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Riding Out Hurricane Season with Solar

Riding Out Hurricane Season With Solar

Hurricane season can be a stressful time for Florida residents. Strong winds, heavy rain, and power outages can leave homes vulnerable and unsafe. However, residents with solar rooftop systems have a unique advantage. Solar owners can power their homes even when the grid is down with a whole-home backup system installed. 

Learn how solar whole-home backup systems can outperform generators while enabling greater energy independence, and explore how solar battery storage can help you prepare for the next hurricane.

Hurricane Energy Options: Generator vs. Solar Whole-Home Backup

Your two best bets for sustained electricity through a hurricane are solar batteries (also known as whole-home backups) or generators. The primary difference between the two is the energy source needed to run – generators rely on gas or propane, while solar whole-home backups use the solar panels on your roof to create and store usable energy.

Generators

Generators are a common backup power source for homes during hurricanes. They are relatively inexpensive, portable, and can be used for other purposes, such as camping or outdoor events. 

Pros:

Portability: Generators are usually lightweight and can be easily moved around.

Availability: Generators can be purchased at hardware stores and are widely available.

Price: Generators are relatively inexpensive.

Cons:

Noise: Generators are extremely noisy to run and can disturb you and your neighbors.

Fuel dependency: Generators require fuel, which can be costly and difficult to find during emergencies, adding more stress to your hurricane preparation.

Maintenance: Generators require regular maintenance to ensure they are in good working order.

Solar Whole-Home Backup

A whole-home backup system is a solar battery that can power your entire home during a power outage. They run on solar energy and store excess energy in batteries. This allows them to provide power even when there is no sunlight, a crucial factor during dark and stormy hurricane days.

Pros:

Energy Independence: Whole-home backup systems provide energy independence and can reduce or eliminate reliance on the grid. It also eliminates your dependence on other fuel sources, such as propane or diesel gas, which can see low supplies before and during natural disasters.

Quiet: Unlike generators, solar backups are quiet and do not produce any noise pollution.

Cost savings: Over time, a solar backup system can provide cost savings by reducing reliance on the grid.

Uninterrupted power: Whole-home backup systems turn on automatically if grid power goes out, providing an uninterrupted power experience even when the rest of the grid is down.

Cons:

Price: Solar backup systems can be more expensive compared to generators.

Installation: A professional installation is required.

How Whole-Home Solar Battery Storage Works

During the day, rooftop solar panels capture and produce energy to power the home and charge the battery. Excess energy is stored in the battery. At night or during a grid outage, the battery uses its automatic transfer switch to provide power to the home. Some solar batteries can power some of your household electricity, while a whole-home backup does precisely that – power up your entire home.

Preparing For the Next Hurricane As a Solar Owner With Whole Home Backup

If you’re a solar owner with a whole home backup system, preparing for the next hurricane is essential. Here are some tips to ensure your system is ready when you need it:

  • Regular maintenance: Schedule annual maintenance with your installer or a professional solar servicer to ensure your system is in good working condition.
  • Check battery levels: Regularly check them to ensure they are fully charged and ready to provide power.
  • Stock up on essential supplies: Even with a solar backup system, it’s still important to have essential supplies on hand, such as food, water, important documents, and first aid supplies.
  • Learn how to use your system: Ensure you and your family know how to operate your backup system in an emergency.

Peace of Mind With Whole-Home Solar Backup

Riding out hurricane season with solar can provide peace of mind and energy independence. 

While generators are a popular backup option, they have some downsides, such as fuel dependency and noise pollution. A whole home backup system offers complete energy independence (no need for fuel!), cost savings over time, a quiet experience, and uninterrupted power.

If you’re a solar owner without a backup system, consider getting a whole-home backup battery before the next hurricane. And if you’re considering solar, ask your Tampa Bay Solar salesperson about adding a whole-home backup to your system. We’re here to help.

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