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Do solar panels keep producing when the power goes out?

Solar energy newbies might believe that solar systems tied to the power grid will continue producing electricity during blackouts, providing uninterrupted service for as long as the power is out and affording them the chance to laugh at neighbors who are completely reliant on the power company. After all, there is no off switch on the sun, right?

Those people are actually wrong, as safety reasons prevent grid-tied solar systems from producing power in blackouts. The only way for solar customers to guarantee power availability during blackouts would be to have a battery-plus-storage solar system, allowing you to be completely off the grid.

Once an outage occurs, your solar system’s inverter, the device that turns the direct current (DC) electricity your panels produce into the alternating current (AC) electricity that powers your home, will shut off to prevent power from going back into the grid. Failure for the inverter to shut down would create a dangerous “islanding” effect for utility workers making the repairs. They can’t have power still coursing through the lines while trying to make any fixes.

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So once your inverter shuts down, there’s no way for your panels to keep feeding your home’s energy needs. The inverter signals to the power optimizers connected to your panels to enter a state of safety that prevents electrical load from building. Normal solar production resumes once power to the grid is restored.

While solar energy would be optimally used in blackouts, having a battery-plus-storage system to do just that is not cost effective for many consumers. Net metering, the process that provides credits for your solar system’s excess energy production, essentially does the same thing as storage without the added cost. When your panels produce more electricity than your home needs at any one time, that power is pushed back to the grid, meaning you get the full benefit of all the power your panels produce.

Want to learn more about the benefits of powering your home with solar energy? Power Home Solar, the leading residential solar installation company in four U.S. markets (Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia), wants to be the installer that helps you learn how to own your power and reduce your dependence on the power company.

With our innovative solar program, homeowners can go solar for $0 up-front cost, save money on their electric bills, and generate their own clean energy. The solar panels installed on your home are American made and come with a 25-year warranty, with many panels expected to last well beyond that.

Please feel free to fill out the form below or contact Power Home Solar at 800-765-2715, and one of our solar representatives will help you determine whether your home qualifies for this program.

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