With an increasing number of power outages across the U.S. and devastating wildfires in California causing blackouts, millions of homeowners were left without power over the past year. According to a report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. electricity customers experienced more than eight hours of power interruptions in 2022, the most since the organizations started collecting the electricity reliability data in 2013. As a result, many homeowners are worried about the reliability of their power and are interested in backup power options like solar and battery storage systems. SunPower’s SunVault home battery can provide peace of mind by keeping the lights on and your fridge running during outages.
Here’s some important information to know about SunPower’s SunVault home battery, including whether or not you can go off-grid.
How Does the SunVault Home Battery Storage Work?
A SunVault home battery charges from the power produced by your SunPower Equinox solar energy system to use at a later time. As your panels produce energy to power your home, any excess electricity it generates is stored in your SunVault battery to use at night, on cloudy days or during outages, blackouts and PG&E’s Planned Power Shutoffs.
Home batteries are designed to seamlessly power a limited number of appliances during an outage. Depending on your home’s square footage and the size of your solar panel system, one SunVault battery can power your home for up to three days. Your battery installer will also work with you to select which appliances are most important to run during a grid outage, like your refrigerator or well pump, for example.
The amount of backup energy storage you’ll need is based on these factors, so you may need more than one battery to provide it. If you have a time-of-use billing structure, your home battery can be a power source during peak hours when utility costs are higher.
Powering Through Outages: Technical Details of the SunVault
SunPower offers a 13 kWh SunVault home battery and you can install up to two in your home if you need more backup power to give you a maximum 26 kWh of energy capacity. The SunVault system includes the battery itself in addition to the Hub+, which controls the overall energy flow and how your stored energy is used. For example, it can intuitively determine when no energy is being produced from your solar panels and switch to draw energy stored in your battery to power your home.
Here are the battery specifications for SunPower’s SunVault:
Can You Go Off-Grid With SunVault Storage?
While adding a solar + home battery to your home is a great way to reduce or even eliminate your utility bills, you’re not completely disconnected from your utility grid. To live “off the grid,” you would need a larger solar panel system and several home batteries or a generator to provide backup power all night and through stormy/cloudy days. For many homes, it’s more feasible to stay connected to the grid as a backup source even if you install battery storage. This guarantees you can pull power from the grid for any time your home needs more energy than your panels produced or if there’s not enough energy stored in your battery.
Installing a solar-plus-storage system on your home is a great way to save money and reduce your reliance on the grid, but it’s best to remain connected to the grid as a backup option.
To determine if a SunVault home battery is right for your home energy needs, speak to one of our certified Solar Technologies representatives. If you’re ready to change the way you power your home and start saving more with solar, contact us today for a free customized quote.