Getting energy from the sun is great under most circumstances. But because most solar systems are “grid tied” these days, people who have solar panels without battery backup are subject to power outages just like everyone else. If you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages but want to keep your connection to the utility grid, a grid-tied with battery backup system—like the one Oak Electric recently installed for homeowners in Lake Orion—might be just the thing for you!

A typical backup consists of a bank of batteries installed in the garage. The battery bank is hooked up to a circuit to run essential items in the house when the grid fails. It switches off automatically when the grid comes back on again.

Typically, a battery bank will keep critical systems in a home running for several days—longer if the sun comes out immediately after a storm, allowing the bank to recharge. The battery backup is not equivalent to using a gas-powered backup generator, and it should not be expected to power an entire house, but the combination of solar power and battery backup can be a reliable form of protection against the unforeseen power outage.

Battery backup systems for solar panel systems are still evolving and there are pros and cons to using them. orionsolar1For example, batteries will add cost and maintenance to a grid-tied photovoltaic system. But the peace of mind gained by knowing your alarm system or essential loads will be “up” when grid power is “down” may make it worth the extra startup costs.

The trick to making battery backup systems work starts with planning. We recommend a consultation with the solar panel system experts at Oak Electric to help you determine the right type of solar panel installation for your lifestyle and requirements.

If you are considering solar power panels for your home or business, the solar power specialists at Oak Electric Service are happy to answer your questions, including inquiries about financing and tax credits for solar installations. Give us a call at (800) 964-7070. And be sure to visit our website at www.oakelectric.com for more details on our renewable energy products and services.