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:
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
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
Monitor your system to control your energy consumption
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.