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POPULAR MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT USING SOLAR ENERGY OR ANY ALTERNATIVE POWER FOR YOUR HOME
“I Have Solar So I’m Protected in a Grid Outage” —
well….Let’s take a closer look…
If you have Solar on your home or intend to use a generator during a grid outage you will not have power…unless you have installed a component called a Transfer switch.
The primary reason is safety of lineman trying to restore power for customers. Your solar energy system is outfitted with a block during a grid outage to eliminate the possibility of your solar energy power being upconverted into HIGH VOLTAGE while linemen are working to restore power.
When you use a Transfer Switch, it keeps the power inside your house preventing it from being returned to the grid while repairs are taking place.
There are several variations of these units and they essentially fall into two categories.
The first is called a whole-house transfer switch and the other is called a protected circuit transfer switch.
The whole-house switch is typically mated to a large battery or generator rated at 14 kWh, 22 kWh or even a 39 kWh to maintain seamless power even if the grid outage occurs at night.
A whole-house transfer switch is routinely used with large generators like GENERAC or CHAMPION or KOHLERS or a large battery wall like TESLA, LG CHEM, Enphase, and others and might even include your own DIY battery bank using the latest LiFePO4 batteries.
A whole-house transfer switch will run about $3,000 installed (your are may be higher or lower) and are usually installed with a generator or battery backup system otherwise there is little value in having one.
As EV’s become more commonplace, they actually have very large batteries – a 100kW battery is not uncommon for an EV that can run 400 plus miles without a recharge. So guess what? You CAN use your EV as the battery backup system for your home in an emergency if you have a Transfer Switch!
The transfer switch frankly doesn’t know the difference between an EV battery in your car (and now trucks like the new Ford F-150E) or a Energy Wall battery system or a generator.
Each home is different though in terms of layout and sizing.
Using a transfer switch with a battery or generator may vary from something as small as portable gas generator running 4500 watts to 8500 watts to support 30 Amps of power needs; to a larger whole-house 200 Amp transfer switch system using as I mentioned above, a large battery wall and/or a 22 kW or 39 kW generator.
We typically use these larger generator systems which are feed with natural gas or propane, in severe weather areas like the Gulf Coast, during hurricanes or the upper Mid-west with severe ice storms, where power can be down for weeks on end.
You may recognize some of the photos of popular transfer switches being used today – (see on the Right)
Protected Circuit Transfer Switch
A Protected Circuit Transfer Switch is typically used in areas that have a more stable grid and where interruptions may only occur for 3-4 hours at a time, versus 3-4 weeks, and will target primary importance circuits like furnace, water pumps, refrigerators, etc. When we use a protected circuit transfer switch we only need to focus on 8-10 power circuits which will typicalyl only need 30-50 Amps of power resources.
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BTW – if you are looking for a certain product or product technology not currently on the Solar Marketplace, message us and request it to be added, we likely have a special price discount available for you and others who might be looking for similar solutions.
Look for a number of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries and power wall options coming soon, as parts and component availability have finally recovered from last year’s amazing world-wide impact to product availability.