How Long Can a Home Battery Provide Power During an Outage?

By Isaac Ost
14 May 2018
How long can a home battery provide power during an outage?

When you install a home battery, what you are really doing is providing your home with a backup energy reserve in the case of an outage.

Whether you have a solar panel system at your home or not, a home battery can be used to store electricity and deliver it to your home appliances and devices. The benefits of a home battery are clear, especially during short or long-term outages.

If you are already a solar panel owner and want to install a home battery, or if you are just interested in how a home battery can benefit you, the number one question on your mind is likely, “How long can my home battery supply me with electricity during an outage?”

Before we answer this, let’s look at the features of a home battery that impacts the amount of power it can supply your home.

Home Battery Capacity

The home battery’s capacity is one of the main features that influences the amount of power it can supply to your home.

The capacity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and can vary from as little as 1 kWh to over 10 kWh. Multiple batteries can be combined together to add even more capacity, but a 10 kWh home battery is usually what most homeowners install.

During a power outage, assuming you have a fully charged home battery, you will be able to use almost all of the 10 kWh of stored energy. The reason why you cannot use 100% of this energy is that due to the chemical composition of many home batteries, there must always be a minimum charge present. This is usually around 5-10%, so it is not very significant.

Now that we know how much energy is available from your home battery to use during an outage, the next step is do figure out how much energy your basic appliances and devices use.

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At-Home Energy Consumption

The smartest thing to do during a power outage is to only use electricity for the most necessary things.

This includes appliances and devices like refrigerators, lights, AC, water heater, phone and laptop charging, etc. The more of these you use however, the shorter your stored energy will last you.

A refrigerator is probably the most important thing to power so that you can avoid having your food and drink go to waste. If you have a modern, energy star approved model, your refrigerator is using around 1-2 kWh of electricity a day. This can also be minimized by opening the door less and raising the temperature slightly.

Depending on the time of the year and where you live, your AC may be incredibly important to be able to power throughout the day. Unfortunately, cooling and heating your home uses a tremendous amount of electricity. A typical home AC unit that runs for 6 hours a day will use around 270 kWh of electricity per month. This amounts to about 1.5 kWh of consumed electricity per hour.

At the end of the day , if you absolutely need to use the AC during an outage, it is possible.

Sonnen Home Battery

Water heating accounts for an average of 18% of the total energy used in the household, or around 162 kWh per month. Normally, a water heater runs for around 2 to 3 hours a day, which means that it will consume roughly 5 kWh of electricity a day.

You can also use it less and sacrifice a bit of warm water, and if you have a gas heater, you do not need to worry about this.

Lastly, appliances like lights and activities like charging your phone and laptop can consume as little or as much electricity as you want. If you are really in a desperate situation, you do not need to be using these much at all.

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Pairing A Home Battery With Solar

Based on the above information, we can assume that it would be possible for most households to limit their electrical consumption to around 5 or 6 kWh per day. With a home battery alone, you would be able to power your basic amenities for about a day or two.

Of course, you can extend this electricity use indefinitely if you pair your home battery with a solar panel system. If the weather is right, your solar panels can generate enough energy each day to fully charge your home battery so that you can continue using your electricity.

Home Batteries Provide Energy Security

Owning a home battery is one of the best ways to ensure that you always have access to electricity when you need it the most.

In the event of an outage, a typical home battery should last you for at least a day or two, depending on how conservative you are with your electricity use. When you pair it with a solar panel system however, you can create an end-to-end system for producing, storing, and powering your home. If you are interested in learning more about home batteries and solar panels, check out more here!

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