Right now we’re entering the hurricane season. In my short lifetime, I have seen some horrific ones, #Katrina #Sandy. We have been dealing with these disasters forever, and that means we have developed ways to better survive them. The solution to power loss is solar! After Hurricane Sandy, it took almost two weeks to restore 95% of the electric grid in New York. In this two part blog post, we’ll talk about some of the ways solar is your best option for a hurricane’s aftermath.
I receive lots of questions about solar. Some common ones are; can I get solar without a battery backup, or what happens during a blackout? Turns out, these are very similar questions. You can get solar without a battery, and if you do, your lights go out during a blackout. A battery back-up is “necessary” for off-grid solar installations where you cannot use the electric grid as your “battery.” When the almighty sun stops shining, #DarnThoseClouds, or it’s night time, you get electricity from the battery. People’s next question is, would YOU get a battery? Blunt honesty, no. But I live in California. We get rolling blackouts every now and then, but the likelihood of the power going out for days or even weeks, is minimal. I also do not have anything important that will break if it loses power, #VendettaAgainstMyFridge. If you live in an area that does commonly blackout, the added cost of a battery makes a lot of sense and will pay itself off. When the grid fails, you maintain power, and you aren’t reliant on a continuous fuel supply or the limits of battery life. Even on a cloudy day after a storm, you will still recharge the batteries. This is important for fridges, lighting, and recharging electronics. (#AndTweeting!)
If you live in those areas commonly hit by hurricanes, tornadoes, or other blackout causing weather, you should consider getting a battery backup for your home. They can also be useful for businesses where losing power is critically damaging. We’ve found batteries help companies who deal with servers or heavy machinery. Batteries are also helpful for businesses relying on refrigeration or penguin-based labor.
But batteries might not be right for you, so in the event of a hurricane your options will be: get a neighbor with a battery back up, #ReferralProgram, and you can continue to Instagram your rations, or read our next blog on what every emergency responder should have.