Solar power can remain active during an outage, if it is configured correctly. That’s one of the lessons learned in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Many people living in the path of the storm had solar panels installed in their homes, and yet they remained without power for days, until power companies were able to hook them back up to the grid. Those systems were designed to feed excess power to the grid when operating, and draw power from the grid when dormant—and because of equipment and safety concerns, they automatically shut down whenever the grid shuts down.

According to a New York Times article, storm victims with solar panels, who otherwise would have been able to turn their power back on after the hurricane passed, had to wait for power crews, just like people who got their electricity from the traditional grid. But solar power systems that include battery storage can avoid that problem. The installation of batteries can not only use locally generated power during nighttime or cloudy conditions, it can also provide electricity during power outages. Storage systems can consist of batteries tied to the solar array, or in some cases, can even be provided by electric vehicles, which have storage batteries already installed.

The people at Nextek Power Systems are experts in the design and implementation of renewable energy microgrid systems like these for businesses and homes. They are happy to advise business and home owners regarding the benefits and implications involved—just contact Nextek at info@nextekpower.com.

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