When most people talk about energy independence, they’re usually talking about major infrastructure for cities, states, and countries. But individuals can also harness energy independence. Energy independence can also refer to households, most of which are tethered to their local and regional electrical grids. Here, the question shifts to how a home or office can keep the power going when the grid, or components of it, fails. The good news is that uninterrupted energy access is possible and, in fact, happening.
Solar Energy Is Here
Power from the sun has now been harnessed for years, and ongoing research makes this source increasingly efficient. Solar power is renewable, i.e. it cannot be exhausted through intensive consumption. Installed on the roof of a house, solar panels, made primarily from silicon, transform photons radiated from the sun into direct current (DC). Passing through an inverter, the direct current becomes alternating current (AC) which, in turn, enters the electrical circuitry of the structure. Although some object to solar energy on the grounds that the sun does not shine continuously, battery technology now answers those challenges.
How Do Home Batteries Work?
A home battery is plugged into the house’s electrical system, functioning as a moderator between the solar panels (or the grid) and the house. In brief, the battery optimizes power use while directing energy according to household needs. The main panel’s responsibility becomes secondary. So, in the event of a power outage, the battery continues to service the energy needs of the house by, first, automatically disconnecting from the main panel and then empowering strategic parts of the home. Batteries linked to solar panels continue to work, even in the dark of night.
Selected Home Batteries
Charging while the sun shines, or grid functions, Tesla Powerwall is a compact unit that, nonetheless, accommodates additional units to store more energy. Moreover, this solar battery reduces carbon emissions, adding environmental benefits to energy independence. In locations that are prone to tornado and hurricane activity, Tesla Powerwall allows families some degree of normal living while the utility companies repair the damage. Lights, appliances, and plumbing that would otherwise be useless still function with Tesla Powerwall.
The Enphase solar battery boasts eight microinverters to support additional safety and sustained operation. Like the panel inverter, they convert DC to AC and back again. Using the most recent innovations in storage technology, the Enphase battery has no moving parts, minimizing the chance of eventual breakage.
Independence on Two Fronts
These batteries allow families to live, and businesses to operate, when the violence of the elements takes out the grid and immobilizes communities. In addition, they use energy efficiently and do not rely on fossil fuels for their power.