Adding a whole-home generator to your solar energy system can provide you with a reliable source of energy when the grid power is out. If you have an off-grid solar system, you’ll need to be able to charge your solar batteries at night and during cloudy days. A generator will do just that. There are several different types of generators to choose from, and we will look at each.
Backing up during power outages
When considering installing solar panels on your home, you may also want to consider backing up your batteries with a gas generator. This can help you keep your home warm, lights on, and other necessities running during an outage, like occurred during the storm that knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of Mainers over the Christmas weekend of 2022.
Solar panels certainly are a great way to start using renewable energy. However, if you live in a region where power outages are common, you need to consider backup power for your system.
A generator is a more powerful backup power source than batteries. It is noisy, but provides a power output for much longer than your batteries will. They are often used at hospitals, manufacturing plants, and other businesses that require continuous, high-volume power.
Batteries are a cleaner, quieter choice than generators, but they are also more expensive and will typically not provide your power needs for days at a time.
Depending on the solar panel’s output
If you have a solar battery system, you can store extra energy produced by your solar panels. Batteries can also be used to provide limited power during power outages. When your PV system is not producing enough power, you can use the stored energy in the battery bank to power your devices.
The best batteries are those with a capacity that matches the output of your PV system. Ideally, you will want to have at least 10 kWh of battery capacity to meet the basic needs of most homeowners. 20 kWh is more advantageous.
Most commercially available charge controllers have a digital display that shows the state of the batteries. This tells you how much power you are generating and when you can expect it to be available. Our favorite inverter, made by Sol-Ark, has a built in charge controller that will completely manage the operation of your generator.
Having a battery backup system in your home is an important and foundational part of ensuring your family’s safety in the event of a power outage. However, you’ll want to choose the right backup system for your needs.
Using a solar battery bank is a great way to keep your home powered up when the grid goes down. The battery pack can keep your home powered up for the night, and if the grid remains down in the morning – when your solar panels will be producing power – you can feed excess energy back into the grid.
The best way to determine what kind of generator to buy is to talk to a one of our professionals. We can help you decide which type of generator to buy and where would be an ideal place to locate it.
When it comes to using a generator, there are some factors that you will want to consider, including the type of fuel you use. Diesel, propane, and gasoline are all options you may consider.
If you’re planning to use a portable generator during a power outage, there are several safety tips to keep in mind. The most important is to store the gasoline in a secure, preferably dry place. Store the gas in an approved container. Ideally, the container should be at least 10 feet away from the generator. This ensures that you’ll get the full benefit of a well-ventilated environment.
Gasoline isn’t the most durable fuel, so you might want to replace it every few months. A high-quality steel gas can with a trigger control valve is your best bet. It’s also a good idea to keep it fresh by adding a dose of fuel stabilizer.
Another good idea is to check the oil level of your generator. This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook this simple step.
Adding the correct amount of fuel to a portable generator will ensure you’ll have enough to run all your devices during a power outage. During a major outage, you may need to fuel up multiple times in a row. This can be a quite a chore. Thankfully, there are other options.
During power outages, businesses and communities have largely relied on diesel generators to provide backup power. These systems are portable or fixed, depending on the needs of the facility.
Power outages can occur at any time, for any reason. They may be caused by equipment failures, major weather events, or other threats. To prevent these disruptions, emergency preparedness plans are developed. When developing these plans, it is important to consider the costs and risks involved.
The United States Department of Energy estimates that the cost of outages to the US economy at $150 billion a year. Extreme weather events can lead to billions of dollars in outage costs.
For example, during Hurricane Sandy, 16 percent of emergency medical services organizations reported problems with their diesel generators. This resulted in six tons of nitrogen oxide emissions each day.
In addition to providing emergency backup power, diesel generators are also used by industrial operations in areas with limited access to the grid. This means that they may have to install in-house engineers to maintain them. A high quality diesel generator has a lifespan of 20,000 to 30,000 hours before it requires an overhaul. Diesel generators typically will last much longer than their gasoline counterparts.
When your home loses power, you need a solution. Power outages can be expensive and dangerous. Fortunately, propane generators provide a reliable source of energy when your main power supply goes out.
Whether you’re stuck indoors or outside, a propane generator will keep your lights, electronics, and other essential appliances running. Plus, they’re safer than gas, and most propane generators aren’t as noisy as gasoline one.
In addition, propane is cleaner burning, resulting in less greenhouse gas per gallon compared to gas or diesel. This is a great plus for the environment. Propane, being a cleaner fuel, means you don’t have to worry about the health risks of diesel generators. And unlike gasoline, propane doesn’t degrade over time.
However, it’s important to consider the length of power outages you may face. These days, we are more likely to experience widespread power outages over a period of several days, sometimes even weeks. If you’re in an area where outages are common, you should consider this factor in your choice of generator.
There are many factors to consider. Of course, we will discuss them during your free solar energy site assessment.