Residential battery capacity in Puerto Rico and other US territories is growing steadily with forecasts estimating deployments will nearly double by the end of 2026, according to the most recent US Energy Storage Monitor report from the Energy Storage Association and Wood Mackenzie. Installers of Enphase products in Puerto Rico have seen growing deployments of Enphase Energy Systems powered by IQ Microinverters and IQ Batteries, with the grid experiencing frequent outages and climate experts forecasting above-average hurricane activity this year.
“Homeowners in Puerto Rico are increasingly motivated to switch to solar and battery storage in order to manage the all too frequent grid outages and the increasingly high electricity prices,” said Brad Spernak, Pro Solar chief technology officer, an Enphase Platinum level installer.
IQ8 Microinverter-based systems can provide Sunlight Backup during an outage, even without a battery. For homeowners who choose battery backup, the Sunlight Jump Start feature in IQ8 Microinverters can restart a home energy system, eliminating the need for a manual restart of the system.
“The industry-leading home solar and battery system from Enphase means that Puerto Rico homeowners can put blackouts in the past,” said Enrique González, CEO of Power Solar, an Enphase Platinum level installer. “IQ8 Microinverters and IQ Batteries enable homeowners to have peace of mind with a clean energy source to keep their lights on when the grid goes dark.”
Since 2017 when Hurricane Maria caused major devastation, leaving 1 million people without power for three months, Puerto Rico has been on a path to 100% renewable energy. With the passage of Senate bill 1121 last year, Puerto Rico became the fifth state-level jurisdiction to establish a 100% zero-carbon and/or renewable energy mandate. With plenty of sun, researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL reported that Puerto Rico has 40 GW of solar potential, with half of it coming from distributed installations.
“With the abundant sunshine in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is well-suited to harness solar energy,” said Dave Ranhoff, Enphase Energy chief commercial officer. “It’s critical that homeowners in this region also have reliable backup power due to more frequent hurricanes.”
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It’s not just Puerto Rico but all other southern and Midwestern USA homeowners and Californians should have this. Backup power is good, but full-time battery power is better. A battery system should be connected to the grid or to Solar panels for charging and discharged up to 50% every day at a set time running lights, refrigeration and appliances with pure sine wave inverters. If the set time is between 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM, the grid load is reduced when the grid is usually peaked out at its maximum. Many utilities charge twice as much money for power at peak times so the savings would be substantial for the homeowner.
I use lead Acid Deep Cycle marine/RV batteries and the daily cycling helps keep them running for over 6 years. The daily peak time usage also helps pay for the batteries in savings that can be put away for the purchase of replacement batteries. Lithium batteries could last twice as long but they cost three to four times as much as lead acid batteries.
To test this out, get an uninterruptable power supply, usually used to provide backup power to computers and plug it into a time clock that is set to turn off between 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM each day. Let the battery system, inside of it, power your lights or other devices and see how long they run before recharging or the battery is depleted. If it lasts the full 6 hours, you have enough battery reserve. if it comes up short, replace the batteries with bigger ones or parallel in additional sets of batteries. I found that replacing the 7-amp hour batteries with external 35-amp hour sealed wheelchair batteries will run for 16 to 24 hours most lighting, cell phone charging or laptop computer loads for a room.
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