Blackout protection without a fossil-fuel-powered generator
If you’re considering backup power for your home or business, then a solar system that’s both grid-tied and with battery backup (bimodal) may be your best option. Our backup systems are truly bimodal, and have been since 2009. This means that when the batteries aren’t charging from the solar panels, they can recharge from the power grid – or send power that they’ve stored to sell to the electric utility.
And there’s a very good reason your should be considering battery backup – the obsolescent, overstressed United States power grid.
Most of today’s power grid was built in the 1950s and 1960s, with a 50-year life expectancy and some overbuilding for anticipated demand. But who back then could have anticipated, say, the Internet, which alone consumes more than 70,000,000,000 kilowatts of energy each year? Or droughts cutting hydroelectric dams’ output down to a trickle? Or skyrocketing natural gas prices? Or states shutting down coal-fired and nuclear generating plants?
So is it any wonder that the United States has more power outages than any other developed nation in the world?
Solar power with battery backup storage can keep the lights on, the well pumping, and the appliances running for as long as a blackout lasts, recharging with every sunrise – provided you choose the right company with the right know-how to install it.
Milestone has engineered and installed more battery backup solar systems than anyone else in West Virginia, and, based on feedback from distributors and manufacturers, we believe we’ve installed more solar with battery backup systems than anyone within 200 miles of our office – including parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia in addition to West Virginia. More than 80% of all the solar installations we perform are with battery backup – and for very good reasons:
- Solar systems with battery backup are much trickier to install safely and properly than systems without it. The power grid uses 60-cycle AC (alternating current), which reverses the electron flow every second. But the solar panels and batteries use DC (direct current), where the electrons flow only one way. Converting current between AC and DC, especially at high voltages, is too specialized for even a master electrician’s capability. Fotunately, it’s well within ours. A NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) Professional Certification is the gold standard of solar expertise, and our CEO is one of fewer than 100 North American installers to have earned two of them.
- Many backup batteries can hold a charge only overnight. The batteries we install hold their charge for three or more days at a time.
- Some lithium-ion batteries are safer than others. The lithium-manganese-cobalt-oxide (NMC) chemistry in Tesla and LG batteries led to an LG recall in 2020. The lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries we install have an established safety record.
- Batteries are no better than the solar panels that power them. Panasonic panels are the world’s highest-performance and most efficient. Milestone is the only solar panel installer in West Virginia qualified to have been named an Authorized Panasonic Solar Installer (and to provide a longer and more comprehensive warranty at no extra cost).
- At Milestone, we strive for quality, not quantity. So we’ll never rush your installation just to finish in time for the next one. Instead, we’ll take all the time needed to install your battery backup solar system just right.
Solar with battery storage is our specialty and our passion, and we consider a grid-tied solar system with battery backup to be the ultimate solar system – much better than a home with a large propane generator.
On a day-to-day basis, solar with battery backup produces power you use in the house, selling back excess to the power company like any other grid-tied system. But when the power goes out, it instantly switches over to the stored energy in the batteries, so you continue living a normal life with water from the well, key lighting circuits, refrigerator and freezer, and other critical loads.
Because solar with battery backup is much more complicated than the typical grid-tied system, it requires careful planning, design, and, most important, customer participation in determining the right size and configuration for your property. We’ll guide you through that process. It’s what we do.
Industry experts say solar with battery backup (storage) will be the big growth segment over the next few years. If this appeals to you, we invite you to speak with some of our dozens of satisfied customers and let us design and install a battery backup (bimodal) system for you
- Connects to your home or business and the power grid
- High-tech sealed batteries
- Battery pack provides power for essential circuits during outages
- Bimodal – two systems in one. Standard grid-tied features when grid is up, off-grid with battery power when the grid is down.
- Substantial financial incentives
Note: If you’re considering the SolarEdge / LG battery system as a backup power system, we urge you to read this article.