Why Does My Power Still Go Out During an Outage if I Have Solar Power?

When there’s a power outage, your solar panels will stop working. There are a few reasons why, and there’s also a way to keep power flowing during an outage if you have solar panels installed.

Technical Reasons Solar Panel Systems Stop Working in Outages

The first reason your solar panel system stops working is technical. Solar panels adjust current and voltage as the sun moves across the sky, and output varies throughout the day. In a grid-connected system, any power produced by the panels must be a) used immediately; b) stored in a backup battery storage system; c) put onto the grid-at-large where it can be used by others; or d) wasted. If solar panels were connected directly to a home’s electrical system, it could cause problems such as blinking lights, damaged appliances and more.

Safety Reason

The other reason power goes out in homes with solar panel systems during an outage is related to safety. GVEC repair crews couldn’t safely work to repair damaged lines during an outage with power still flowing along the grid through connected solar panels. The reason is that these systems, if still powered up, can create a phenomenon known as backfeed. Backfeeds can cause dangerous power flow that could lead to severe shocks or even electrocution for Cooperative line crews working to restore power. For this reason, there are laws requiring that solar panel systems be shut down during power outages. Even if those laws didn’t exist, however, GVEC would not expose our line crews to dangerous backfeeds; we would still make sure power was cut to all solar units along our grid during an outage.

Battery Backup

With a battery storage solution like Tesla Powerwall from GVEC Home, solar owners can now keep power flowing inside their home even during an outage. How much of your home you keep powered during an outage with Powerwall is up to you. You can limit backup power to a single room or area and select appliances/devices; or, with additional Powerwalls, you can keep power flowing to additional rooms/areas or even to the entire home.

Texas Solar Power Experts

At GVEC Home, we stand behind our products and work. We offer a 25-year warranty on every solar panel system sold and a 10-year warranty on labor. We’ll also help you with acquiring all necessary permits and approvals for proper installation of your panels. We offer convenient, flexible financing options, too, including an on-bill option for Cooperative members with qualifying credit. Our systems will save you money on energy bills, with even greater savings if you pair one with Powerwall. If you’re interested in knowing more or have decided solar is right for you, call us at 855-898-8807. We’d be delighted to help get you started on an alternative-energy lifestyle.