Power outages can happen at any time, for nearly any reason. Ice, snow, rain, hail, and even strong winds can temporarily knock out power. Some power companies even schedule intentional black outs to save on energy and reduce consumer electricity use. When the main electricity lines go out, you will not be able to use most of the appliances in your home.
If you have solar panel back-up power, however, you can continue running your house smoothly without problems. Solar back-up power is beneficial in every environment, but is especially useful in areas where power fails frequently, and in areas where the power can go out for days. Depending on the kind of back-up power you need, there are several options for solar power.
These solar panels charge individual batteries for individual appliance use. Users keep a collection of batteries and keep 20 or 30 of the batteries charged at once in case of emergencies. When an emergency does occur, you can attach each battery to individual appliances, to keep them running without the main power grid. The charger can cost anywhere from $200 to $1000, and each individual battery can cost anywhere between $25 and $100, depending on the size of the battery.
Solar generators work like traditional generators, only they are powered by solar electricity. Just like a traditional generator, the unit stores the electricity generated by solar panels until needed. Generators are large enough that they can power several appliances at once. A generator is ideal for keeping your entire house running until the main source of power returns. A solar power generator can cost anywhere between $1000 and $5000, depending on the amount of power output.
Another way to prevent damage from emergency power loss is to use solar-powered appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, and freezers. These solar-powered appliances connect to any form of solar power grid, and usually require less than 100 watts of power to run. The units themselves cost anywhere from $1000 to $1500. Some units come with their own solar panel, while others run off separate solar panels. A 100 watt solar panel costs around $500.
Solar Water Pumps
If you have an external source of water, such as a well, then you can also benefit from a backup water pump system. Solar water pumps pull the water from the well using solar energy. Solar water pumps are ideal for keeping animals hydrated in times without power, and can also supply your family with clean water in case your plumbing is unable to perform properly. Solar water pumps cost anywhere between $500 and $1500.
Have you used solar energy during an emergency? What tips can you offer our readers?