A common misconception about solar system is that during a power outage or grid failure, the solar system will continue to provide power to loads. After all, if the sun is shining, shouldn’t the system still work?
In fact, due to the nature of grid-tie solar systems and how they are designed, all power output to the grid must cease during an outage. There are, however, two exceptions to this: your system is equipped with energy storage, or you forgo the benefits of grid-tied solar and opt for an off-grid system.
Grid-Tied Solar System with Energy Storage
If you want to guarantee that your solar system will continue to operate during a blackout, adding a battery storage system is the way to go. These storage units save energy produced from solar panels for later use. When there is a power outage, the combined solar plus storage unit isolates itself from the grid and immediately continues power supply to the home—providing the uninterrupted electricity service you need during times of crisis.
The battery-based system can fool the grid-tied system into thinking the grid is still functional, while also disconnecting from the grid to comply with anti-islanding. This still allows for solar productivity to feed loads and charge batteries during a grid-down situation.
If you are enjoying the benefits of a residential solar system, but want to take it a step further with off-grid capabilities and uninterrupted power during power outages, then solar plus storage is the way forward.