June 25, 2020
Outside of a house with a tesla powerwall

As the electricity grid ages in both Texas and Colorado, and electricity use continues to rise in our homes, more and more homeowners are preparing for an increase in power outages, blackouts, and brownouts. Backup generators have been the go-to for keeping the lights on in an outage, but as solar panel and solar energy storage technology has advanced in recent decades, solar backup batteries have become the more reliable and sustainable option for backup power and energy security. 

Still on the fence about which is right for your home? Here are the main differences between solar batteries and backup generators, and why investing in the right backup power option for your house can offer more benefits than you might think!

Weighing the Pros & Cons

In order to properly make the right decision for you home, let’s take a look at how each system works, and the pros and cons that come with each.  Let’s start with the traditional generator for backup power:

Backup Generators

A backup generator utilizes combustion to create electricity. Backup generators can include automatic sensors that will detect an outage as soon as it occurs and turn on automatically, or they can be manually switched on during a power outage. Backup generators can be connected to a natural gas or propane line, or manually filled with diesel gas. 

Backup Generator Pros:

  • Keep the lights on during an outage

  • Integration with your existing electrical system

  • Less expensive upfront than a battery backup system

Backup Generator Cons:

  • Utilizes fossil fuels 

  • Increased natural gas costs, even when not in use

  • Higher maintenance costs - most whole-home generators should be serviced within the first 25 hours of operation

  • Noisy operation

  • Exhaust fumes and other air pollutants

Solar Battery Backup

If you are already familiar with how solar panels work, you may be wondering, “Will solar panels keep my lights on during an outage?” A traditional grid-tied system of solar PV panels is required to include a safety shutoff mechanism that protects powerline workers from unexpected shock during an outage. This is where battery energy storage comes in. 

A backup battery like Tesla Powerwall saves the excess energy produced from your solar panels, so you can access your renewable energy when the sun is down (overnight), during peak charging periods, or during a power outage.  

In an outage, Tesla Powerwall will immediately disconnect from the grid and starts to power your home in less than a fraction of a second (100x faster than a standard generator). Also, with Powerwall, your solar panels can continue to generate energy and charge your solar battery.  

Solar Battery Pros:

  • Keep the lights on during an outage (with no lag time)

  • Access to renewable energy 24/7, even without an outage

  • In many cases, 100% elimination of all electricity costs

  • Available tax incentives and financial benefits

  • Monitor your system to control your energy consumption

  • Quiet operation

Solar Battery Cons:

  • Higher initial cost than whole-home generators or portable generators but lifetime savings can offset the initial upfront costs

Need Help Choosing the Right Backup Power System?

If you have already considered investing in solar energy for your home in San Antonio, Austin, Laredo, or Rio Grande Valley, Texas, as well as Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, or Pueblo, Colorado, investing in a solar battery backup system will offer many more benefits than a backup generator. 

Not only will you be able to say goodbye to power outages, but you can also say goodbye to your electricity bill! CAM Solar is an authorized installer of Tesla home battery products, like Tesla Powerwall, and can help you choose the right battery module and design for your home.

Ready to choose a solar battery backup for your home? Schedule a free solar storage quote with CAM Solar by calling 210-227-3456 or get in touch here.

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