Be Prepared for Power Outages
During times of crisis, it is important to reflect on whether you have taken the steps to prepare for a real emergency. Many people have been given the chance to consider this with the recent COVID-19 virus that is ravaging our world. As we are struck by everything from pandemics, to earthquakes, to forest fires, you may have more to worry about than the general necessities. Have you stopped to think about whether you are prepared to power your home in case of an emergency?
It’s always smart to have a backup just in case. Luckily, we are here to lay out all the options you have to store your home’s energy for a day when you may need it.
Usually, when people usually think of backup power, the first thing that comes to mind is a generator. Generators are easily accessible energy sources that can provide quick power in an emergency. There are a few different types that you can choose from depending on your needs, including whole house generators, portable generators, inverter generators, and battery generators. In order to give you peace of mind by keeping your entire home power running through a blackout, the best option would be a whole house generator. Most generators like these run on either gasoline or propane. Although gasoline is relatively easy to use and obtain, propane is popular because it’s generally affordable, cleaner, and quieter.
It’s important to decide what size is big enough to power your whole home, as there are many factors that determine how much power you use on average. Whichever type and size fit your needs, a backup generator is a reliable way to backup your home in a crisis.
A great alternative to a generator is a solar battery. Solar power batteries are used in the battery bank of a solar power system. This is your storage reservoir for any energy you generate, but don't use. In other words, batteries collect DC energy from your solar panels and store it for later use. By using a battery storage bank in your solar system, not only do you provide a constant level of power to your electrical loads, but you also can use your PV batteries to store energy during the day to use at night or on less sunny days.
When power supply consistency and dependability are of the utmost importance, a battery is a great option. Certain places are more prone to power outages than others. Since a battery backup can store energy, they are useful to have in case of a power outage if your panels can’t produce electricity for any reason. They activate instantly upon the house losing power, so you might not even realize that the power went out.
Batteries make your solar power use much more practical and convenient. However, batteries are one of the most expensive components of a solar system, so it’s important that you understand what you're buying before you make the investment. In order to get optimal performance from your system and maximum life out of your batteries, you must carefully decide on the size, type, and number of batteries you will need to fuel your home.
Fuel cells work like batteries, but they do not run down or need recharging. They produce electricity and heat as long as they are supplied with fuel. Fuel cells can power small devices such as your phone or computer, or even larger objects such as a car.
Fuel cells can also provide energy to your home. Even though they are often powered by natural gas, they are a much more expensive option compared to a standard gas-powered generator. They could end up costing around $4500 per kW instead of $800. Therefore, while it is a good option to offer you extra power when necessary, it makes more sense for most people to choose a generator or solar battery.
Residential wind energy systems are another energy option to backup your home. They look like a smaller version of the big electric windmills you’ve seen, but they are built for your home. Small wind turbines that generate electricity are available in a range of sizes, from a roof or chimney-mounted 1-kilowatt all the way up to 100-kilowatt turbines mounted on their own tower. Many of the smallest turbines are actually available in kits for the DIY-inclined homeowners.
The challenges with residential wind power are that it’s not as widely available as solar, it’s less commonly paired with a battery, and it often isn’t a legal option for many people. Also, while the power output from wind turbines might look appealing, getting the most watts for your money is complicated. The sun shines every day, even when it's cloudy, but the wind is not as common or predictable.
Which option is right for you?
When it comes to being prepared for a crisis with backup energy, there are many options. Generators and solar batteries are probably the most affordable and accessible options for the majority of people. Luckily, we can help you with the solar and energy storage products we offer, including panels, batteries, generators, and more. Take the time now to prepare and make sure you have the best, most comfortable option to keep you safe in the future.
Set up a virtual consultation with an energy adviser today: https://www.greensolartechnologies.com/solar-quote