Can You Lose Power With Solar Panels

Can You Lose Power With Solar Panels?

There are many reasons people are installing solar panels on their homes these days. Some of the main ones are:

  • They significantly cut down the amount you’ll pay for electricity.
  • They can increase the value of your home.
  • They are a source of sustainable energy that is good for the environment.

One other big reason people choose solar is they don’t want to deal with power outages. Power outages happen all over the country. While Texas gets a lot of the headlines due to its unreliable power grid, power outages occur all over for all sorts of reasons.

And it’s no fun being stuck at home without power. This is why many people, perhaps while sitting in a dark home waiting for the power to come back on, think about solar as a way to keep the lights on the next time power in the neighborhood goes out.

This is why a common question many have is, “can you lose power with solar panels?”

So, how about it? Will installing solar keep you from losing power, or can you still find yourself in the dark? Find out below!

Can You Lose Power With Solar Panels?

The short answer to this question is that it depends. 

It depends on the type of solar system you install on your home. And it also depends on whether or not you get a solar battery storage unit along with your solar panels.

Let’s look at a few different scenarios here.

Solar Panels + Battery Backup System

One is if you have solar panels along with a battery backup system. With a system like this, you should not lose power. 

When an outage is detected, a solar installation that includes batteries will “island,” which means it will disconnect itself from the grid. This is in contrast to solar installations that do not have batteries, known as grid-tied solar systems. 

Your mini solar island will continue to power your home and charge the batteries during the day. Then it will discharge them during the night to power your home as long as the blackout continues to be in effect. As long as you have sufficient battery capacity, you should be able to keep operating like this even if there is no power for a very long time.

Solar Panels Only On a Grid-Tied Home

Another scenario is if you do not have a battery backup system, but you do have solar panels, and your home is tied to the local electric grid. 

In this case, if the power goes out in your neighborhood, you can lose power even though you have solar panels. This is because your grid-tied solar system will shut off automatically for safety reasons. 

Most residential solar power systems are programmed to turn themselves off when the power goes out. This prevents the systems from sending power back into the wires, which could have been the cause of the power failure in the first place.

Also, when workers from utility companies are repairing downed power lines, this will protect them from the risk of being exposed to high voltage.

Off-Grid Solar Panels Only

Another scenario is if you live off-grid and your home is not connected to the local electric grid. In this case, your system will be unaffected and will continue to operate as usual if the power grid in your area goes out.

Without batteries, however, you will not have power once the sun sets since your system won’t have the solar energy it needs to produce power. But, during the day, you will not lose power if your system is totally off-grid.

Bottom Line

So, if you want to make sure you keep the power on at all times, you’ll need to get a battery backup system with your solar panels. Because, if you only have panels, you may find yourself without power.