The horrible devastation and power outages we’ve seen in the wake of Hurricane Sandy have made lots of people think about their dependence on electricity and all the benefits of making your own. As many bloggers have pointed out Solar Panels No Savior in a Blackout. Straight “grid connected” solar panels are dependent on the grid in order to operate. When the grid is down – you’re down. The solar panels up on the roof soak up the sunshine but the electrons don’t have any where to go.
There is another way: Solar power with battery back up. Add some batteries and a special inverter and your system works to run your meter backwards when the grid is up and gives you reliable back up power in emergencies. Hire electric has been doing stand alone and battery back up systems for decades. The exciting advantage about doing a system today is that the low cost of solar and current incentives allow your system to pay for itself at the same time it’s providing clean, reliable energy to your home.
Check out the Washington made Outback Radian System and keep the lights on when the grid’s down.