Most renewable energy systems are grid-tied systems, meaning that they do not include batteries. These systems are the most cost effective, reliable, and simple alternative energy systems available to the consumer. However, utility power must be present for them to function. Therefore, when there is a power outage, the inverter has to follow UL 1741 code and will shut down, which ultimately means the renewable energy system shuts down and will not produce power. UL 1741 says that the energy generating facility must shut down and isolate itself from the grid so power from the solar panel or wind power system does not back feed onto the utility grid potentially injuring the lineman working on the utility grid to restore power.
When you have a battery backup system, you will designate certain circuits and appliances to function when the grid power is lost. The renewable energy system will use the sunlight or cloudy ambient light to recharge the battery bank which is supplying power to the emergency load panel. The emergency load panel will consist of the circuits you want to run during a power outage.
The size of the battery bank (# of batteries) is determined by the emergency loads you want to run during a power outage and how many days you want to survive without sunshine to recharge the battery bank. In most cases, our customers will only want to run the very minimum loads to survive. The following loads are typically included in a grid tie battery backup system: well pump, sump pump, refrigerator, chest freezer, and a few lights & outlets. Running an AC unit or a furnace requires too much power resulting in a very large battery bank and thousands of dollars. The other item we sometimes consider is the hot water tank which depends on the customer’s budget and preference of emergency loads to run during a power outage.
At Ohio Power Solutions, we will professionally design a solar grid tied system with battery backup power for your home, business, or farm. We will need to know exactly what emergency loads you will want to run during a power outage and what the power requirements are for each of the loads that you wish to run.
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