Sunday, July 29, 2012

July Storms and Solar Power Backup Systems

...We were in fine shape with the solar. I think the power outages were such a lesson in energy independence.  I'm a believer and tell everyone about PIMBY.  Thanks so much for everything. 

Well, I was without power all weekend and the solar worked perfectly! Beautiful!! I was very happy not to lose all my food.   

I got a nice note.  Actually, I got a couple of nice notes and a few phone calls too from customers who rode out the region-wide power outages of this past month with battery backup.  


Our backup system is working exactly as planned.  We were in NY over the weekend, and, of course, our battery system kicked in automatically after the Friday night storm.  We would have had to cut our trip short if we hadn't had the system, to come home and save our freezer.  As it was, we got home last night and everything is humming along.

Power in our part of Calhoun will be out until Saturday, at the earliest.  We used about .7 kwh last night after the panels quit generating.  At 5 kwh production per day, we should be able to continue like this indefinitely.  Well, the batteries might give out after ten years.

Just thought you'd like to know.  Thanks so much for all your help creating a really reliable system.


Bill, who penned the letter above, and his wife were without power for twelve days. Bill said that you could hear the generators running up and down the hollow at his neighbor's homes. 

Usually, folks opt for battery-backup because they live in a locale that frequently loses utility power (and may lose it for some period of time).  Battery-backup designed into a solar PV system can insure that critical loads like fridge, freezer, microwave, well pump, lights, TV, etc... continue to operate per normal when utility power goes down.  Some systems incorporate a generator in addition to help augment re-charging from the solar panels.  Some systems have plenty of solar to do without a generator.

Battery-backup system electronics in Morgantown, WV.  System is charged by a 1.44-kW PV array and propane generator.

 The flooded lead-acid batteries used to provide backup power during grid outages.

 4.8-kW solar PV array which keeps the lights on for Bill and Pat in Hillsboro, WV.

Electronics (inverters) used to condition solar power for battery backup and sale back to the utility.