From the article: One of the biggest complaints I hear about most solar-electric (photovoltaic or PV) systems is that when the grid goes down you can’t use any of the power that’s produced. Consumers have spent thousands of dollars on a PV system, and during an extended power outage on a bright, sunny day when the PV modules are certainly generating electricity, they are disappointed that none of that electricity can be used.
This problem applies to grid-connected PV systems that do not include battery back-up. Off-grid systems work just fine when the grid is down, but the vast majority of the roughly 300,000 PV systems in the U.S. are grid-connected systems without batteries, and most of them lose all functionality when the grid is down.
Given my focus on resilient design (including my founding of the Resilient Design Institute last year), I wanted to install a solar-electric system at Leonard Farm that would have at least some functionality during power outages.