Monday, October 14, 2019

When do rooftop solar panels not work?

During a blackout:
Californians have embraced rooftop solar panels more than anyone in the U.S., but many are learning the hard way the systems won’t keep the lights on during blackouts.
That’s because most panels are designed to supply power to the grid -- not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems can crank out more juice than a home can handle. Conversely, they don’t produce power at all at night.
So systems are tied into the grid, and the vast majority aren’t working this week as PG&E Corp. cuts power to much of Northern California to prevent wildfires.
You need expensive batteries and special equipment to run off-grid, and most people don't have them.  And the sweet subsidies from non-solar rate payers don't cover these, so solar lovers will have to pay out of their own pocket.

It looks like a generator is a lot cheaper, and maybe more reliable.

Hat tip: biker, former co-worker, and all around good guy Burt via email.


Gorges Smythe said...

The problem with Kalifornians is that you need to be smarter than the inanimate objects that you're using.

Beans said...

Well, duh.

Power the grid with solar, which puts a rapidly changing load on an already stressed system. and then shut that system down.

How can we not expect this from California?

Well, at least any liberals in North Cali have a good taste of what their masters think of them. Maybe we'll see some change from libs to complaining conservatives. We hope.