fbpx Skip to main content

What is EPS for Solar & how does it work?

We all love the idea of harnessing the sun’s power to light up our homes, but what happens when the grid decides to take an unexpected nap?

That’s where EPS comes in, our trusty backup plan. Today, we’re delving into an increasingly important aspect of solar energy systems: Emergency Power Supply (EPS).

Imagine EPS as that reliable friend who’s always there when you need them, ensuring that even during the darkest times (quite literally), you’re not left stumbling for candles. It’s all about keeping your home powered and your life running smoothly, regardless of what’s happening outside.

The importance of EPS extends beyond mere convenience. It embodies the strides towards energy independence, allowing solar system owners to maintain power autonomously. Additionally, by relying on EPS, we contribute to a greener planet, reducing our reliance on fossil-fueled power sources and decreasing our carbon footprint.

So, whether you’re a solar power newbie or you’ve been riding the solar renewable wave for years, understanding EPS is vital. Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge to enhance your solar investment, ensuring that your energy supply is as reliable as the sunrise yet unfazed by grid disruptions.

what is eps for solar?

EPS, or Emergency Power Supply, refers to the system that provides power backup when the main grid power is unavailable.

Unlike the continuous power flow from traditional grid or solar sources, EPS activates only during power interruptions, ensuring that essential functions can continue without disruption. It’s a safety net that enables solar-powered premises to maintain electricity during unforeseen grid failures.

A solar power system with EPS operates by detecting grid outages almost instantaneously. Upon detection, it isolates the solar system from the grid to prevent back-feeding (which could be dangerous to utility workers). It switches to backup mode to supply power directly from the solar panels and/or storage batteries. This seamless transition ensures that critical appliances and lights remain operational, even during extended power outages.

when does an eps system work?

Activation of the EPS is automatic upon grid failure, with no manual intervention required.

The system instantly isolates from the grid, ensuring safety and compliance with regulatory standards. Power is then rerouted from the batteries (and solar panels, if conditions permit) to the critical load panel, supplying electricity to designated essential appliances and fixtures.

It is a common myth that solar panels and solar battery storage will automatically provide backup storage in the case of a power cut. However, by law, a standard home solar panel system is required to be disconnected from the grid in the event of power failure for the safety of the grid workers. Only certain types of EPS systems and inverters can get around this.

components of an eps system

An efficient EPS system comprises several key components, each playing a crucial role in delivering backup power:

solar inverter with eps functionality

Many modern solar inverters come equipped with EPS capabilities, allowing them to switch between grid and backup power modes. These inverters manage the distribution of solar power, prioritising battery charging and supplying power to critical loads during outages.

battery storage

Batteries are central to an EPS system, storing excess solar energy generated during the day for use when the grid goes down. The capacity and type of battery (e.g., lithium-ion, lead-acid) determine the duration and amount of power available during an outage.

control system

This component oversees the entire EPS system, monitoring grid status, managing power flow, and ensuring efficient operation of the backup system. It decides when to charge or discharge the batteries and when to switch to EPS mode.

critical load panel

A critical load panel is often installed to separate essential circuits that will be powered by EPS from non-essential ones that will not. This ensures that power is prioritised for crucial needs, such as lighting, refrigeration, and medical equipment.

levels of eps

automatic sockets

Your solar battery system can include a dual 13A socket wired as an EPS outlet, offering a cost-effective enhancement to any solar PV setup. This outlet allows the inverter to swiftly disconnect from the grid and redirect power to the socket during an outage, taking mere seconds. It’s particularly handy for running smaller appliances, such as charging a mobile phone or powering a lamp, drawing energy at rates of either 3kW or 5kW, depending on the specifications of your battery and inverter.

automatic circuits

Integrating an additional consumer unit and some wiring allows the battery inverter to control one or more electrical circuits directly, typically those for lighting and possibly the refrigerator. In the event of a power outage, these circuits will, after a brief pause, automatically receive power from the battery. This method is constrained by the EPS output’s power limits, making it unsuitable for supplying electricity to an entire house.

manual whole house backup

During a power outage, the homeowner has the option to manually switch off all high-consuming devices and activate a switch to supply the entire house from the battery. This manual changeover involves rerouting both the incoming grid connection and the main consumer unit through the battery system. This setup requires manual intervention but promotes energy conservation by encouraging the homeowner to deactivate high-energy appliances, preserving battery life for essential needs.

automatic whole house backup

For those aiming to power their whole home continuously, with or without grid access, an off-grid energy inverter presents an optimal solution. These solar PV systems can handle significant loads, automatically switching to battery power during outages. While seamless, this option requires a sizable battery to meet household demands, which can be expensive.

automatic whole house backup (with off-grid capabilities)

In designs where the battery inverter powers the solar inverter, the system can maintain home power independently of the grid connection. This setup ensures that, provided there’s sunlight, the system can power your home continuously, offering complete off-grid functionality. Systems exemplify such configurations, overcoming the limitations of battery capacity and storage at the moment of grid failure by relying on continuous solar power.

choosing the right eps for your needs

Choosing the appropriate level of EPS depends on several factors, including your energy needs, budget constraints, and the frequency and duration of local power outages.

First and foremost, evaluate your energy consumption patterns and identify which appliances and systems are crucial during a power outage. Considerations include not just the essentials like lighting and refrigeration but also any medical equipment, heating or cooling needs, and connectivity devices. Understanding your priority needs will guide you in selecting the EPS level that aligns with your lifestyle or business operations.

While it’s important to meet your energy needs, it’s equally vital to consider your budget. Basic EPS setups are more affordable but offer limited coverage, whereas advanced systems provide extensive backup at a higher cost. Balance your need for backup power with what you are willing to invest.

Armed with a clear understanding of your needs and the options available, consult with solar energy professionals to discuss your situation. They can provide insights into the most cost-effective and efficient systems for your specific requirements. Also, consider the longevity and warranty of the equipment, as these factors will impact the system’s value over its lifetime.

the importance of eps in solar installation

The integration of an EPS into solar installations is not just an added benefit; it’s becoming an essential component of modern renewable energy systems. Essentially, EPS holds a pivotal role in ensuring the reliability, efficiency, and sustainability of solar power solutions.

ensuring reliability and continuity

One of the primary advantages of an EPS system is its capacity to provide uninterrupted power, ensuring reliability and continuity for homes and businesses. Solar energy, while abundant and renewable, is subject to fluctuations due to weather conditions and daylight hours. An EPS system addresses this variability, offering a stable power supply even during outages, thus mitigating the risk of disruption to daily life or operations.

promoting energy independence

With an EPS, solar energy users gain a higher degree of energy independence. By storing excess solar power for use during grid failures or peak demand times, homeowners and businesses can reduce their reliance on traditional power grids. This independence not only enhances resilience against external disruptions but also contributes to a more balanced and less strained electricity network.

supporting sustainable energy goals

EPS systems are instrumental in advancing sustainable energy goals. They enable more efficient use of solar energy by capturing and storing surplus generation for later use, thereby reducing the need for fossil fuel-based power generation during peak demand or outages. This contributes to a reduction in carbon emissions and fosters a greener, more sustainable energy landscape.

economic benefits

Investing in an EPS for a solar installation can offer significant economic benefits over time. By maximising the use of generated solar power and reducing dependence on the grid, especially during peak tariff times, EPS systems can lead to substantial savings on electricity bills. Additionally, the increased demand for and implementation of EPS solutions can spur job creation and growth within the renewable energy sector.

enhancing resilience against climate change

Climate change is leading to more frequent and severe weather events, including storms and power outages. An EPS system enhances the resilience of solar installations against such events, ensuring that power remains available during critical times. This resilience is essential for emergency services, healthcare facilities, and communities at large, providing them with a reliable power source when it’s most needed.

eps and the future of solar energy

As we gaze into the horizon of renewable energy, the synergy between Emergency Power Supply (EPS) systems and solar energy stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainability. The evolution of solar energy is inextricably linked with advancements in EPS technology, which promises to revolutionise how we store, manage, and utilise solar power. Innovations in battery technology and intelligent energy management systems are enhancing the efficiency and capacity of EPS, making solar energy more reliable and accessible than ever before. The integration of EPS with smart grids marks a significant milestone, enabling a dynamic exchange of energy that bolsters grid stability and promotes a more distributed energy model.

This not only paves the way for enhanced grid resilience but also empowers consumers towards total energy autonomy, reducing reliance on traditional power networks. As EPS technology advances, it unlocks the potential for solar installations to provide uninterrupted, sustainable power, fostering a future where energy autonomy is not just a vision but a practical reality. The convergence of solar energy and EPS technologies is setting the stage for a transformative shift in the energy landscape, heralding an era of greater sustainability, independence, and resilience.

Get an Instant Quote using our Online Calculator

Get a Free Quote