Do Solar Panels Work During A Power Outage

You might shift your power system to solar energy for various reasons. It can save money and the environment and make a foundation for your sustainable lifestyle. Do solar panels work during a power outage?

Whether solar panels work during a power outage depends on the system's design. Grid-tied systems provide clean and green energy; however, there is no electricity during a power outage.

However, if you employ a solar generator to harness solar energy, you can use the stored power in case of power outages. The second option is going completely off-grid. We will discuss this further in the coming sections.

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus

 2-24 kWh of expandable capacity as home backup power.

 Fast charging. Takes only 2 hours to charge with solar panels fully.

 2-24 kWh of expandable capacity

 High power and can support heavy-duty devices up to 6000W.

 Multiple devices can be connected simultaneously.

Do Solar Panels Work During A Power Outage

The answer depends on how you have configured your system. When you have installed your solar panels on your property, it generates solar energy even when there is a power outage. However, if you have a tier-tied system, you cannot use solar energy in power outages, even if you have a battery-backed system.  

A tier-tied system is where you are connected to the electric grid in your area. It means you will use the power from your utility company when the solar panels are not generating, whether at night or in the rainy season. It also works the other way, i.e., when your solar panels make more electricity than your requirements, you can send it back to the grid.

How do solar panels work during a power outage? Most solar systems are designed to go off during power outages for safety concerns. The purpose is to avoid injury by the live voltage to the workers working on the grid.

What Happened During Power Outage

Power outages are becoming more frequent and are very inconvenient. Various reasons, including weather-related issues and technical problems, cause power outages. Lightning, heavy winds, snow and storms can all cause damage to the transmission lines and equipment. Also, car accidents and animals can be the causes. Recently, hurricanes and other natural disasters have become more frequent; thus, long power outages spanning over days and weeks occur.

The very obvious question after this discussion is, do solar panels work during a power outage? Let us see how solar panels work. When the sunlight hits the solar panels, it passes through inverters, and they convert it to electricity. Though grid power has nothing to do with power generation through solar panels, you can still not use solar power in a power outage. You might wonder how solar panels work during a power outage and why it shuts down.

The reason for this shutting down is the safety concerns for the utility workers. They are working on the power lines to fix the issues causing the power outage with the assumption that the lines are dead. Now, if your solar system starts passing through the same lines, it can injure the workers and also cause damage to the lines.

How to Use Solar Panels During Power Outage

When a power outage occurs, you will need an alternate power source. It can be an off-grid, grid-tied, battery backup, solar, or gas generator. We will discuss all these options in detail to help you make an informed decision.

Off-Grid System

An off-grid system is an independent and sustainable solar power setup not connected to the electrical grid. Consequently, they are more expensive as you will need more solar panels and fat battery storage.

Another factor to consider is planning for cloudy and rainy weather when the sun is not shining bright enough. You will need a generator if batteries are low and your solar panels are not producing enough electricity.

Grid-Tied System

A grid-tied system is a hybrid system powered by solar panels, which are also connected to the grid. These systems do not need a battery system as in case the solar panels are not producing enough electricity, you can get extra from the grid. However, in case of a power outage from the grid, your solar system will also shut down to ensure the safety of workers. So, if you ask do solar panels work during a power outage in a grid-tied system, the answer is no.

Also, grid-tied systems feed extra solar power back to the main grid, and you receive credits on the power bill. 

Battery Backup System

A battery backup system has a backup power system using lithium-ion batteries. The extra power produced by the solar panels is saved in the batteries that are used later. The extra energy is credited back to the grid when the batteries are full. The plus point of a battery-backed system is that you can switch to batteries in case of a power outage. Do solar panels work during a power outage in a battery backup system? Yes. 

Solar Generator

Solar generators are a combination of power stations and solar panels. They are great options as you can use live solar energy when the sun is shining and charge the solar generator to use it otherwise.

The plus point is that solar generators like Jackerty are lightweight and compact. Hence, they are ideal for camping, RVing, kayaking and other adventures. You can also use them as power backups in case of outages.

Solar Generator

Gas Generator

Gas generators are an option for longer power outages and emergency backups. However, proper installation and care are required to operate these generators. Be careful never to use them indoors as they emit fumes and are prone to get heat up.

 

Pros

Cons

Off-Grid System

1. Completely independent and sustainable.

2. Work in power outages.

3. It can be installed in remote areas.

1. Expensive to install.

2. No backup in case solar panels are not producing enough power.

Grid-Tied System

1. Extra power is available from the grid if solar energy is insufficient.

2. Surplus solar energy can be credited back to the grid.

3. Less expensive than off-grid.

1. Grid-tied systems shut off in case of a power outage.

2. No battery storage.

Solar Generator

1. Multi-purpose and portable.

2. Work in power outages.

3. Quiet and low maintenance

1. Limited power capacity.

2. Slow recharging

Gas Generator

1. Portable and compact.

2. Work as an emergency backup.

3. No dependency on weather.

1. Noise and fumes.

2. Fossil fuel usage.

3. It can be expensive if used for a longer span.

4. Not safe

How Much Solar Power Does Home Outage Need

A portable solar generator uses solar panels to capture the solar energy and then store it in a battery for later use. Solar power is an environmentally friendly option that is also noise and fumes-free. Thus it is a very safe option to be used even indoors.

Since it is portable and lightweight, it can also be included in outdoor adventures, camping and others.

An average house uses 886 kWh monthly or 30 kWh daily in the US. Though in case of a power outage, you can only power the most critical appliances.

Home Appliances

Estimated Watts

Using Time

Solar Power Needed

Kitchen

Refrigerator

300W

8H

2400Wh

Kettle

850W

30Minutes

425Wh

Induction Cooker

2300W

2H

4600Wh

Electric Oven

1600W

1H

1600Wh

Living Room

TV

60-100W

2H

120-200Wh

Portable Air Conditioner

1150W

 4H

 4600Wh

Bedroom

CPAP

40W

8H

320Wh

Space Heater

1500W

3H

4500Wh

Lights

100W

8H

800Wh

Laundry

Clothes Washer

800W

2H

1600Wh

Iron

1200W

2H

2400Wh

Office

Laptop

100W

8H

800 Wh

Modem

7W

8H

56 Wh

printer

100W

2H

200Wh

Jackery Solar Generators: Best Power Outage Backup

The Jackery solar generators have set a high-quality standard, ease of use and after-sales service. They offer a wide range of quality products in different power capacities, which are very safe, fluctuation free, noise and fumes free, and provide high solar energy to electrical power conversion.

Do solar panels work during a power outage? They do, but can you use this solar energy during a power outage? It depends on the configured system. The Jackery solar generators offer you a perfect alternative in case of power outages. Here are some features that make these generators the best option.

  • Leading BMS (Battery Management System) provides 12 layers of protection to safeguard against short circuits, voltage spikes, and much more. Hence your appliances remain safe, and there is no safety issue.
  • The MPPT technology maximizes energy extraction and ensures 99% solar charging.
  • Multiple charging options including solar panels, carport and AC outlet. It also offers fast charging and takes only 2-4 hours to reach complete charging using solar panels.

Solar Generator 3000 Pro

Solar generator 3000 Pro offers 3024Wh capacity, which is a large number for a solar generator, and it can power most of the equipment you will be using in a power outage. It has a strong build, so you can easily use them even in extreme weather. Its BMS and MPPT technology offers fast charging and protection against overcharging, fluctuations and quiet operation.

Customers say;

The Jackery solar generator 3000 pro is an all-in-one solution for many purposes. I use it as a backup for power outages, as in our area, outages become longer when hurricanes occur. This generator can power my refrigerator, laptop, TV, microwave, etc.

Solar Generator 3000 Pro

Solar Generator 2000 Plus

Solar generator 2000 plus offers an expandable capacity of 2-24 kWh, which can power even high requirements of 6000W. Its advanced IBC technology ensures fast solar charging that takes only 2 hours. It is a great value for money as its LiFePO4 Battery gives you a 10-Year lifespan while its technology boosts battery life by 50%.

Customer says;

I am not technical and will hit my 70s in the next two years. So, ease of use and safety are the biggest concerns I have. My solar generator 2000 Plus has no noise or fumes; I can see the charging status on the screen and know what is happening.

Solar Generator 2000 Plus

Solar Generator 2000 Pro

Solar generator 2000 Pro gives you excellent figures of 2160Wh capacity, 2200W Inverter (4400W Surge). This lightweight and compact equipment can be taken on outdoor excursions, camping, etc. It can power even large appliances, including microwaves, ovens, TVs, refrigerators, etc.

Customers say;

My best purchase for my outdoor adventures. I go camping and kayaking frequently, but I must be connected to my workplace. This generator keeps my laptop charged, my camp lightened, and also my GPS equipment fully working. A great investment!

Solar Generator 2000 Plus

Series

Capacity

Ports

Recharge Time

Home Appliances

Solar Generator 3000 Pro

 3024Wh

AC Output(x1):

120V~ 60Hz 25A Max

Solar Panel: 3-4 Hours

AC Adapter:

2.4 Hours

Car Adapter:

35 Hours

 

Refrigerator(300W)

TV (60 W)

Heater(1800 W)

Washing Machine(500W)

Stove(800W)

Air Conditioner(1000W)

AC Output(x3):

120V~ 60Hz 20A Max

USB-C Output(x2):

100W Max, 5V⎓3A, 9V⎓3A, 12V⎓3A, 15V⎓3A, 20V⎓5A

Car Port(x1):

12V,10A Max

AC Input:

120V, 60Hz, 15A Max

DC Input:

2x DC 8mm Ports:

11-17.5V (Working Voltage)⎓8A Max, Double to 8A Max; 17.5-60V (Working Voltage)⎓12A, Double to 24A/1400W Max

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus

 

 

2042.8Wh

AC Output(×4):

120V~ 60Hz, 20A Max

Solar Panel: 2 Hours

AC Adapter: 2 Hours

Car Port: 25 Hours

TV (60 W)

Heater(1800 W)

Washing Machine(500W)

Stove(800W)

Air Conditioner(1000W)

Electric Pressure Cooker

(1080W)

 

 

AC Output(×1)

120V~ 60Hz, 25A Max

USB-A Output(x2)

Quick Charge 3.0, 18W Max

USB-C Output(x2)

100W Max, (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 5A)

Car Port(x1)

12V⎓10A

AC Input

120V, 60Hz, 15A Max

DC Input

11V-17.5V, 8A Max, Double to 8A Max 17.5V-60V, 12A Max, Double to 24A/1400W Max

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro

2160Wh

AC Output(x3)

120V, 60Hz, 2,200W (4,400W Peak)

Solar Panel: 5.5  Hours

AC Adapter: 2 Hours

Car Port: 24 Hours

TV (60 W)

Heater(1800 W)

Washing Machine(500W)

Stove(800W)

Air Conditioner(1000W)

Coffee Maker

(1120W)

Microwave

(700W)

Branch Crusher

(1800W)

USB-A Output(x2)

Quick Charge 3.0, 18W Max

USB-C Output(x2)

100W Max, (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 5A)

CarPort(x1)

12V⎓10A

AC Input

120V, 60Hz, 15A Max

DC Input

11V-17.5V, 8A Max, Double to 8A Max 17.5V⎓60V, 12A, Double to 24A/1400W Max

FAQs

1) What size of solar generator do I need when there are power outages?

The required size of the solar generator depends on what devices you want to run during the power outage and for how long. You will find the operating wattage of your device in the manual or product label.

How to calculate the working hours:

Working time = Capacity Wh of your solar generator * 0.85 / operating wattage of your device

For example, if the power consumption of all your devices is 100W.

Solar generator 1000Pro Working time will be 1002Wh * 0.85 / 100w = 5.01 hrs.

We incorporate a 15% efficiency loss during transmission to make the estimate more realistic. Multiplying the capacity by 0.85 means, we are using 85% capacity for calculation.

2) Do solar panels work on cloudy days? Do solar panels work at night?

Solar panels may not work efficiently on cloudy days because the sunlight is not strong enough. Also, they do not generate power at all at night. Hence, if you have configured your system to use live solar power only, it is unavailable at night. The solution to this problem is a battery-backed system or solar generator.

3) How many solar panels do I need for my home?

The key factors determining how many solar panels you need are regular energy usage, panel wattage and production ratios. You can determine the average usage by adding the average wattage of all the equipment you will use and for how long. The next step is to check the efficiency of your solar panels. For example,  the Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panels have a high solar conversion efficiency of 24.3%. A full load of an average house will require 15 to 18 solar panels.

Final Thoughts

With old overloaded power systems and weather changes, power outages are becoming more frequent. Solar power is the best alternative to grid power as it is a green and clean renewable energy source. Many people ask whether solar panels work during a power outage. Well, it depends on how the system is configured. Solar generators are the best choice to power your house when the power is shut. They can be used in various scenarios and capacities. The Jackery solar power generators are portable, compact, and very safe for use indoors and outdoors. They can even power large home appliances and connect various devices simultaneously. 


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