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Frequently Asked Questions - Home Backup Power

Posted 3/22/24 | Filed under Frequently Asked Questions | Comments (0)
In a period stricken by uncertainty in weather patterns, power grid reliability, and unforeseen emergencies, ensuring a stable and uninterrupted power supply to your home has become a real concern for homeowners worldwide. Home backup power solutions offer a dependable alternative, providing peace of mind and security during outages or emergencies.

Today we will go over a few key questions our team is often asked in an attempt to educate and provide direction for backup power seekers. Whether you're exploring solar-powered generators or battery backup systems, this resource aims to provide clarity on how you can achieve peace of mind in your home.

What Size Solar-Powered Generator Do I Need For My Home?

Determining the proper size of a solar-powered generator for your home depends on several factors, including your energy consumption habits, the appliances you wish to power, and your geographical location.

We typically start a conversation in sizing a system with the question: “What are you interested in powering?” We then look at the combined watt draw of those items over a 24 hour period and start with sizing the storage (batteries).

Your back up system should have enough power to run your desired items for at least 1 day, while maintaining roughly 20%-50% of charge for battery longevity sake.

When sizing a solar array, we recommend incorporating enough solar to recharge from empty to full in 1 day’s charge. Be sure to consider line loss and solar panel efficiency, as the wattage rating of any solar panel is typically lower than stated.

How Much Does a Solar-Powered Generator or Home Backup System Cost?

The answer to this question varies considerably by application. The higher your daily wattage requirement, the more expensive the system. Being proactive and realistic about your power requirements goes a long way here.

Simply create a list of what you need to power using a backup system, add up the daily watt total and add 20-50% to consider your battery storage.

Let's throw out some figures; to maintain your average energy star fridge + a few LED lights and smartphones, the average system cost is between $3,000 to $4,000 for an out of the box solution. Your average entire home system will be between $20,000 - $50,000 based on the size of the home and will depend heavily on large electrical loads in the space (Gas heat vs Electric heat for example, requiring the largest systems).

Speaking to an expert (like one of our Earthtech Products United States based technicians (877)-548-3387) is the easiest way to hit the nail on the head when aiming to achieve a system that is not over or undersized.

Are There Any Government Incentives or Rebates For Installing Solar-Powered Generators?

There are indeed! The federal solar tax credit pertains to the expenses incurred by homeowners in the United States for installing solar systems in their primary residences.

Individuals installing a photovoltaic (PV) system between 2022 and 2032 will qualify for a 30% tax credit. This percentage decreases to 26% for systems installed in 2033 and further reduces to 22% for installations in 2034. Notably, there is no maximum limit on the claimable amount for this credit.

More detailed information can be found in our simple guide to solar tax credits below:

Click Here to read today.

How Can I Connect a Solar-Powered Generator To My Existing Electrical System?

There are currently (3) key routes for supplying power via direct connection with your home electrical breaker. All of which should be performed by a licensed electrician.

1. Inlet Box + Interlock: This connection type feeds power from your backup system directly to your home breaker. This method allows you to power all of the circuits in your home and therefore is best suited for very large/entire home back up generators. This is recommended for users with deep knowledge of their load requirements.

2. Manual Transfer Switch: A transfer switch option is perfect for lower energy loads and essential items. During installation, you will choose a finite number of circuits to power in an emergency situation and be limited to those circuits only.

3. Automatic Transfer Switch: Automatic transfer switches can be ideal for smaller or larger load applications. However, they truly shine in areas that see outages frequently, have remote or hard to reach breaker locations or for homes that are monitored less frequently (for example vacation homes, rentals, etc.) These systems will automatically switch over to the backup system when an outage occurs.

What Are The Best Brands/Models of Solar-Powered Generators?

There are many brands and corresponding models offering great warranties, quality of build and competitive prices. I will list a few manufacturers we have successfully worked with for years and the notable model numbers:

1. Ecoflow - Ecoflow is currently one of the most popular names in the Battery Backup and Solar Generator space. The Ecoflow Delta Pro Portable Powerstation is quite possibly the most recognizable units ever made and the new Ecoflow Delta Pro Ultra, can output 240V, starts at over 6 Kwh and can accommodate the largest homes, expanding up to 95kWh of storage.

2. Anker - Anker is known for their high-quality compact chargers and smart device accessories. However, over the past few years they have released a series of popular portable powerstations and solar generators. The newly released Anker F3800 Portable Powerstation includes a 5 year manufacturer warranty and can expand up to 53.8 kWh with the modular expansion batteries.

3. Rich Solar - The folks over at Rich Solar specialize in DIY style battery backup and solar solutions. While these systems are still very easy to use and set up, they are more custom and therefore affordable by nature. They have some of our most popular Solar Panels (The Rigid Tier 1 410W Solar Panels for example) and very low “cost per watt” Server Rack LFP systems like the Rich Solar Off-Grid Back-up Power Kit | 13,000W 120/240V Output - 28.8 kWh LFP Battery.

Can I Charge My Electric Vehicle Using A Solar-Powered Generator?

Yes, it is possible to charge an EV using a solar-powered generator.

Electric Vehicles do typically have very large batteries and therefore require sizable systems in order to transfer enough power to the vehicle in question. Be sure to consider EV Adapter compatibility, voltage requirements and storage capacity in relation to the kWh of the car battery.

They are a great option in emergencies, when you have a sizeable solar array or when you need to travel short distances in a pinch.

Feel free to comment and let us know your Home Backup Power questions! If you have any urgent inquires, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all of your Solar Generator and Home Backup Power needs!
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