Off-Grid Solar Systems/ Emergency Solar Power Backup

Will My Solar Shut Down During a Power Outage?

Yes, your basic grid-tied solar system will shut down during a grid outage. Many are surprised when they hear this, but it’s true. This is a built-in safety feature which prevents solar electricity from flowing to the grid, thus creating a hazardous condition for a utility worker that could be repairing the power lines in your area. The inverter constantly senses grid voltage and when the grid goes down, the voltage goes to zero, and the inverter automatically shuts down.

However, there are solutions: emergency solar power backup and off-grid solar systems. These options circumvent the situation of no power during a grid outage. Learn more below.


SMA Inverter with Emergency Outlet

An SMA inverter (one type of product we install) offers an emergency outlet that can be manually switched on during a grid outage. This islands your inverter and disconnects it from the grid. During the daytime with adequate sunshine, the inverter delivers up to 1,500 to 2,000 Watts of power to the outlet, depending on model. With this emergency solar power component, you can temporarily power small appliances, charge a phone or laptop, etc. for a few hours of the day. If your array is larger, you might have two or more of this type of inverter each with an outlet delivering power.

NOTE: this type of system does not include batteries and does not store electricity. During an outage on a cloudy day your emergency outlet may not work. If you require more power and for longer duration, integrating batteries will be necessary.

AC-Coupled with Battery Backup

This setup is more expensive and more complex. However, this emergency solar power backup solution provides the ability to interact with the grid yet provide backup power during a grid outage.

This approach is recommended for the more technically savvy owner who’s willing to learn the operation and functionality of more equipment and possible operating scenarios.

Off-Grid Solar System

For homes that don’t have access to the utility grid or folks ready to “cut-the-cord” and adopt full energy independence, a 100% off-grid solar system is the way to go.

Off-grid solar systems will feature a solar array, battery bank, charge controllers, inverters, and other components. A gas-powered generator may or may not be included.

Tick Tock Energy can help you plan, size, engineer and implement your off-grid solar system. If you’re ready to get started, or simply just want to learn more, contact us today to speak with an expert about off-grid solar panels and systems, and emergency backup solar power.

Click here to check out an off-grid project we did for a rental cabin in Sullivan, IL!

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