The lights will stay on during a blackout for this happy customer in Milang

We recently completed this installation of this LG battery system with black out protection. Blackout protection in this case refers to the power from the grid going out in a blackout and the home being powered by a home energy storage system (battery).

 

The LG Chem battery installed inside of garage by NRG

I thought you all might like to know a few things we considered when designing this system.

 

Dedicated critical circuits

The first thing to consider when you are choosing blackout protection is “what do you want to run during a blackout?”. Naturally, if you want to run your whole house (air-conditioning, pool pumps, electric oven etc) then you will need quite a bit of storage to see you through the night – plus you will need to have your batteries ready with a fairly full state of charge at any one time. If you just want to have a few lights and your fridge then this becomes less of an issue. In this installation we have removed the air-conditioning from the “Off-Grid” load but have left the lights and power for the rest of the home.

Manual vs Automatic cut-over switch

Some customers like to have a manual switch to initiate their blackout protection. This way it wont come on when they are not at home and they can spring into action knowing that they are in a blackout by simply going to the dedicated cut-over switch and turning it on. In this installation however, we have chosen to install an automatic cut-over switch, so whether or not our customers are at home, if a blackout occurs the home will continue to be powered from their batteries.

Automatic cut-over time

Another thing to consider is the cut-over time. I like the idea of the power going off for a while before the batteries take over. Lets say 15 – 30 seconds. This is why. Let’s say you are at home enjoying your favourite t.v show and you experience a blackout. If the power flickers off and on you may barely notice it. You may not even realise you are in a blackout. My preference is to have the power go out for a short time. This way you will quickly realise you are in a blackout and think to yourself “wait a moment and our power will come back on”. Once your power comes back on within the set time it will be obvious to all in the home that you are now running from your batteries. Your blackout action plan could include checking on the state of charge of your batteries. If you are starting to run low quickly you can make some decisions such as turn off appliances that don’t really need to be running in order to conserve power so your batteries last longer. Oh, another thing I like about the delay is that I don’t think its great for appliances like fridges etc to be switched off and on instantaneously – but that’s just my thoughts.

State of battery charge

In some instances like this one, we can program the blackout protection to come on only when their is sufficient state of charge to do so. If the batteries are down to 5% charge there may be no use in using them right now.

If you would like to install a solar system with battery storage and blackout protection please speak with the experts at National Renewable Group (NRG) on 1300 858 160 and we will set you up so you too can keep your lights on during a blackout.