If you are really serious about energy independence, you need to have a generator. Solar and batteries can take you a long way, but what about when there are clouds for a week? Or what about if all your relatives come visit and use extra power? What if you don’t have solar and you just want to know you can always run your well pump?
Whole-home generators are a backup power option that generates electricity on-site, using a fossil fuel like natural gas or propane. Even if you already have a grid-tied solar PV system, you can also install a home generator to provide backup power to keep the lights on during an outage.
SouthFace Solar can install a generator so that your home and business will always have power. We are factory certified to install and repair both Generac and Kohler generators and we have experience on a wide-range of sizes and types of equipment.
Generators are sold by their continuous power rating and/or surge power rating. Both are usually given in watts or kilowatts (kW). Continuous power is how much power your generator can produce continuously for hours or days (depending on the generator.) This number tells you how much stuff you can power with the generator. Peak power rating is the max power the generator can make for a few seconds to cover power surges. Motors like the one in your air conditioner or air compressor and other appliances draw a large surge to start up. The peak power rating tells you the biggest device your generator can start.
The smallest portable generators start at 1000 watts or 1 kW. They work well for a small campsite or just to run a fridge and some lights. Portable generators from 5-12kW usually come on their own carts with wheels and work well for RV’s, job sites, or running a few appliances during a black-out.
For larger home backup power usage, Kohler and Generac make standby generators from 6-20 kW which are designed to be permanently installed to power your whole house. They run off propane or natural gas and can be programmed to start and stop automatically once a power outage is detected. These generators are great for emergency power or for off-grid solar systems.
Generac, the #1 selling brand of home backup generators, is perhaps the most recognizable name in whole-home standby generators.
Every single Kohler generator is meticulously tested to provide your home with high-quality power exactly when you need it. The engines are commercial grade, designed to withstand the heaviest of workloads, and can provide all the power you will need for major appliances in less than ten seconds after an outage is detected.
Liquid-cooled generators starting at 30kW are designed for larger power requirements and continuous running. These generators are built all the way up to 150kW to power your large business or small town.
Above 150kW, Cummins and other manufacturers make diesel engines to power just about everything.
Combining Solar With a Backup Generator
Have you ever wondered if solar would keep the lights on during a power outage? Many residential solar PV systems are actually grid-tied, which means that during an outage, an automatic safety shutoff will still prevent any power from reaching your home. By combining a home standby generator with a grid-tied solar PV system, you can reap the benefits of your energy-saving solar PV system without having to suffer through another power outage
Generators without Solar
When you think off-grid, you think SOLAR, and solar is the cheapest and most reliable way you can produce energy. As long as the sun shines, you’ll have power. But, what happens when the sun doesn’t shine much, like during mid-winter or a cloudy week? Lots of panels and a big battery will only go so far. To cover temporary short-falls, a generator fits the bill. If you don’t already have solar, a generator is the cheapest and easiest way to make sure your whole home will always have power.
Take Charge Of Your Power With Whole Home Generator Installation
So, you can combine your solar panels with a backup generator to keep the lights on during an outage, or you can combine your solar panels with a battery storage backup system to save all of your solar energy for later use. But which one will be right for you, your home, and your energy goals?
This is where a trusted and versatile solar installation contractor comes in handy. SouthFace Solar & Electric will help you determine the cheapest, most reliable, and the best option to meet your energy goals and budget by starting with a free solar consultation.