Solar Battery vs. Whole Home Generator—Which is Right for Me?
There is no shortage of reasons why Arizona homeowners are looking to gain greater energy independence. From preventing power outages, to reducing reliance on the grid, avoiding peak demand charging. to just simply having control of your own energy whether fully off-grid or grid-tied with behind-the-meter power generation.
For backup power in times of a power outage, many homeowners right here in the greater Phoenix area need access to life-saving electronic medical equipment or consistent refrigeration for medications. Some homeowners prefer to keep a backup power option to run necessary safety equipment or home essentials, like a well pump or security system, and some homeowners don’t want to say goodbye to all the food in their freezer every time the power goes out. Whatever your reason for needing an independent backup solution for your home electricity. you likely find yourself at the crossroads of choosing between a whole-home generator vs a solar battery backup system. Each type of system has its pros and cons—here is what the solar installation experts at SouthFace Solar want you to know about choosing between battery-assisted solar power or a generator.
Powered Backup Generators
If you’ve ever heard a low hum coming from a neighbor’s house when the power goes out, you were likely hearing the hum of a backup generator. These are combustion-based generators that provide electricity by burning a fossil fuel like natural gas or propane. Backup generators can be designed to turn on automatically when an outage is detected, or manually turned on when needed. The cost of backup generator installation depends on how large your home is and what kind of appliances you would like to keep operational during an outage.
The Benefits of a Whole-Home Backup Generator:
- On-demand backup power
- Lower installation costs compared to other backup options
- Can utilize an existing gas line
- Can be added to a home with or without solar
While backup generators are a popular choice for backup power, there are some drawbacks to using this type of system. They can be particularly noisy (if you related to hearing the low hum, you understand!), they require regular maintenance and will incur gas costs, even if you don’t need to use them, and they burn fossil fuels that create harmful carbon emissions.
Solar Battery Backup
Solar battery backup. also known as solar battery storage, is a battery that can store and disperse the renewable electricity generated by solar panels. You may have heard about solar battery products like the Tesla solar battery, Tesla Powerwall. A solar battery system is best combined with a new or existing system of solar PV panels and an inverter, and can be designed to operate in conjunction with the electrical grid or independent of the grid. These are called on-grid and off-grid systems, respectively. Batteries can also be used without solar but will need to be charged by an energy source like from the electricity grid.
Home solar battery storage ensures that your home uses as much of the renewable electricity coming from your solar panels as possible, and can be used during times of low solar output (like at night), during an outage, or to avoid times where electricity is more expensive (like time-of-use/peak demand charing programs).
The Benefits of Solar Battery Backup
- Automatically detects power outages
- Used to balance peak demand charges
- Qualifies for solar tax credit incentives
- Further decreases your carbon footprint when paired with solar
- Quiet operation
- Low maintenance
What’s the drawback? If you pair solar with a solar battery, you’ll have power as long as the sun is shining but what happens if you need that backup power during a cloudy week? Depending on your backup power requirements, a generator may be the better option. Also, solar battery will always vary, depending on the size of your system and what kind of solar panel battery storage system best meets the needs of you and your home. While solar battery storage system costs are higher than a backup generator, battery storage can also qualify for valuable solar incentives like tax credit savings and be used for offsetting peak demand rates.
Choosing What’s Right for You
So, which option is going to be best for your home? If you have no plans to install solar in the future and are only looking to keep your essential appliances up and running during an emergency situation, a backup generator may be the most appropriate option.
If you are looking to keep the lights on during an outage, reduce the peak electricity charges from time-of-use rates, or already have an existing solar PV system, a solar battery backup system will likely be the best option for your home.
Generac Solar Batteries
Generac has been in the business of home generators for more than six decades. The company was the first to develop low-cost standby solutions and continues to be the first in residential backup equipment. Generac manufactures batteries, inverters, power switches and other devices. They are engineered to work together as part of an integrated system that saves you money, reduces emissions and makes your home safer.
The integrated energy storage system is called PWRcell. Innovative design allows it to tap into and store both solar energy and the electricity from the grid. This way you will always have enough energy during peak demand hours, which means you have to pay less for your bills.
Generac fully integrated solar battery storage system
Generac solar battery is one of the main components of the PWRcell system, along with PV optimizers and inverters that together make a fully integrated solar and battery storage system. In its standard configuration consisting of 1 inverter and 3 lithium batteries in a battery cabinet, it provides 9 kWh of storage capacity. With unrivaled scalability and flexibility, Generac PWRcell won’t make you pay for more than you need: available options range from 9 to 36 kWh of storage capacity and from 4.5 to 11 kW continuous backup power. To handle it, you need a single Generac inverter. Thanks to an Outdoor Rated battery cabinet, the system can be installed outside under almost any conditions.
Compared to prominent competitors like Tesla and LG, PWRcell system has more to offer in terms of storage capacity, maximum continuous power and motor starting current.
In this age of connectivity we are used to receiving important information through our phones. With a PWRview home app the important data is always accessible. The monitoring platform offers detailed reports on consumption, solar generation and Generac battery performance. All data is safely stored to be available when you need it. To further enhance your experience, the app has bill forecasting functionality and other insights.
Generac solar battery has a ten year warranty or 7.56MWh throughput. The battery cabinet’s warranty is also 10 years.
What is the average price of Generac products?
A fully integrated system can put thousands of dollars back into your. making the initial investment pay off fairly quickly. The price of the system will vary depending on its characteristics. Generac estimates the total cost (including installation) of a 9 kWh PWRcell system to be around 20,000. Generac solar battery’s cost is around 2,000 for a 3 kWh module, which makes it affordable to expand your storage capacity in the future.
Why buy from us
Our store sells Generac batteries. That’s how we approach our business:
- Our warehouses are located on East and West coast of United States
- All orders are processed in 24 hours and shipped in 48 hours
- Orders are delivered by freight transport in 4-7 business days
- We sell A-grade equipment only from verified manufactures
- Affordable pricing on all solar energy equipment
- No counterfeit products
Our managers are always happy to answer any questions concerning Generac battery prices, warranties, and shipping options.
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How Generac Products Enhance and Support The Solar Energy Home.
Sunlight is converted into useful energy for buildings using a variety of ways. The most commonly used solar technologies for homes and businesses are solar photovoltaics or solar panel for electricity, passive solar design for space heating and cooling, and solar water heating.
Solar panels take advantage of one of nature’s most powerful yet free resources; solar energy. Photovoltaic systems (PV systems), often known as solar panels, use semiconductor technology to convert sunlight energy into electricity that may power your home.
But are they the best option for your home?
Installing solar panels on your home provides a one of a kind opportunity; harnessing clean energy from the sun to provide you with sufficient power supply, while also helping to lower your electric bill and giving you a claim of 26% solar tax credit. This significant incentive has already resulted in the installation of solar panels by over 2 million homeowners. On average, more than 4,000 solar panels are installed in the US each month. The growing popularity of solar panels means that the have gone down by 60% over the past decade. The of solar panels have steadily decreased over the last years, as new technologies have been discovered by top brands to make solar energy components more cost-efficient for home owners.
Generac is a brand that has been at the forefront of using the latest technology to produce some of the most energy-efficient systems used in harnessing power from the sun. It manufactures all system components in-house, ensuring each element works together in one streamlined solar energy system for your home.
In this post, we are going to be talking about how Generac products enhance and support solar energy homes. But first, let’s learn how solar energy work at home.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
When speaking about solar panels, it is important to distinguish between two main types:
- Photovoltaic panels that produce electricity
- Solar thermal panels that are used for heating purposes
Photovoltaic (PV) systems are commonly used solar panel systems in the US. Photovoltaic systems convert sunlight directly into electricity.
Solar cells are made of semiconductors, such as silicon, which absorb the sunlight and convert it into electricity. They are connected electrically and packed together in a frame, commonly known as a solar panel. When you connect multiple solar panels together, they form a solar array. And, finally, when you add the cabling, brackets, inverter, and so forth, the entire system forms your solar panel system.
The electrical conductors are attached to positive and negative terminals, thus forming an electrical circuit. From there, the electrons can be captured in the form of an electric current (electricity). This current, together with the cell’s voltage (which is a result of its built-in electric field or fields), defines the power (or wattage) that the solar cell can produce, and is how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity.
1: The solar panels convert sunlight into DC electricity.
2: The DC electricity from the solar panels are wired through a DC-switch. The DC-switch is there for safety reasons and it can be used to turn off the flow of electricity if needed.
3: The DC electricity then goes through a solar inverter that inverts the electricity from DC electricity to AC electricity.
4: Using solar battery storage is optional. Note! Solar batteries always store DC electricity. You can decide if you want to connect the battery before the inverter so you store DC electricity directly, or if you want to connect it after the inverter, which means the battery will re-convert it from AC back to DC.
5: From the solar inverter, the AC electricity flows through an electricity meter. The electricity meter measures solar electricity production, solar electricity consumption, amount of electricity bought from the grid, and amount of electricity sold to the grid.
6: From the electricity meter, the AC electricity goes to the fuse box where it is fed into the household’s electricity system.
7: Solar electricity can then be used within the household, for example to power lights and appliances.
8: The solar electricity that is not used or stored is fed to the grid. If you are registered under the Smart Export Guarantee, you can sell this surplus electricity and earn an income.
Generac Products that Enhance and Support Solar Energy Homes
It’s easy to forget how much we rely on electrical energy until a power outage leaves us in the dark. Will your home have heat or air conditioning if the electricity goes out?
Increasing energy grid failures and rising energy costs are some of the motivations for more homeowners to look into solar power generation and battery storage systems like the Generac PWRcell. Generac produces cost efficient products that are able to support, enhance and maximize the technology of solar energy at homes. Here are some Generac’s products that help to enhance solar energy at homes:
- Generac PWRcell Solar Battery Storage system
- Generac PWRGenerator
- Generac PWRManager
- Generac PWRmicro
Generac PWRcell Solar Battery Storage system
The Generac PWRcell is a fully integrated solar plus battery storage system that offers big power and a large storage capacity, so you don’t have to sacrifice convenience and comfort during a power outage. A PWRcell Solar Battery Storage system has all the power and capacity you need. It goes above and beyond the competition with up to 9kW of continuous backup power and cohesive load management for further protection. PWRcell represents the next step in Generac’s 60-year history of backup power technology leadership.
When used in conjunction with photovoltaic solar panels, the Generac PWRcell can absorb, store, and distribute solar-generated energy throughout a home, as well as charge electric vehicles (EVs).
In the event of a grid-based power loss, the Generac PWRcell can be used independently of solar panels as a power backup system.
A load management device (PWRmanager), a whole home power distribution manager (PWRcell ATS), a power cell inverter, one or more battery cabinets, and batteries comprise an integrated Generac PWRcell system (between three and six per cabinet).
Generac PWRcell Features
- Three kWh of electric output per battery, with the ability to increase power output in three kWh increments.
- Maximum of six batteries can be installed in each cabinet, for a total of 36 kWh between two battery cabinets.
- Batteries are simple to insert and remove and can be done by the owner.
- The batteries, cabinets, and inverters are covered by a 10-year warranty, which includes labor.
- On cloudy days, a generator can be connected to the Generac PWRcell to charge the battery.
- The Generac PWRcell lets you to store energy at a low cost during non-peak hours and then use it during higher-cost peak hours.
- In the event of a power failure, the Generac PWRcell automatically switches from the grid to battery storage.
Generac PWR Generator
The PWRgenerator is a new type of DC generator designed to replenish Generac’s PWRcell Battery quickly. This combination provides system owners with the cost-saving benefits of solar electricity as well as the independence and power resilience that home standby generators give. The final result is complete energy independence for homeowners who are at danger of power outages or face utility bill rises.
PWRgenerator, a first-of-its-kind new addition to the PWRcell Solar Battery Storage family, links directly to the PWRcell inverter, forming a residential nano-grid that allows a home to be completely energy independent. When paired with a correctly sized solar and battery storage system, It provides complete energy independence, allowing homeowners control over their power. During the day, the solar panels power the house, and any excess can be used to charge the battery. The battery discharges at night, and when it hits 30% charge, the PWRgenerator turns on and fully charges the battery in roughly 1 hour.
The PWRgenerator is compatible with the PWRview app, which displays the status and production of the generator alongside the solar array and batteries. It is also Smart Grid Ready, allowing it to function as part of a virtual power plant (VPP). Customers that participate in VPP programs can use their Generac systems to sell power back to the grid and offset their energy expenditures.
PWRmanager is the most recent load management system for Generac’s PWRcell Energy Storage System. This gadget restores whole-house power by automatically managing and scheduling which circuits and appliances receive power when the home is disconnected from the grid during a power outage.
It enables homeowners to effortlessly swipe off/on any circuit in their home using their phone or tablet. This can increase battery runtime during prolonged power outages by deactivating less important circuits. PWRmanager is meant to give an uncompromised experience that other solar and battery systems simply cannot for homeowners who desire to power their houses on saved sunshine on a daily basis.
PWRmanager is intended to be a simple-to-install device that does not necessitate the installation of a new load panel. It instead installs adjacent to the existing electrical panel in the home in as little as 90 minutes. Furthermore, the PWRmanager is less expensive than comparable solutions and interacts smoothly with the PWRcell System and PWRview app. PWRmanager controls up to twelve 120V circuits or six 240V circuits, as well as two thermostats.
PWRgenerator, PWRmanager, and PWRmicros each complement Generac’s PWRcell solar storage system, resulting in a single comprehensive system that offers efficient and robust whole-home backup power.
Generac PWRmicros are solar microinverter systems that enable homeowners to maximize the output of their solar array.
The Generac PWRmicro 2:1, a dual-module, 720W microinverter, and the Generac PWRmicro 1:1, a single-module microinverter, have been introduced. The PWRmicro 2:1 features higher power ratings than several rival devices, allowing for newer, better-powered solar modules. Furthermore, the units can be utilized without clipping array output, allowing for important energy production.
Generac PWRmicros represent a substantial advancement in low-cost, high-performance microinverter technology. These devices will assist system owners in harvesting more energy and maximizing the value of their investment.
In comparison to other solar systems on the market, Generac PWRmicros are designed to provide solar installers with a quick and simple installation process. Installers may install half the number of devices to manage the same size array because the PWRmicro 2:1 controls two PV modules at once, saving them substantial time. Integrated grounding and modular bus cabling decrease installation time and simplify wiring even more. Furthermore, because these two microinverter versions are interchangeable, installers can mix and match PWRmicro 1:1 and PWRmicro 2:1 devices for maximum design freedom to cover any roof.
If you’ve been thinking about installing a solar battery storage system, now is the time. Installing a solar battery storage system by the end of 2022 may qualify you for a 26% solar tax credit. This incentive, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), is applied to your federal tax burden, or the money you owe the IRS at tax time. The ITC credit is available in every state, helping the average customer deduct nearly 9,000 off the cost of their solar battery storage system installation – but the credit steps down and it will go away by the end of 2023, so hurry!
Transitioning to solar takes time, depending on factors such as your solar supplier, permitting, and utility provider. If you start preparing today, you won’t have to worry about tight deadlines or protracted project timetables. Install your solar battery storage system by the end of the year to power your home, save money, and be PREPARED in the event of an outage.
The post How Generac Products Enhance and Support The Solar Energy Home. appeared first on HVAC Services Lorton | AirPlus Heating Cooling.
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Solar Battery vs. Generator: Which One is Best for My Home?
When the power goes out in your area, what are your options? Unless you have backup power at your home, it’s likely you’ll be sitting in the dark.
Fortunately, dozens of backup power options are available to choose from – including propane, diesel, natural gas-powered generators, and solar battery systems.
When you find the right solution for your home, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your household will keep running, even if the grid goes down.
Here at Sandbar Solar Electric, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners turn to solar and battery backup on the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast in California, so we know a thing or two about the value of a good backup system.
In this post, we’ll discuss the differences between solar battery backup systems and generators and help you understand which is right for you.
What is a Generator?
Generators and solar battery systems both provide backup power in the event of an outage. The way they do it, though, is very different.
Generators are the type of backup power systems most people are familiar with. Today, most generators run on liquid propane, natural gas, or diesel.
Freestanding generators sit outside the home and either turn on manually or include sensors that detect outages and turn the generator on automatically
Compared to solar battery backup for power outages, generators are more affordable on the front end.
Despite the low upfront cost, though, generators require regular maintenance and typically come with small recurring costs. Generators typically require weekly self-tests and need continual refueling to run during outages.
They produce sound when they are running as well as exhaust that is harmful to the environment.
When a generator is maintained regularly, it can last for 10 years.
Here are a few of the pros and cons of backup generator systems:
- Generators are more affordable upfront than solar batteries. However, solar batteries save a household money over time and there are many rebates and incentives available that can lower the upfront cost.
- Generators are easy to connect to existing natural gas lines.
- Generators provide round-the-clock power, as long as they have an ample fuel supply.
- Generators are available in a variety of sizes, from small, portable units to whole-home systems.
- Most generators are noisy to operate.
- Even high-end generators require annual and monthly maintenance.
- Generators require fuel to operate, which means they are not eco-friendly.
- Fuel left too long in a generator can go stale, causing problems with the equipment and additional repair costs.
- Generators create emissions during operation, creating an unpleasant smell and a high carbon footprint.
What is a Solar Battery Backup?
Solar battery backup systems run on electricity and are charged by a connection to the home’s solar energy system.
The batteries store excess energy produced by solar panels and save it for later use.
Some of the most common types of battery backups available today include:
Solar battery storage systems are popular because they are reliable.
When the grid goes down, a solar-powered battery backup system will draw stored energy from the batteries to power your home with no interruptions or downtime.
In addition to providing unparalleled reliability, battery backup systems are cleaner and quieter than generators and are also a more environmentally-friendly option.
- Battery backup systems operate almost silently.
- When combined with solar, battery backup systems run entirely on renewable energy, which means you don’t have to spend money on dirty, expensive fuels.
- Battery backup systems increase your home’s daily solar consumption.
- Installing a battery backup system can increase the value of your home.
- Some systems qualify for state and federal tax credits in California.
- Battery backup systems offer low maintenance requirements and a long lifespan.
- These systems operate seamlessly during grid outages.
Which is Most Cost-Effective?
The exact amount you’ll pay for backup power depends on your home’s size and energy needs. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical price range for a generator system is 1,413-7,594, and installation costs vary and may add upwards of 10,000 or more to the total cost. Most of these generators are powerful enough to run a typical home during an outage.
By comparison, solar battery backup systems start at around 9,000, not including installation costs.
If you’re budgeting for a battery backup system, you can expect to spend between 25,000 and 30,000 including batteries, installation, and other equipment.
Fortunately, incentives and rebates can help you access a solar battery backup system.
Don’t let the upfront price deter you, though. Financing programs are available for qualifying applicants, and battery backup systems offer long-term savings that generators don’t.
When you purchase a generator, you need to buy fuel, perform monthly and annual maintenance, and replace the generator at the end of its lifespan.
On the other hand, battery backup systems pair with solar energy systems to create a renewable power source. Over time, this can save you thousands of dollars on your electric bill.
Installing a battery backup system may also allow you to access federal and state tax incentives or participate in the SGIP Equity Resiliency program – which we’ll discuss more below.
Solar Battery Backup vs. Gas Generator: Which Option is Best for Me?
Now that you have the background on each option, which is right for you? Here’s our recommendation:
Buy a Standby Backup Generator if…
A standby backup generator is an ideal solution if you don’t mind the noise and maintenance required, you only want a system that can provide emergency power, and you have no intention of installing solar panels in the future.
If your home has an existing natural gas line, installing a standby generator may be relatively straightforward.
Buy Solar Battery Backup if…
Solar battery backup is an excellent option for customers who want a backup system that can work with an existing or future solar energy system.
A battery system is right for those who prefer a quiet, low-maintenance, reliable, and environmentally-friendly solution.
Consider investing in a battery backup system if you want to keep the lights on and power essential home appliances during a grid outage and also reduce peak electricity charges.
Limited-Time Rebates for Battery Backup
Solar battery backup systems create energy resiliency, which is something the state of California is very invested in right now.
As a result, certain households who install a solar battery backup system may be eligible for a limited-time rebate under the existing equity resilience Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) allocation.
This program benefits those living in a fire zone who are also on a Medical Baseline Rate Program. Funds are going fast, but the program funds 80-100% of total project costs if you qualify.
There are also rebates available for those in a fire zone who are not on Medical Baseline. Additionally, officials expect one last rebate bucket for battery customers not in a fire zone or on Medical Baseline.
This rebate offer will cover about 10-15% of project costs.
Thinking of Getting a Solar Battery Backup? We Can Help!
Now is an excellent time to invest in a solar battery backup system for your home, and Sandbar Solar is here to help.
Our team has over 15 years of experience designing battery systems and can install new battery systems or retrofit existing solar panel systems for a battery backup.
We service homes and businesses across the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast.
About the Author
Jeremy has worked in the solar industry since 2006. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies. Jeremy has spent most of his solar career in residential sales and Sales Management in both California and Hawaii. He was raised in Santa Cruz County and is passionate about helping local residents make the switch to clean and reliable renewable energy. Jeremy lives on the Westside with his wife and two boys and enjoys music, photography and hiking in his personal time.