Primer

Islandable Solar-PV For Power Outages

With the right technology, a grid-connected solar-electric system can still provide electricity during power outages.

March 29, 2013

Many people assume that an onsite renewable-energy system will give you power during a utility outage. That’s not necessarily the case.

The vast majority of PV systems today are grid-connected. If the grid goes down, these systems not only leave houses dark at night but also won’t deliver electricity when the sun is shining. This is in part a safety precaution to protect utility workers repairing downed lines.

For access to solar-generated electricity during power outages—a feature of resilient design—there are three options today.