Can You Use Solar Panels During a Power Outage?

Here is what you need to know about how solar panels function in the occurrence of a blackout and what to expect when it happens.

A benefit of a solar panel is the natural and cost-efficient energy source it provides for your home. Because the installation relies on sunlight, you may wonder if it still works when a power outage occurs. Here is what to know about the situation and how to make the system function in the meantime.

What Happens During a Blackout

Many homeowners believe that their solar systems will continue operating during an outage—especially if it occurs in the daytime. However, panels are connected to a local power company’s grid in most cases. Therefore, homes with these devices will still be affected by a blackout. 

When an outage occurs, the sun-fueled connected systems will shut down automatically as a safety precaution. This measure prevents sending live voltage to the local electric grid, which can injure utility workers. As a result, professionals can fix outage problems without the risk of electrocution. 

How to Use Panels During an Outage

If your home is equipped with a solar panel, you can keep the power running by using a backup system. One common solution is through the use of a grid-tied configuration. The system draws electricity using a solar inverter if insufficient energy is produced, especially on cloudy days or at night. This converter connects to a central air conditioning panel and electric meter. The latter records energy consumption and keeps track of how much energy gets sent to the grid for unused power. 

Another usage option during an outage is an off-grid system. If a blackout occurs, solar batteries or generators provide power restoration. Depending on its size, an entire home can receive enough energy to sustain itself during a blackout.

When it comes to expert solar panel installation and having reliable backup systems during outages, Holu Hou Energy is Honolulu’s trusted specialist. Serving Hawaii, Arizona, California, and Texas, this licensed and insured contractor incorporates technology for maximum energy production. Their systems are capable of energy storage reserves for houses of all sizes and multi-dwelling unit properties, including homeowner association (HOA) communities. Call (808) 371-7514 to speak to a knowledgeable and friendly technician.