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Solar Energy vs Generators: A Quick Analysis.

Does your work get marred by constant power cuts? Then, installing a power backup system is the solution. You can select either the traditional generator or the latest solar energy-powered battery backup system. However, before purchasing one, you should have a basic understanding of both of them. It will help you to make an informed choice.

Read on to have a look at the major differences between solar energy-powered battery backups and generators.

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Solar battery backup

A solar battery backup produces electricity using solar panels and saves any extra power in a battery for later use. 

 It has solar panels, an inverter, and one or multiple batteries such as lead acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. The solar panels catch the sunlight and convert it into direct current. Then the inverter converts this DC to AC that you can use to run the electrical appliances of your home or business. If there is excess energy, the batteries store it for later use.

How does solar battery backup become a lifesaver?

On days when the sunlight is scarce and electricity demand is at its peak, solar batteries kick in to ensure reliable power. It is very helpful, especially in remote villages where electricity is still a luxury.

 Further, as we face the threat of climate change, natural disasters have become a common occurrence. When natural calamities like landslides or floods strike a region, power grids get damaged immediately. In such a context, solar energy will ensure that backup batteries provide power.

Now, let’s explore the advantages and drawbacks of solar-powered battery backup system

Advantages of solar energy-powered battery backup

1. Uninterrupted power supply

Solar panels or solar battery backup systems are the best alternative energy source you can rely on during power outages. Their constant supply of power makes them a better option in areas with frequent power outages.  

2. Energy  independence

You can reduce the energy dependency on the electrical grid by utilizing solar energy to generate electricity and battery backup.

3. Significant cost saving

A solar energy-powered battery backup system will help you to reduce energy expenses. This is because solar energy is a renewable energy resource. Thus you will get long-term savings on your electricity bill.

4.No pollution.

They never emit pollutants or greenhouse gases that cause climate change.  While you embrace solar energy, you are doing your part to reduce the carbon footprint.

Drawbacks of solar battery backup system.

1. Upfront cost is high

Solar battery backup system requires specialized expensive equipment. Hence upfront costs may be high and render them inaccessible for some.

2. Sometimes solar battery backup systems may require multiple batteries.

 To meet all necessary electricity needs using solar energy, numerous batteries may be needed. Depending on the backup duration, energy requirement, and the availability of sunlight, the number of batteries may vary.   

3. Limited power generation during scarce sunlight.

  Since solar energy solely depends on sunlight to generate electricity, it has limitations in generating power on a foggy or rainy day. Hence, during periods of low sunlight, you may find it difficult to get power back up.

Let’s talk about generators

Generator

During a power outage, we use backup power systems. The generator is a common system for power backup. Here, a generator backup system employs the generator to provide electricity when the primary power is out.

The generator that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy is the main component of the backup system.   It runs on diesel, propane, or natural gas depending on the system. Further, there is a  transfer switch that connects the generator to the electrical system. During a power outage, it switches power sources automatically.  

Advantages of generators

1. Generators come in various sizes

  Generators are available in different sizes including portable, large, and stationary. Hence, it offers the  flexibility to use it for various purposes and locations

2. Fuel Alternatives

Generators’  fuel options are not limited to one source. They have a variety of fuel alternatives like diesel, propane, gasoline, and natural gas. It allows you to pick the one that suits your requirement.

3. Quick start

In times of an emergency due to a power outage or any other natural calamity, a generator act as an immediate source of electricity. This is because they get started very quickly to power your electrical appliances.

Disadvantages of generators

1. Regular maintenance

Generators need regular maintenance for their efficient operation. If you delay the maintenance like oil changes and filter replacements, then there will be enhanced fuel consumption and poor performance. Eventually, the generator stops functioning.  Moreover, maintenance fees will accumulate over time and can strain your wallet.

2. The humming generator

   One of the significant drawbacks of generators is noise pollution. They emit loud sounds and are quite noisy. Some generators even cause vibrations that can damage buildings.

3. Fuel depletion

   As fossil fuels like diesel and petrol are not renewable, they are depleting so fast. Hence, generators cannot ensure permanent backup power. Similarly, fuel price hikes will break the bank of the common man.  

4. Generators accelerate environmental pollution.

Generator backup systems often emit fumes. It will contribute to air pollution that affects humans and the environment.

Knowing more must have piqued your curiosity to have a cost comparison between solar energy-powered battery backup and generators. Read on to get the answer.

Cost Comparison

The initial cost of solar battery backups is higher than that of generators. However, the government of India provides subsidies for solar panel installation. Moreover, technological advancement has made solar energy more accessible recently.

Solar energy backed battery vs Generators: A final note

 

·   Solar batteries rely on solar energy while generators produce electricity from fuels.

·   Generators tend to be noisy while solar energy-backed batteries run silently. 

·   Solar battery backup system needs comparatively low maintenance than a generator.

·   As solar battery relies on sunlight, it has limited capacity. On the other hand, generators run as long as the fuel is available.

However, some solar battery backup systems may include a backup generator to supply extra power during extended periods of limited sunlight or peak demand.