Solar power is a low-maintenance, consistent, and reliable renewable energy source. Of course, even though you know that the sun will rise every day, you also know that it will set every night and that clouds will sometimes block the sun. When this happens, your solar panels naturally won’t produce power for you. If you’re not connected to a grid—or if you are and want to live more independently from the grid—you’re going to need a backup power source for that solar system. Keep reading to learn what the three best backup power options are.
3. Wind Power
If you want to back up your renewable energy source with another renewable energy source, then the wind is the way to go. This option works well when paired with solar because the wind will often kick up whenever a storm blows in and blocks this sun. This can help ensure that you continue to have power, even during periods of prolonged bad weather.
Of course, there are no guarantees that the wind will blow at night, so you may still find yourself losing power after sunset. Additionally, space is a significant concern that makes wind power difficult for the average homeowner to use; you probably don’t have the yard space for a turbine. Keep in mind that turbines will also require more maintenance than solar panels due to the number of moving parts they have.
Generators have been a source of emergency power since long before solar power was popular in homes, but they still integrate very well with most solar power systems. You can hook them up to your hybrid inverter and switch to generator power whenever solar power is unavailable. The best thing about generators is that they come in many varieties that use different power sources. However, if you’re looking to use one when solar power is unavailable, you’ll most likely want a gas- or propane-powered generator. This means that you’re still reliant on fossil fuels, so if you’re trying to go green, a generator probably isn’t the best choice.
1. Solar Batteries
By far, the best backup power source for a solar power system is a solar battery bank. During the day, your panels will typically produce way more power than you use in your home. If you’re not connected to the grid and taking advantage of net metering, and you don’t have a battery bank, then that excess power is released as heat and goes entirely to waste. Solar batteries allow you to store the extra energy to use later, like after the sun goes down.
If you want to take advantage of any secondary power source, ensure you have a hybrid inverter, like a Sunny Boy inverter or an off-grid inverter, to connect your backup power.