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How a Battery Backup System Keeps the Power On when the Grid Goes Down


One of the most important questions that homeowners and business owners ask is: "will I have power in a blackout?"


This inquiry is even more pressing now than in years past due to the widespread increase in severe weather events such as hurricanes, tornados, floods and fires, combined with the fact that the country's aging utility grid infrastructure was not designed to handle such enormous and constant demand. Research by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has found that the U.S. experiences more blackouts lasting more than one hour than any other developed nation — and the frequency and duration has steadily climbed over the last decade.


More Brownouts and Blackouts are the Norm


Ultimately, this means that we can no longer exclusively rely on the power company to always "keep the lights on." Rolling brownouts and frequent blackouts are the norm, not the exception — especially in South Florida. Understandably, this is causing homeowners to be concerned about the safety of their family and the security of their property and assets, while it also causes business owners to worry about the costs they must absorb when operations are interrupted for hours or days — as was the case for approximately 60,000 FPL customers in September 2017 who were without power for a 11 days in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. 


The good news is that homeowners and business owners can be proactive by installing a photovoltaic (PV) solar electric system with a battery backup system.
How a Battery Backup System Works


A photovoltaic solar electric system generates power for home or business use, and excess energy is sold back to the utility grid. During an outage (i.e. when the utility grid is unavailable for any reason), the backup inverter switches on and powers a critical load subpanel, which in turn provides power to essential appliances and equipment, such as lights, phones, computers, well pumps, and so on. When the utility grid resumes operation, the battery backup system switches off, and essentially hands back control to the primary photovoltaic solar electric system.  


Automatic Switching


One of the most important features of a backup battery system is that everything happens automatically. Switching from the photovoltaic solar electric system during an outage and switching back after grid power is restored is fully automated. There is nothing for homeowners or business owners to do, or to worry about.


Case Study: True Solar Powered Fly In B & B


The Harrimans team recently had the privilege of helping one of their customers become the first ever solar powered fly in bed and breakfast in Sarasota.  The state-of-the-art 22Kw system that was installed, which powers both the B&B and airplane hangar, is comprised of:

• (62) 355-watt solar electric (photovoltaic) panels.
• (3) SolarEdge Storedge power Inverters.
• (2) LG lithium ion storage batteries that provide seamless electric power in the event of an outage.


For Mr. Carter, the owner of the True Fly In B&B, a reliable battery backup system was a top priority given that power outages are common in rural areas east of Sarasota. Furthermore, thanks to recent breakthroughs in lithium ion technology, Mr. Carter and his team can expect more than a decade of battery life.


Learn More


To learn more about the advantages and benefits of installing a photovoltaic (PV) solar electric system with a battery backup system, contact Harrimans today. Your consultation with us is free, and remember: unlike some other companies, we are a 100% all-inclusive contactor. From roof measurements, design, engineering, permitting, installation and final inspection, our experts handle everything without using sub-contractors. This allows us to provide our customers with exceptional value, total quality, unbeatable service, rapid responsiveness, and full accountability — every step of the way!