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Will my solar power system still generate power during a blackout?


A lot of people hope, and sometimes misunderstand, that solar will support them still in the blackout. If, under normal circumstances where you do not have a battery, there's a blackout, your solar invertor will cutoff. It's a safety mechanism. The reason that is, is that the linesman on the other side of the line does not expect electricity to come from the line that is not the power line from the power station. So you could actually theoretically kill somebody if the solar is still feeding back out into the grid while there's a blackout. So for that reason, you have to have it cut off, so your house will be black like everybody else.

Nevertheless, now batteries are coming down in pricing, and if you put a battery in with a backup system, then you will still be within the power. The grid will be cut off still through the safety mechanisms, but you will actually be able to support the whole house, and so you will be what's called in off grid mode. Naturally, you'll then have to watch your consumption, because while you're off grid, I mean if it takes two or three hours, no problem, but if you're down and out three or four days, then you have to really treat your batteries with respect.

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