With extreme winds stoking wildfires across the state throughout October, California utilities have resorted to public safety power shutoffs on an unprecedented scale. The governor has declared a statewide emergency, and Californians are wanting to make their homes resilient against extended blackouts.
How long can a home survive a grid shutdown using solar panels combined with battery storage?
Some batteries provide longer backup than others. Two popular systems on the market, for example, have capacities of 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 13.5 kWh. With the average home drawing 750 to 1,000 W of power per hour during a blackout, the 10 kWh battery will last 10 to 12 hours and the 13.5 kWh battery will last 13.5 to 16.8 hours. Both of those batteries are rated at 5 kW, a load that has been compared to running a clothes dryer, a microwave, and a hair dryer at the same time.
But one new residential storage system stands out for superior power and capacity. NeoVolta’s NV14 solar home battery has a high storage capacity of 14.4 kilowatt hours (kWh), meaning it could last 14.4 to 18 hours operating in blackout conditions. And because the NV14 delivers 7.6 kW of continuous power, it can drive more household loads during that time than its 5 kW competitors.
When the lights go out for any reason, the NV14 automatically disconnects from the grid to immediately start powering a home’s critical loads. The switch is seamless, unlike some other systems where there is an interruption of power. Homeowners who need more storage capacity can add a second battery system, NV24, and avoid the expense of installing another entire system (inverter and battery); this option will be available in December 2019. NV14 combined with NV24 brings the energy storage capability up to 24.0 kWh.
Note: An extended whole-home backup is not currently available with any battery storage system, so some appliances and creature comforts will have to wait until after the emergency. What every storage system must do is provide the basics—lights, internet, refrigeration, other kitchen outlets, and garage—for as long as possible based on their specifications.
The NV14’s advanced lithium iron phosphate battery is designed for safety and a longer life cycle than ordinary lithium ion batteries. The system can connect with any residential solar installation—new or existing, AC or DC. With the NeoVolta smartphone app, users can monitor the system’s performance 24/7.
The NeoVolta NV14 is also a sound investment. When the grid is up and running, homeowners can see significant savings on their monthly utility bill. That’s because the energy generated while the sun is shining can be stored in the NV14’s battery and used during evening “peak demand” hours when utility rates are often twice as high.
“To get through a prolonged blackout, your home needs an energy storage system. Without it, those solar panels are nothing more than roof ornaments,” said Brent Willson, CEO of NeoVolta. “The high-power, high-capacity NV14 system delivers comfort and peace of mind, providing reliable power that could potentially be lifesaving.”