Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) with Solar Facts

power continuity resolved with solar

People often think of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for computers and medical devices. However, this isn’t the only reason for having a UPS.

Solar and Uninterruptible Power Supply Explained

Large businesses and databases often have a UPS that isn’t connected to the gird. These backup systems allow the business or server to continue running. However, in an outage, homes still experience power outages without any backup.

What Makes an Uninterruptible Power Supply Necessary

When you don’t have power in an outage, it turns your day upside-down. Most don’t realize it, but America relies heavily on power continuity.

Oftentimes, outages are only about 20 minutes. However, there are times when an outage can last several hours at once. When an outage is more than a couple of minutes, problems start to arise without solar-based UPS, especially if you work from home in IT services or computer-based consulting.

On April 5, 2018, the EIA released the 2016 average duration of outages report. This report found that Americans on average experienced four hours without power throughout the year.

If an outage is too long, fridges and freezers start to heat up and electric appliances can’t be used. Many try to avoid blackouts with solar, but solar on its own can’t help you in a power outage.

How Solar Panels Work With UPS

Most people that purchase solar stay connected to the grid. There are two main reasons why people stay connected. Solar panels need the sun to produce power and backup batteries are expensive.

Hypothetically, you could go completely off-grid. However, unless you’re installing solar on an off-grid cabin, the price to ditch the grid isn’t worth it.

Staying connected to the grid allows people to install solar without battery backup. However, when there is a grid failure solar systems are required to shut down.

This is because if the system continued to stay on electricity would flow through the power lines. This could cause injuries to linemen working on the problem. If, however, you add a UPS you can continue to power your necessities during an outage.

What a UPS Battery Backup Is With Solar Examples

An uninterruptible power supply picks up where your normal source of power left off. There are several different forms of UPS, which one is best is dependent on your situation.

Three Types of UPS and How They Work

There are three different types of UPS that are commonly used. These include: offline, line-interactive and online.

Offline UPS and Portable Solar Generators

An offline or standby UPS uses a battery to stand in for the main power source. This backup gives you power for short periods of time. It is best for short outages were a minute delay between power sources is not detrimental.

A solar standby UPS option could be a portable solar generator. These are batteries that can be charged through an outlet in your home or with panels on the go.

Line-interactive UPS and Solar Batteries

Line interactive UPS is similar to offline UPS. The difference is the addition of an automatic voltage stabilizer. This addition allows for voltage to be stabilized in an outage.

This is often how solar batteries work. Solar batteries are connected to the inverter allowing it to be charged during the day. Then at night or when the power is out these batteries provide power.

The Function of Online UPS

Online UPS is not directly connected to the main power supply. Instead, the power is sent to a rectifier. This device switches alternating current to direct current.

The direct current is used to charge a battery which is inverted to alternating current. The alternating current is then used to power/charge equipment. double-conversion UPS is used to create seamless power in an outage.

How Battery Backup Works: Typical form of UPS

All three of these UPS types usually use some form of a battery as the source of power. A typical battery has both a positive and negative charge divided by electrolytes. The negative side is called the anode and the positive side is called the cathode.

Electrons are stored within the anode and cathode of the battery. Normally the abundance of electrons in the anode would move to the other side of the battery. The electrolytes in the middle of the battery, however, block the flow of electrons.

When the anode is connected to the cathode with a wire, a circuit is formed. Other things along the circuit, such as lights, are then powered by the electrons in transit.

Once the electrons in the anode are balanced with the cathode, the electrons no longer move along the circuit. When this happens, the battery needs to be recharged.

This is done by moving the electrons in the opposite direction from the electrode back to the anode. One way to do this is through solar panels.

If you don’t want to deal with batteries at all there is another option.  Individuals that have solar with an SMA inverter can install a secure power supply (SPS).

Go Solar Group and Secure Power Supply

A secure power supply is another form of UPS. The difference, however, is that it relies completely on the sun as its source of power.

What a Secure Power Supply Does

A secure power supply is an outlet that is directly connected to your residential solar inverter. When the power goes out, you are then able to redirect a portion of your current solar production to the outlet.

This outlet provides up to 2,000 watts of alternating current in 95-watt increments. If you plug in more than the outlet can handle, it will cause the plugged-in devices to momentarily stop working. This is a warning procedure, so individuals know they need to unplug something.

With a secure power supply, you are able to have power as long as the sun is shining on your panels. If you have a power outage during a storm or at night, you will have to use a different UPS.

This power source allows everyone to have the option to have power in an outage. If, however, you want a little more substantial battery backup, Go Solar Group has your back.

Other Go Solar Group Battery Backup Options

Go Solar Group carries four different levels of solar backup. These levels cover everything from traditional battery backup to essential load backup.

Level 1 Solar Backup: Secure Power Supply

Go Solar Group’s level 1 backup option is the secure power supply. This allows people with a limited budget to have power during an outage.

Level 2 Solar Backup: SPS and Portable Backup Generator

This level includes the secure power supply and a portable solar backup generator. This allows you to power essentials in a portable format, no matter the weather or time of day, and is particularly great for camping trips or block parties.

Level 3 Solar Backup: Portable Backup Generator and Home Integration Kit

The third level of backup (Home Integration Kit, commonly abbreviated as H.I.K.) includes the portable solar generator and a home integration kit. Together these devices can power up to 4 circuits in your home.

Level 4 Solar Backup: Tesla Powerwall

Level 4 is the installation of the Tesla Powerwall. This is one of the best, full-home solar batteries. With it, you can power part or all of your home, including saving a greater percentage of the power you produce in your home via solar. This will safeguard you from greater net metering rate declines, no matter which of our 3 current markets you’re in.

No matter which backup option you determine to use, having some sort of backup is wise. Invest in a UPS that will power your home in an outage, and live stress-free.


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