Does Solar Power Work In A Blackout?

No, in Australia a solar system without integrated battery storage turns off in a blackout. There are two reasons why your solar system turns off when the grid goes down:

  1. Safety: during a power outage, repair crews will be working to fix the grid to get power restored. To avoid endangering them, it is essential that there is no power flowing from solar systems out into the grid.
  2. Technical: the appliances in your home need a steady flow of electricity to work properly. In many cases, appliances can also be damaged if the flow of power isn’t steady and constant. Because a solar system doesn’t produce a steady flow of power, the system needs to be turned off when the grid goes down.

For these two reasons, your solar system must automatically shut down in the event of a blackout, unless you have battery storage with backup.

Battery Storage With Blackout Protection

Tesla Powerwall is the battery we recommend for households that want blackout protection.

As a part of our installation service, we will work with you to nominate circuits that can be powered from your battery in the event of a blackout. Typically this will include things like a modem, lights, small pumps, garage doors and other appliances that are of high priority. Anything that uses a lot of power is typically not backed up in a blackout such as air conditioning and pool pumps.

The final step is to nominate how much capacity you want to leave in your battery in case of a blackout. If you choose 30%, for example, your Powerwall will never discharge more than 70% of the battery’s capacity, ensuring that in a worst-case scenario, you still have 30% of the Powerwall’s capacity to get you through the night. In the morning, the solar system will start generating power again and the Powerwall will recharge from the solar power being generated. For more information about how this works, please speak with a member of the Solaray Team.

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