Getting Power When the Grid is Down
It is difficult to imagine all of the things that can go wrong when there is a natural disaster or emergency, but one of the first things you might think of is loss of power. Even if you have solar panels or alternative energy sources, they require the grid to run the solar panels and inverters. There is solution to this problem, and getting power when the grid is down is a possibility with a home microgrid.
What is a Home Microgrid?
A home microgrid is basically electricity generation, storage, and programming that allows it to run free from the grid as needed. The electricity generation can come from the grid, a backup generator, solar photovoltaics, or wind turbines. Storage comes in the form of battery banks, and the programming lets the microgrid seamlessly run with the grid or separate from the grid without any electrical interruptions.
Benefits of a Microgrid
Many people are unenthused by off-the-grid power sources because they believe that they cannot support the demand for power created by the average homeowner. People don’t want to live with strict laundry or television schedules because they cannot generate enough power to meet their needs. This type of thinking is incorrect, and there are different levels of microgrids that support different functions and lifestyles. The benefits of a microgrid in most situations are:
- Independence from the grid: If there is a situation that causes the grid to fail (and these can be anything from weather to terrorism), you will still be able to have power.
- Food storage: You don’t have to be able to power your whole home, and smaller grid options may just power essentials during your time of need. This means your perishable food will not spoil days after the power goes out.
- Money savings: There is a significant but affordable initial investment in home microgrids, with many of them running around $10,000, but you get energy savings when you are creating your own power.
- Clean energy: Although some microgrids may run on gas-powered generators, most of them run on clean energy. This means that even when there isn’t an emergency, you are running on cleaner energy that has less of an impact on the Earth.
Getting Power When the Grid is Down Requires a Microgrid.
When you are preparing for the worst, it typically involves planning for life without electricity. However, you may have the opportunity to keep the lights on if you have a microgrid.
- Tim Anderberg