When the grid goes down during and emergency blackout, it is very difficult to do anything without electricity in your home today. If you already own a solar system did you know that in the event of a power outage your home solar system will be disconnected from the grid? This is all the more irritating because as we move forward and our utility infrastructure continues to mature with more demands being placed on it, we will have more blackouts in America.
A bimodal solar system is one that will allow the home or business to run grid-tied or off-grid. Bimodal systems, close that gap for homeowners that already have solar, and the ones thinking of adding a system but want more out of it. The picture above comes from a customers in New Mexico that wanted just that. The consumer moved into her new home and was concerned about having power during extended blackouts. She also needed a home solar system to provide both functions that she could afford.
The solar consultants at Blue Pacific came up with this system that starts with a 2820 watt 12 panel solar AC system. This is how it works; The 12 solar panels create electricity from the grid and feed it to an SMA DC to AC inverter. The inverter then is connected to the home side of the Magnum inverter in the battery box to be installed on the backside of the SunPod.
When the batteries are charged and the grid is up, the Magnum inverter will simply pass through both ways the electricity from the grid as well as the electricity from the solar panels. When the grid goes down, the Magnum inverter will automatically switch from grid tied electricity to draw power from the batteries. While that is happening,the AC power from the solar panels will keep the batteries charged up. When the batteries are full, the system is designed to cause the SMA solar panel AC inverter to shut down until it needed again.
This simple yet effective home backup solar system is a synthesis between grid-connected solar and off-grid technology that ensures safety combined with ease of installation. The homeowner in this case simply hired a local licensed electrician to connect the local wiring according to our electrical diagram.
If you are willing to provide some sweat equity, this bimodal solar system is less than 1/2 the cost of hiring a solar company to site build the complete grid tied solar array. Add in the additional benefit of the federal tax credit that is available and you now have an affordable home solar system that will work to provide emergency backup power keeping your home lights burning and the refrigerator cold during utility blackouts.