How to Prepare for and Manage a Power Outage with Solar

December 4, 2023 | 4min read

Solar power is a dependable and eco-friendly energy source, but occasional power outages due to storms, equipment failures, and even wildlife interference can still occur. It’s essential to be ready and know how to handle backup power during such situations, especially if outages in your area are already common. Join us below as we explore how to prepare for a solar power outage, access and manage backup power or stored battery energy, address low-energy scenarios, and deal with manual system restarts. We’ll also guide you on using appliances wisely during an outage so you are prepared and informed!

Preparing for a Power Outage

If you suspect an incoming outage, or you just want to be one step ahead, take the following steps to ensure you’re prepared:

  • Create an emergency kit with essential supplies like flashlights, batteries, candles, and a battery-powered radio.
  • Have a backup power source, such as a generator, on standby
  • Charge your mobile phone and maintain a list of important contacts, including your solar system provider.
  • Familiarize yourself with your solar systems operation and shutdown procedures.

Tesla, Enphase, and SolarEdge are well-known names in the solar industry, each offering solutions to assist homeowners during power outages. Tesla’s Powerwall, for instance, is a rechargeable home battery that can store excess energy generated by your solar panels. In the event of a power outage, the Powerwall seamlessly switches to provide backup power, ensuring your essential appliances keep running while the grid is down.

Enphase and SolarEdge, on the other hand, offer advanced solar inverters and energy management systems. These devices enhance the efficiency of your solar system and often feature grid support functions, which can help you disconnect from a grid malfunction and stabilize your power supply with energy stored from your solar system.

 Accessing and Managing Backup Power/Stored Battery Power

If you have a warning before a power outage, complete as many energy-intensive tasks as possible. Consider doing laundry, running your air conditioner, and charging your vehicle(s). During a power outage, follow these steps to access and manage your stored energy:

  1. If you have a battery backup system, it should automatically switch to backup mode.
  2. Monitor your battery’s state-of-charge using the control panel or mobile app.
  3. Prioritize essential appliances like refrigerators, medical equipment, and heating/cooling systems.
  4. Use energy-efficient LED lighting and unplug non-essential devices to save power.
  5. Adjust usage as time passes. If you believe you are experiencing a prolonged outage, monitor your battery’s state of charging frequently and use your essential appliances more conservatively.

Managing Appliances during a Power Outage

Make wise appliance choices during an outage because you never know how long it may last. We suggest using standard appliances like LED lights, computers, chargers, or any kind sparingly. Entertainment choices may be of comfort to you during a blackout, but try your best to avoid all electronics. Charge your devices only when necessary and unplug them once fully charged. Avoid using energy-intensive appliances like electric ovens, air conditioners, and electric water heaters unless medically necessary. Consider opting for alternative cooking methods if available.

Handling Low Stored Energy

In the case of low stored energy, it may be time to start using energy even more conservatively. To increase your conservation and extend the life of your energy supply, disconnect your appliances and use them as needed, especially energy-intensive ones like HVAC units. Utilize natural lighting during the day and try to reduce the need for artificial lighting in the nighttime. Avoid doing laundry, use only cold water, and monitor your energy supply frequently. Following these steps at a low energy state may help you extend the life of your emergency power supply for a few more days!

Manual Restart of Solar System/Battery

Some solar systems may require manual restarts after an outage:

  • Refer to your system’s user manual for specific restart instructions.
  • Prioritize safety and always feel free to consult a professional technician if needed.

Backup Power can Help Create a Comfortable and Safe Power Outage Experience

Being prepared for a power outage is essential for maintaining comfort and safety. Understanding how to access and manage backup power, conserve energy during low-stored energy situations, and know when to manually restart your solar system are key aspects of outage preparedness. Understanding your appliances and their energy requirements will also aid in helping you prepare and extend your backup power’s longevity. Please be sure to inform yourselves and take the necessary steps to ensure that when storms, failures, and interferences hit, you are ready to manage your power supply and use your stored energy to cover essential functions until grid power is restored.

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