When Winter Storm Uri hit Texas in mid February, the demand for energy shut down the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). This energy shutdown caused four million Texans to experience a rolling blackout, or a complete loss of power. It’s no secret that our world depends on consistent electricity to substantiate our plugged in lifestyle.
For some, the rolling blackout showed the vulnerability of using depleting non-renewable resources for energy, and focused on the power of renewable energy. Unfortunately, there were some who falsely reported that renewable energy caused the blackouts, when it was the opposite. Instead of every household requiring services from the grid, switching to renewable energy allows you to create your own electricity. Solar energy is a popular method of renewable energy, between the tax incentives and the low maintenance.
What Happens to Solar Energy During a Rolling Blackout?
During a rolling blackout, your solar panels cannot continue to function due to two main reasons. It mostly comes down to safety and technicalities. When you have any type of electricity, there has to be a consistent and steady supply of electricity in order for full functionality. When you have solar, the supply and demand for generated power shifts and changes. For example, you don’t always need to use your oven or a hairdryer. Since there are different daily schedules for energy utilization, there is not a constant demand for electricity. With supply and demand, solar energy systems automatically move the excess energy to the grid. The grid provides a large amount of power. Therefore, it’s a backup resource for your home. If there is an outage or rolling blackout, the grid cannot stabilize that power.
The other reason for it not working is due to safety. During an outage, repair crews are out attempting to fix the reason for the outage. To avoid endangering the repair crews, solar current stops going to the power lines. It wouldn’t be safe for technicians to run tests if there’s another form of electricity in the power line.
How to Combat This Issue With Solar Batteries and Generators
While the solar energy will not be going into your household, you can buy solar generators and solar batteries to maintain electricity in your home. Having a backup battery or generator is a great tool for anyone who has solar energy. The backup systems take the previously stored energy and store it, rather than sending it to the grid. This way, if the power goes out due to any cause, including a rolling blackout, you’re not out of luck. These batteries are so efficient that you can continue with your day like normal.
Here are four solar power batteries or generators that can save the day.
The Generac Generator is a modular and smart battery designed for homes. This is sized as a day-to-day use product that works with solar energy. This battery has operation modes for optimal usage for different situations. Some situations could include peak hour (when the sun is not shining) electricity cost or in markets when solar owners can’t export extra energy to a grid system.
The Generac works with generated energy that was previously stored. Instead of sending extra energy straight to the grid, it is stored in the battery system. Purchasing a Generac generator takes care of your household if there are power outages, sustaining electricity in your home in the interim. Read here for more information on the Generac Generator.
The Sunrun Brightbox is made with LG Chem batteries. This type of battery is curated from different size lithium ions. These solar batteries can provide over 10 hours backup when the grid is not operational. These batteries are available for either purchase or for lease. If you choose to lease the Sunrun Brightbox, you have a 20 year full service plan with a 10 year warranty. Read here for more information on the Sunrun Brightbox.
InergyTek Battery Pack System
The InergyTek Battery Pack System is a great and affordable way to keep your power on, even if the grid goes out for a lengthy period of time. One featured battery is the Flex 1500 Power Station. A Flex 1500 Power Console and a Flex Battery create this lightweight, compact power platform. It comes with a MPPT Supercharger, making sure it charges faster than other solar systems. This station gives you freedom to gather and store clean, renewable energy whenever you need it. For more information on InergyTek, read our product breakdown here.
Tesla Solar Powerwall
This powerwall works hand in hand with your at-home solar panel system. Installing the storage solution with your solar energy system allows a sustained power supply through day and night. As long as you have stored energy from your panels, the Tesla Solar Powerwall will work. Home electricity transmits through a service panel through utility companies that is run under streets. Each panel has a different circuit to help spread out the electricity and avoid overloading the circuit.
Instead of following this, Tesla creates a sub panel rather than a circuit. They call this the critical loads panel. During installation, the circuits from the main panel are removed, only leaving items that are not backed up through the Tesla Solar Powerwall. This is done so homeowners can choose what energy source should be backed up in case of an outage. Tesla also allows customers to have more than just one Powerwall, giving you the ability to backup more of your home. The Tesla app allows you to see the powerflow, what is backed up, and how long outages last. The app allows you to customize your options, giving the user total control over energy consumption. Read our product spotlight for an in-depth look at the Tesla Solar Powerwall.
Take the Next Steps To Solar Energy
Having solar energy is a great option to minimize your carbon footprint, reduce your electricity bills, and generate your own energy. If you’re looking for more information on solar, or tips on how to use solar panels during a power outage, look no further! ONIT Solar was designed to help customers choose the best solar power system for their home. For more information, give us a call today at 1-833-433-0331.