Question

Is solar a viable alternative to a backup generator?

Asked by Helen J McCoy
Monette, AR

I live in northeast Arkansas. Can I use solar panels and battery storage as a viable alternative to having a gas powered generator for emergencies?

Answer

Using solar with a battery back-up is a costly alternative to a gas powered generator.

  • Each battery costs in the neighborhood of $450-$500.
  • Depending on the load of the critical circuits, your home could require 20 to even 40 batteries.

Also this may only give you up to 16-18 hours of backup power.

Keep in mind too that batteries are also not permanent and have to be replaced. The average life expectancy is only 5 years if maintained properly.

If you have the capabilities, installing a natural gas generator is a better option to a gasoline powered generator.

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.