March 12, 2024

Hurricane preparedness with solar and battery storage

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Keeping the lights on when it matters most: Solar and storage’s role in hurricane preparedness

The effects of climate change are visible in every state. From the wildfires in California to the increasingly harsh winters in the Midwest, it’s impossible to deny the changing weather patterns that climate change has brought.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, where hurricanes have significantly increased in intensity. According to some estimates, the chances a hurricane will develop from a tropical storm to a significant hurricane of Category 3 or higher has increased 8% in the past 45 years. When Hurricane Ida hit, nearly a million people were left without electricity for weeks in Louisiana alone—even for properties with solar modules.

That’s why it pays to think about adding storage to your solar array long before a hurricane hits. If electricity goes out thanks to a powerful storm, having storage will allow you to keep vital lighting, medical equipment, and other essentials powered up in a hurricane’s aftermath. The key is to add storage before you need it as part of your hurricane preparedness plan.

Tips for hurricane preparedness

As the hurricane approaches your area, there are a few important tips to keep in mind:

  • Have a plan beforehand. Keep emergency phone numbers handy and program them into your cell phone. Locate your nearest shelter and determine what the quickest route is to reach them. If you have pets, make sure the shelter you choose can accommodate them.

  • Collect emergency supplies you will need to weather the storm. Typically, these include emergency stores of water and food, extra medicine, and emergency power sources like flashlights. This is where your solar and storage system can come in handy.

  • Get your car ready before the storm hits. Prepare your vehicle for the storm by having a full tank of gas or a fully-charged battery in your electric vehicle. Ensure that all vehicles are as well protected from storms as they can be. Have an emergency kit in your car just in case you need to evacuate quickly.

  • Secure your solar module system to a stable structure. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, it’s safe to assume you’ve installed solar modules designed to withstand the high winds associated with a hurricane. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take as many precautions as possible. As best you can, attach your solar electrical system to a structure that is likely to survive.

  • Charge your solar and storage system before the storm hits. This step is key. Solar electrical systems won’t charge as rapidly on cloudy days, and hurricanes bring extensive cloud cover. Be prepared in the days before the storm hits to fill your solar battery to its maximum capacity.

How to choose the right battery system for your home

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to adding a storage system to your solar system. Some of the determining factors will be your overall energy needs, budget, and how many panels you have on your roof.

One solution you should consider is adding an Enphase IQ Battery to your existing system. Not only are they designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions, but they’re also rated by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to the highest possible electrical standards. With Enphase IQ Batteries, you can rest assured they will perform as expected when you need them most.

For peace of mind during hurricane season, the Enphase App allows you to activate the Storm Guard system at the touch of a button. It monitors the National Weather Service for approaching storms. When a storm warning is detected, your system will automatically charge fully so you’re ready if the lights go out. Enphase IQ Batteries are also compatible with most generators to help you during extended electricity outages.

Finally, Enphase IQ Batteries has one of the most robust warranties in the industry. Your system is covered by a 15-year limited warranty, assuring that your system will function properly in the event a hurricane hits.

Add a powerful storage solution to your solar system

In an era where hurricanes are becoming more common and climate change intensifies their destructive power, it pays to think ahead—especially if you have a solar electrical system installed. Adding a solar battery system can help you withstand the worst effects of hurricane-related power outages and keep your essential electrical equipment running.

To explore whether an Enphase IQ Battery might be the perfect solution for you, contact Enphase today!

Frequently asked questions

Can solar modules withstand strong winds during a hurricane?

You should check with your solar system installer to make sure the brand of modules they install have been tested to withstand potential hurricane-force winds. In general, most solar panels are designed to withstand winds up to 140 miles per hour. According to the National Weather Service, when winds are that strong, it indicates a hurricane has reached Category 4 status.

Will my solar modules still generate electricity during a hurricane?

Although solar systems may produce minimal power on overcast or cloudy days, it’s a much better option to install a battery storage system and fill it to capacity before the storm hits. After all, having a full battery charged by your solar system is a vital component of hurricane preparedness.

How much does a battery storage system cost?

Each situation is different. The best way to figure out how much it costs to add a battery storage system to your solar array, is to have someone come to your home to explain your options, decide how much of a battery system you need, and determine which system makes the most sense to help with your hurricane preparedness goals.

Do battery storage options come with a warranty?

Enphase provides one of the best battery warranties in the business. IQ Batteries are covered by a 15-year limited warranty.

If I want to add battery storage, how can I find an installer to do the job for me?

Enphase has an extensive list of installers who can help you add battery storage to your solar system. Find an Enphase installer near you.

Questions? Contact us. We’ll help you build your system, today.
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