Top Backup Options for Your Solar Power System

You are thinking about making the wise choice and installing solar panels into your home, warehouse, or office building, but are left wondering – what happens when there is no sun? Luckily, a solar panel power system offers a multitude of backup options for those less than sunny days. Two of the most common backup options for solar power systems include generators and batteries. Although both provide reliable and safe production of power in the rare case that solar energy simply isn’t an option, they have their benefits and drawbacks when it comes to maximizing power output, maintenance, home compatibility, ease of use, and more. In this article, we will delve into the details of both generators and batteries as backup options for your solar power system.

Battery Backups for Solar Power Generation

Batteries are a very popular option for homeowners looking for a sleek and subdued option to store power. Not only are batteries relatively straightforward to install, but they can hide in plain sight. The way that solar battery backups work involves storing excess energy that is generated by the solar panels, and that is not needed at that point in time. Solar backup batteries can then hold onto that stored energy that is taken in when the sun is high and bright, and release it during the night time or on a cloudy day. This energy can then be used to power light fixtures, appliances, and anything else that you would generally power with your solar panels. Some people, in fact, will go as far as to completely rely on their batteries and solar power to disconnect from the grid entirely – resulting in a completely self-sustaining electricity system built straight into their home or building. Today’s backup batteries work just like any typical battery – they are rechargeable by the sun’s power, they can store the power for at several years depending on the type of battery, and can then output that electricity when needed. On the rare occasion that the Texas sun isn’t shining, you can rely on a backup battery to power your home for at least 24 hours at a time. 

The benefits of battery backups for solar power generation go beyond looks and usability, however, and can also include the cost savings and peace of mind that you are using clean energy and reducing your carbon emissions. If used correctly, battery backup systems, along with an effective solar power system installation, can save you and your family or business thousands of dollars down the line. Electricity bills can often be very pricey and even volatile depending on where you live. Reducing your energy bills with solar power coupled with stored power via a battery is a surefire way to reduce your dependency on electricity companies and their power to charge an arm and a leg for proper electricity.

This cost savings goes hand-in-hand with energy security – meaning how resilient your home is when it comes to the use of energy. High energy security refers to a condition in which you have reliable available energy at all times. A solar power structure coupled with a battery backup will allow for just that, and make sure that you are never left without power. At Texas Solar Guys, we specialize in securing solar power solutions with battery backups throughout Texas to ensure that you are never left without electricity, which is so vital in our daily lives. 

An additional advantage of battery backups for solar power solutions is the noise pollution – or lack thereof. Unlike other power solutions including generators, battery backups are able to store power without any noise whatsoever. Not only can this give you and your family more peace of mind, but it can also make you a better neighbor. This a very unique benefit to battery backups specifically and can mean the difference between choosing a battery over a generator when you need backup solutions for your solar panels at home. 

While the battery backup option has a multitude of benefits for solar energy storage, it does, of course, have its drawbacks as well. The biggest and most obvious drawback of battery storage is the upfront cost. Battery backups can be pricey in the short run, but this price tag shouldn’t scare you away. At Texas Solar Guys, we will work with you to find a battery backup that works well with your budget, as well as show you how that battery will pay itself off in the years to come. While the upfront cost of a battery backup can be high for solar energy storage, it is still the most cost effective way to generate and store energy throughout the life of one’s home. Another potential drawback is the maintenance and lifespan that a battery backup requires. Unlike a generator, a battery at year 50 will unfortunately not be as effective as a battery at year 0. However, batteries are getting much more efficient with time and these drawbacks have decreased significantly. Maintenance can also be something to take into consideration. While it heavily depends on the type of battery, some batteries require routine maintenance to ensure their efficiency and working capacity. Despite these, battery backups still prove to be a top option for energy backup storage when used in conjunction with solar panels. Their viability, ease of use, and energy mobility make them a superior backup option for someone who is getting a substantive portion of their energy from solar panels.

Generator Backups for Solar Power Generation

Another popular option for backup energy storage is a generator. Unlike a battery backup, you only need a single generator to get your home back up and running in the case there is no solar energy available. Standby generators are often the first thing that comes to one’s mind in the event of a power outage. They can typically be found in-store and are a relatively simple way to add a backup energy option. 

One of the biggest reasons why generators are so popular for energy backup storage is because of their accessibility. With advancements in technology, the market has witnessed an influx of generators that are both powerful and compact, making it a logical addition to your home when in need of additional power. Their broad distribution network and installation know-how have made them easy to find and work on as well, and this popularity has also brought their cost down significantly. As a backup storage option for solar energy, generators also do not require the same level of upfront investment that batteries do. The lower initial cost is a great upside for those who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money upfront, or only need to use the generator sporadically throughout the year. Unlike a battery that can store energy, a generator must be running in order to provide power. That being said, it can provide continual power as long as you have access to the fuel type for you generator.

When looking to install a generator as a power backup for your solar system, it is also important to consider the size and type of generator that best suits the needs of your home or building. Generators come in a variety of sizes, from small portable units to large stationary models. Choosing a different size and type of generator can mean the difference of it being more worthy to spend your money on a generator versus a battery backup.  It is also important to consider the fuel type, as some generators require specific types of fuel such as high octane gasoline or diesel. Additionally, you should consider the noise level of the generator, as some models can be quite loud. Modern generators manufacturers, however, have managed to reduce the noise, making them much more neighborhood friendly. Finally, make sure to choose a generator that is compatible with your solar system and meets all safety requirements. Our solar panel specialists at Texas Solar Guys will work with you and your home to find the generator that best suits your solar system, home space, and power requirement. 

Is a Battery or Generator Right For You?

When it comes to backup options for a solar system, batteries and generators are by far the two most common solutions. While they each have their benefits and drawbacks, they are also very different in nature. Batteries are all about power storage, while generators center around the idea of power production when needed. Because of their differing uses, batteries will tend to be much more quiet than generators – in fact, they make no noise at all! Generators on the other hand can produce some level of noise depending on the type and size. Installing a battery can be daunting at times because of the higher upfront costs, but will likely save you money in the long run, while generators are relatively cheap but require additional inputs throughout their lives. 

In the end, whether it is a battery or a generator, your power backup solution depends completely on your preferences, the solar system you have installed, and your environment. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to solar system backups, which is why our technicians at Texas Solar Guys will work with you to find the perfect fit and ensure a perfect installation process.