times of the day and year when your system is bound to generate more energy than your home needs. Incorporating battery storage in your system ensures that no energy is wasted and can come in handy when situations such as outages occur. 

If your on-grid system has a solar battery incorporated into it, the power gradually stored there will be utilized when the solar inverter and electrical grid stop working. Depending on how long your battery has been accumulating energy and how much energy your home requires to function, will determine how long you are able to rely solely on solar energy. In most cases, the energy stored in your battery will be enough to survive a few hours or in some cases a few days. 

BlueSel Home Solar offers several options for solar battery storage, so you can be sure that your system is curated to meet your home’s energy needs. For a free consultation, contact BlueSel today.