Green home solar energy

Which Is Better During Power Outages 2023? Solar Battery Or Generators?

According to recent analytics reports by the Energy Information Agency (EIA), power outages across the United States are happening with increasing regularity, year on year.

This is partly due to America’s aging grid network, though the uptick in adverse weather events due to climate change also shares a good portion of the blame. Which Is Better During Power Outages 2023? Solar Battery Or Generators?

If you’re a homeowner that’s thinking of getting a solar panel system – or perhaps if you already have one – you may be wondering Which Is Better During Power Outages 2023? Solar Battery Or Generators?

In this blog article, we’ll compare the two, weighing some of the pros and cons of each, to help you decide which option is better for your home.

Which Is Better During Power Outages 2023? Solar Battery Or Generators?


How Solar Batteries And Generators Compare

Solar panel systems provide homeowners with renewable, clean energy so that they’re not reliant on the polluting fossil-fuel derived electricity from the grid.

However, if your solar panel system does not have either a hybrid, off-grid or battery backup inverter and a solar battery, you’ll still lose power during outages.

This is because it would be unsafe to have electrical current running into the grid while it’s down, and is being repaired.

The only alternative to a solar battery during a power outage is a generator, which needs to be constantly fed with gas in order to produce electricity.


Solar Batteries:

  • Provide backup automatically, and are recharged every day by the sun
  • Produce zero emissions – so you have power without a carbon footprint
  • Are not a source of noise pollution in your home
  • Typically come with long warranty periods, so your investment is protected


Generators, on the other hand:

  • Need to be constantly fed with fuel – usually gas, which is very expensive and polluting to the environment
  • They are a health hazard, due to emitting harmful gases
  • Unlike solar batteries, they’re very noisy
  • They come with much shorter warranty periods – typically 3 – 5 years at most


The Case For Solar Batteries

Solar Batteries Provide Long Lasting Power

The average solar battery will typically offer between 8 to 12 hours of backup power, and provides you with electricity with no additional fuel costs or damage to the environment.

They allow you to rely on 100% clean energy when the grid goes down, and unlike with generators there’s no risk of not being able to get more fuel. 
Which Is Better During Power Outages 2023? Solar Battery Or Generators?

Solar Batteries Provide Long Lasting Power


Solar Batteries Are A Safe Alternative To Generators

Generators, due to them running on gas, emit hazardous fumes, including carbon monoxide. In order to use them, you need cans of gasoline on hand for refueling, and you need to run extension cords to the appliances within your home.

Solar batteries come with none of these risks involved, due to them running on renewable, clean energy and they’re integrated with the wiring of your home when they’re installed.

Solar Batteries Work Automatically

When the power goes out, a solar battery will automatically kick in and power the circuits that are most important within your home – such as kitchen appliances and the garage door.

During the day, your solar panels will automatically recharge the battery and the energy will be stored until the next time you need it.

Solar Batteries Keep Your Home Safe

The fact that solar batteries kick in automatically during outages means that in the event of both planned, or unplanned, outages, the contents of your home are not at risk.

Important devices will continue to work, the food in the fridge will remain fresh, cell phones will stay charged and your intruder alarm will stay on.


Why Generators Are A Lesser Option

Generators can be a lifesaver for many homeowners during outages, who would otherwise be at risk during blackouts – and it’s honestly better in most cases to have a generator than no backup at all.

However, while they might be more widely available than solar batteries and are the more common of the two options (due to the fact that for a solar battery you need solar panels), they have a number of downsides. Some of these are outlined below.

Why Generators Are A Lesser Option


Generators Give Off Toxic Fumes

Generators can give off a whole range of toxic gases, such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, and they’ve been responsible for roughly 70 deaths per year since 2005.

Consequently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises that generators should always be operated outside, at least 20 feet from any air vents, windows or doors.

In addition to this, it is advised that carbon monoxide detectors are installed inside for the purpose of monitoring air quality and ensuring the safety of the inhabitants.

Generators Are Very Expensive

Generators are very expensive – whereas small portable home generators might cost between $400 and $1,000, if you want one large enough to power your home it could cost upwards of $10,000.

On top of this, you have the additional running costs – the fuel that is needed for it to operate, which in 2023 comes with a very steep price tag.

Comparatively, the costs of a solar system with a solar battery are offset by the savings you make on your utility bill, so they essentially pay for themselves.

Generators Are Less Reliable Than Home Batteries

The lifespan of a generator is usually relatively short compared to solar batteries, and consequently the warranties they come with typically only run for between 3 to 5 years.

In addition to this, if you want to keep a portable generator in full working order, it needs to be run on a monthly basis.

In contrast, solar batteries are expected to have a long lifespan – and so the warranties that come with solar battery systems can run for up to 25 years, in some cases.

As well as this, solar batteries don’t have to be used on a regular basis to keep them in good shape.
Which Is Better During Power Outages 2023? Solar Battery Or Generators?

Backup Generator Can Be A Fire Hazard

Generators can pose a risk to your home, and the lives of those that dwell within, if extreme caution is not taken when using them, or particularly if you live in a wildfire-prone area, due to electrical hazards and fire danger.

Additionally, storing gas cans, diesel or propane poses potential risks.

Generators Emit Noise Pollution

Compared to solar batteries, which usually emit no more noise than your average refrigerator, generators can be very noisy, producing up to 110 deciles in some cases – around the same amount of noise you’d expect at a live concert.
Which Is Better During Power Outages 2023? Solar Battery Or Generators?

Generators Emit Noise Pollution


Want To Have Power During An Outage? Solar Batteries Are The Way Forward!

As we’ve outlined in this article, if you want to have a reliable, safe and clean source of energy during outages, that won’t cost you anything out of pocket, then solar batteries are the way forward.

If you’ve made it to the end of this article, it’s highly likely that you’re a homeowner who is looking into the benefits of switching your home to solar energy.

If you feel overwhelmed by all the information out there, and by the many hurdles you have to jump through in order for a solar project to be realized, you’re not alone. That’s why Green Home Makeover is here to help.

We’ve helped countless homes across Illinois make the transition from grid to solar. And, with more than 8 years of industry experience, we’re well equipped to help make your solar dream a reality, without any headaches along the way.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you go solar, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and quote.
Which Is Better During Power Outages 2023? Solar Battery Or Generators?



References:

  1. https://www.eia.gov/ 
  2. https://poweroutage.us/
  3. https://www.insider.com/us-utility-companies-apply-rolling-blackouts-due-to-freezing-temps-2022-12
  4. https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/solar/what-is-a-solar-battery/ 
  5. https://www.pv-magazine.com/2023/01/10/schneider-electric-releases-residential-solution-with-battery-inverter-ev-charger/
  6. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/07/01/new-solar–battery-price-crushes-fossil-fuels-buries-nuclear/?sh=5cb8c6465971