A Hoyleton, IL customer looks over his battery backup system being installed by Tick Tock Energy. His gas-powered generator can be seen on the left.

Plan To Make Solar Power AND Energy Security your New Year’s Resolution? Here’s What to Think About When Going Solar.

Energy security, energy storage, and emergency power backup have gained a lot of interest in the last several years as battery technology has improved and energy security has come to the forefront of home and business owners’ minds. Tick Tock Energy predicts that battery storage and emergency power backup will begin to become the norm when installing a solar array. This is Tick Tock Energy’s New Year’s resolution: help our customers navigate the energy storage/backup options available and to build more cost-effective solar panel systems.

Many of our customers are now wisely choosing batteries and emergency backup to go with their existing or new residential solar panel systems. As COVID-19, severe weather, and other major events expose the fragility of the US power grid, this is the year to give serious thought about improving your energy security. As centralized power grids become more stressed, the need for energy independence and security have never been greater. When you produce your own power and are able to store it for overnight or emergency use, your reliance on the grid lessens and your ability to weather a major storm, disaster, or power outage is enhanced.

When It Rains, It Pours. Why Emergency Backup Power?

Grid outages due to wind, ice and storms have always created a threat, particularly to Illinois rural farms and homeowners. Many farms and businesses have long relied on backup gas, propane, or diesel generators to maintain critical electrical loads during outages. For farmers, keeping livestock alive and supported has been a big driver of adding emergency backup power.

Many homeowners also have critical loads such as refrigerators, freezers stocked full of food, power for medical devices, charging cell phones, basic lighting, or running heating systems (fans or pumps). Our modern society is highly reliant on electricity and other energy sources. With isolated power losses for short-term duration, many might suffer a little or be inconvenienced, but for widespread power outages for longer duration, it can be a matter of life or death.

By adding battery backup to your solar energy system, you can tap into your own stored energy overnight or during outages. When paired with a gas or diesel generator, your home or business is prepared to weather any winter storms that the harsh Illinois prairie throws at you.

“Prepper” Is No Longer A Dirty Word!

The interest in energy security has increased recently with market disruptions due to lockdowns, supply chain breakdowns, severe weather events, and general all-around uncertainty. Many homeowners want backup power source and seeking greater energy security. Last winter’s deep freeze that knocked out the Texas power grid was another eye-opening event pointing out how fragile things can become and quickly. In years past, many would snicker at someone who was prepping for a calamity or long-term grid outage. Today, however, more folks are becoming “preppers” to some degree. Don’t laugh! If you’ve stocked up on toilet paper, you might consider yourself a prepper! Your neighbor who just installed a solar array and battery backup system to keep their home operational during a long-term grid outage might not look so paranoid these days.

Grid-Tied Solar Systems

Traditional residential solar panel installations are considered “grid-tied” systems if they are connected on the customer’s property and capable of supplying power to the local utility. Normally the purpose of a grid-tied solar array is to supply power to the residential home, farm, or business the array is connected. However, a solar array will often produce excess energy during the day, sending power back to the grid when the system produces more energy than the home or business is using. This page on our website reviews this concept further.

What Happens to a Grid-Tied Solar System if the Grid Goes Down?

During an electric grid outage, a basic grid-tied solar system will immediately stop producing power. The solar system’s inverter synchronizes the solar system output with the electric grid and if grid voltage is lost, the inverters immediately shuts down unless other arrangements are in place to continue operation. The inverter shutdown is a safety feature designed to prevent a solar panel system from backfeeding the grid creating an electrocution risk to utility workers repairing downed power lines.

So You Want Emergency Power Storage/Backup for when the Grid Goes Down?

There are several approaches to adding emergency backup power features to your solar panel system which include:

  • Choosing an inverter that supports an emergency backup switch
  • Upgrading to a hybrid Inverter that integrates batteries and backup power generators
  • Adding batteries only to your solar panel system (without a generator)
  • Integrating a power backup generator only with your solar panel system
  • Installing batteries and emergency backup generator to your solar panel system – the ultimate protection!

Depending on your budget and needs for emergency backup power, Tick Tock Energy can design your solar panel system for a wide variety of conditions. Increasingly, more of our residential solar systems are incorporating batteries, integrating with a backup power generator, or at least allows for future expansion with batteries and power generators.

See also: https://www.ticktockenergy.com/off-grid-solar-emergency-power-backup/

Let’s Check Out Some Illinois Homeowners Who Have Added Batteries to Their Solar Panel Systems.

Tick Tock Energy has helped many Illinois residents, farmers, and business owners plan their solar panel systems. Many Illinois residents who we’ve helped now enjoy greater energy security with battery-based solar systems or backup power generators, or both! The various links below are examples of both grid-tied and off-grid solar power systems we’ve installed.

Implementing Energy Security Requires Expertise

Peace of mind in these turbulent times is important. With proven battery technology, adding backup power capabilities to your solar system has never been easier. Going the extra mile by adding a backup power generator to your solar system is the ultimate power protection plan. This process does require careful planning and expertise beyond a basic residential grid-tied solar array. That’s where we come in.

Remember, even basic grid-tied solar panel systems are mini-power plants that must be installed correctly for safe and reliable long-term operation. Tick Tock Energy is one of the longest operating solar companies in Illinois and has proven track record and service to support your energy needs. Make energy security a resolution to check-off your list this year!

Illinois Shines – The Solar SREC Incentive is Back

The Illinois Shines program, which had previously run out of funding is back! Find out about this lucrative solar incentive here. 2022 is also the last year to take advantage of the 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit for renewable energy projects.

Give Tick Tock Energy a call today at (217) 994-9020 to get started on your path to energy security and peace of mind.