Among the many uses of solar and battery storage, perhaps the least known, but maybe one of the most significant, is its implementation in backing up home medical equipment. There are a number of medical conditions that require equipment or climate control to be powered constantly or there may be fatal consequences. In these cases, solar + battery storage can literally be a lifesaver, because if blackouts do occur, the solar + battery backup will be there to keep equipment running and the A/C on. Let’s take a look at the implications of solar + storage in powering home medical equipment, as well as some of the ways it has been implemented to help people with various medical conditions.
How Does Solar + Battery Backup Work?
The way solar battery backup works is quite simple. During the day, when the solar is producing more power than the home is using, the extra power is sent to the solar battery. The battery then stores as much extra power as it can (based on capacity) for use later when the sun goes down and the solar is not producing. If for whatever reason, power from the grid shuts off, the power stored in the battery will be used by the home. The more battery capacity the home has, the longer it can be powered by the solar battery. This setup can help prevent power outages in homes, even when there are widespread blackouts in the area.
Why Backup Power Is Important
Unfortunately for homeowners and renters in the San Diego area, rolling blackouts are going to become more common in the future, especially in the outlying areas of San Diego County. With the increasing number of wind-fueled fires in California in the last few years, (53,083 in 2018 alone) the utilities have come under the gun for being the cause of many of the fires. Pacific Gas and Electric in the bay area, for example, has declared bankruptcy as a result of lawsuits that found that they were responsible for the Carr Fire in Paradise, CA last year. To protect themselves, PG&E along with SCE and SDG&E have announced that they will increasingly be using rolling blackouts during times of high fire danger (high-wind events in the coming years. Since PG&E cut off power to 60,000 homes and SDG&E cut off power to 30,000 homes last year, there is no reason to doubt that they will be actively implementing blackouts again this year.
So while many homeowners can handle 24 hours without power as simply an inconvenience, that is certainly not the case for many people who have medical conditions. Certain medical conditions like require machines that absolutely have to keep running in order to keep the patient alive. In such cases, even 30 minutes of downtime can be a life-threatening situation. That’s why, for people with these conditions, backup power is not an option; it is a necessity. So if you’re a Californian and you have such a condition, the news of these rolling blackouts by the utilities can be disturbing news. It makes power backup solutions even more important, and makes this even more critical of a time to find a solution.