Home Improvement

How to Use Your Solar Panels During a Blackout

By now, you probably know that solar panels are a great way to use less electricity and save money on your power bills. In fact, you can save so much that you might be able to set off the initial investment against your savings over time.

What you might not have realized is that, typically, you won’t be using your solar panels during a blackout. To do this, you’ll need to ensure that you have the right installation with the right components.

In this post, we’ll look at why your solar panels won’t work when the grid is off and what components you’ll need to ensure that they do.

Why Solar Panels Won’t Work in a Blackout

Let’s start by looking at why your solar panels won’t work during a blackout. When using solar panels, you’ll use sunlight to generate electricity which you will then use to power your home and your appliances. However, it will often happen that you generate more electricity than you need. The system will then push this excess electricity back into the grid. And this is where the problem comes in.

Safety of Power Line Technicians

Firstly, during a blackout, technicians will frequently work on power lines to fix an issue. Understandably, they’ll need to be sure that there is no power in the grid when doing this. Unfortunately, when your system pushes excess electricity into the grid, this won’t be the case. In turn, this exposes technicians to the risk of serious injury or even death.

Prevention of Further Infrastructure Damage

Another problem when your system pushes excess electricity into the grid during a blackout is that it can damage the grid infrastructure. So, in order to prevent infrastructure damage, your solar panels should not push any power into the grid.

How to Use Solar Panels in a Blackout

Despite the concerns mentioned above, you’ve probably noticed that some homes with solar panels do indeed have lights on when there’s a blackout. How is this possible? These homes either have off-grid solar systems or have the right components in their installation that allow them to use their solar panels during a blackout. Let’s look at what these components are.

Solar Batteries

The first thing you’ll need is solar batteries. Typically, these batteries allow you to store excess electricity for use when there’s little to no sunlight. However, you can also use these batteries to use your solar panels during a blackout.

Blackout Protection

However, batteries on their own are not enough. To use your solar panels during a blackout, your batteries should feature blackout protection, and you’ll need to use a hybrid inverter. With these inverter and battery features, your system will automatically switch to battery power when the grid goes off while, at the same time, preventing any excess electricity from being pushed into the grid.


Hopefully, this post helped illustrate why your solar system won’t work during a blackout. More importantly, we hope that this post showed you what you need when you want to use your solar panels when the grid is off. To learn more about these systems and what solution might be best for your needs and requirements, get in touch with your local expert for solar panel installations.

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