If you install a grid-tied solar electrical system and experience a power outage from the utility company, your system will shut down as required by law. To avoid losing power completely, you have two options available. The first is to have an energy storage system (battery backup system). In the event of a power outage, energy stored in your batteries will power your house at night, and during the day your solar panels will power your house and recharge your batteries. You become the owner of your own power company! The battery backup system will give you peace of mind and security. With our optional custom automatic transfer switches, you can power your whole house or just a few essential circuits such as your refrigerator, and a few lights and plugs, what we call your “critical loads.”
The second option is to have a generator that is powered by natural gas, propane or diesel. The initial cost of generator is less than batteries as a general rule, however they require regular maintenance. Like any motor, it requires oil changes and fine tuning, and needs to be exercised every 1-2 weeks to charge the battery for the electric starter and lubricate the system. Depending on where you live, generators may not be permitted by the local jurisdiction because they can be loud and the off-gassing can be dangerous to you and your neighbors, depending on its proximity to a home. Generators are required by law to be installed by a qualified professional and you are responsible for any property damage (yours, your neighbors and the power company’s).
Battery backup and generators are both good options for residential and commercial installations.