So will your solar panels continue working during a power outage?
- The short answer to this in Australia is no.
- They will not continue to power your home.
- How ever there are exceptions.
A standard string inverter that is connected to the grid feeds the excess electricity it makes into the grid.
It does this whenever it is switched on.
This means, if power company workers have turned the power off because they are working on the power lines.
It could create a very unsafe situation† where the power lines where still electrified, even when they have turned it off.
For this reason, the Australian government (very rightly) made it illegal for standard inverter systems to work during a blackout.
However there is an exception to this.
- A battery system with what is called an EPS (emergency power system)† has the ability to isolate itself from the grid.
- So it can continue working by providing power from the batteries to the household.
A common misconception.
- Is that this kind of solution† will power your whole household as normal including air conditioning.
- While possible, standard hybrid battery systems do not offer this function.
- The largest EPS currently of standard hybrid inverters (2019) is the Sungrow hybrid offering 25amps of EPS.
- Many modern houses have circuits of 40 to 60 amps and above.
This means the EPS system can only be setup to partially power a house in a blackout scenario.
It is very important to understand this if your considering a hybrid battery solution.
There is more expensive options available
- Selectronics which can do this job very well.
- They are in order of magnitude more costly to achieve what a small generator unit can do.
- It will achieve what you are looking for in this scenario.
In short, if EPS is very important to you then definitely consider a hybrid battery system.
It’s important to understand its limitations currently and that your going to spend a lot more money.
- This is mostly that it is economically unrealistic.
- Be realistic about what it will do.
The only reason to do it is because – you really want too and because it’s cool
I have a selectronics battery system on my house and never get blackouts. I did it for the right reasons.
Which is I wanted a carbon free house and am a solar nut.
It’s super cool and I love it!
It cost way too much, but I am really committed to having air-conditioning when ever I want it!
I didn’t do it because it was the best way save money on power bills.
Below – A solar battery system.