The drama that unfolded on the Texas Gulf coast late last week has many people looking for ways to prepare their home and family for a natural disaster. Here in Texas, installing solar panels is a great first step to take. Homes with solar panels are always among the first to have access to electricity when storm related damage causes disruption of service after a hurricane or other type of natural disaster.
Taking the simple step of adding a battery backup system can expand the benefit of solar even more in situations where electric service can be disrupted for an extended period.
It’s estimated that over 200,000 homes in Houston and surrounding areas are still without power one week after the storm made landfall. There have been extraordinary efforts to get electricity and other essential services restored but the damage effects a huge geographic area and resources are stretched thin.
For the individual home or business owner, having solar panels with battery back-up is about more than just keeping the lights on. A battery back-up system that avoids losing power can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars during an extended outage. Just think about all the ways we depend on electric power from charging our cell phones and other communication technologies to keeping our food at safe temperatures to powering medical devices like dialysis and breathing machines.
As with any solar project, the best way to get started is to schedule an appointment with a trained solar consultant to determine how much power you need to have access to during an extended disruption in the grid. While it may be comforting to imagine that your battery system will allow life to go on as usual, your battery system will be designed to keep your essential services operating. This type of system is designed as a temporary back-up, not an off-grid solution.
After estimating the amount of power needed, your consultant will calculate the amount of battery storage needed and explain the different option available. Your specific needs with help your consultant determine which one to recommend for your project.
To get the most value from your solar panel system, it’s best to incorporate the battery back-up with the initial installation. Act now, and you will have your system in place when before fall and winter storms have you shivering in the dark!