From weather-related outages to power grid failures, there are so many reasons why homeowners are turning to power supply backups for their homes. There are various types of power systems on the market, but they all help people keep their lights on and appliances functioning when the power goes out.
For a long time, propane, diesel, and other gas-powered generators have been the option of choice in the power supply market. But as technology develops and more people switch to eco-friendly options like solar energy, many have started searching for alternatives.
Solar generators and portable power stations are devices that store extra power for emergencies. But if you already have solar panels — or you’re thinking of getting them — there’s another option available to secure your power. Battery backups are devices that store the extra power generated by solar power during the day, allowing you to power your home during emergencies or blackouts.
What Are Battery Backups?
Battery backup systems are devices that store energy, either from the electrical grid or your solar system. While they serve the same purpose as fuel-powered generators do, many home or business owners use battery backups because they require less long-term cost to maintain. Battery backups are also more environmentally friendly than their fuel-powered counterparts are.
For homeowners, battery backups allow a sense of security when emergencies come up, like emergency blackouts, power grid failures, or other service interruptions.
Another way to use battery backups is a time-of-use utility plan, which can help you save money on energy bills. During high usage times when it’s at peak load prices, you can tap into the power stored from your battery backup to keep your home running. During off-peak hours, when the electricity is cheaper, you can go back to using your electrical grid. For those looking to rely only on power from solar panels, battery backups would allow you to keep powering your home even on cloudy days.
The Benefits of Having Backup Battery Power for Your Home
A home battery backup allows you access to power, whenever you need it. They can come in handy during natural disasters, blackouts, and other emergencies where you can’t rely on the grid.
A backup power source offers a feeling of security that your power needs will always be met. Beyond emergencies, they can also help you manage your energy consumption. By using the backup power at the right times, you can lower your utility bills and make the most of the solar power you produce.
Let’s dig deeper into some of the benefits of backup battery power.
Provides Peace and Protection in Case of a Power Outage
Why do most people choose battery backup systems? The answer is simple: Protection from blackout emergencies. With a backup system in place, you can rest easy knowing that your home can be powered for up to two days, or even more, depending on your choice of battery and personal energy consumption. Whether there’s a natural disaster or another outage, batteries allow you to keep extra energy in your home prepared for when you need it most.
Saves Sensitive Computer Data From Being Wiped in a Power Failure
For anyone with important data on their devices, you know how important power is. From sensitive work files to personal documents, any unsaved information could be lost if there’s an unexpected power outage.
A battery backup eliminates this risk, keeping your data safe from the impact of a blackout. With backup battery power, you can also keep your Wi-Fi network up, securing any unsaved information that would normally be backed up on the cloud.
Prevents Equipment Failure and Ensures Security Systems Continue Operating
When you think about the benefits of backup power, some essentials might come to mind — lights, heating or cooling, refrigeration, kitchen appliances, water heaters, and more. But a battery backup can also prevent the failure of more vital equipment.
For example, it can keep your security systems up and running to keep your home safe. Importantly, it can power essential medical equipment during an emergency.
Offers an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Traditional Generators
When compared to the more common gas-powered generators—which can take large amounts of fuel to keep running—a backup battery system offers an eco-friendly alternative. Using solar power or tapping into the electrical grid itself, you can save power for your home without impacting the environment.
Many backup batteries can also help you make the most of your solar power, allowing you to be less wasteful with your power and taking you one step closer to energy independence.
Enables More Efficient Energy Usage
One of the biggest drawbacks to backup batteries is the upfront cost. Because batteries range from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000, not every household can invest in a backup system.
However, many backup battery systems are designed to save you money in the long run, helping you earn back your investment.
The products are designed to keep your home running during a blackout, but these emergencies are few and far between. In the meantime, some backup battery systems are designed to take some of the load off your energy usage during peak hours, when your utility bill is at its highest. Over time, this can help you make the most of your solar power to lower overall energy costs.
Your Battery Backup Power Options
With blackouts becoming more common across the country, the battery backup market is only expected to grow over the next decade.
However, you still have plenty of options to choose from in 2022. Depending on your needs and your budget, you’ll need a different kind of backup battery. Here’s everything you need to know about these battery backup power options, including cost, output power, weight, and more.
1. Standby Power Generator
While a traditional power generator would be fueled by diesel, liquid propane, vapor propane, or natural gas, a standby battery backup can also be hooked up to the electrical grid or a solar power system. These generators are fitted with a switch, whether an ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) or an MTS (Manual Transfer Switch), that allow you to keep the power running. An ATS generator will automatically switch over to generator power, keeping things running seamlessly. An MTS requires a manual switch to start using backup power.
- 【Compatible Models】Generator Interlock Kit Compatible with Siemens and Murray panels between the main breaker powered by utility power and generator powered by standby power.
- 【Interlock Breaker Types】QP to QP or QP to QPP(Simens) and MP-T to MP-T or MP-T to MPP-T(Murray).
- 【Easy to Install】Just install the plate on the main breaker to ensure it is OFF when generator breaker is ON. Easy to install, no need extra control box or wiring.
- 【Safety Generator Interlock kit】This kit avoids the inconveniences that an unexpected power outage can cause. It is used to direct generator power to any circuit within your home safely. It is truly a great way to safely connect up a generator while assuring that you have access to all of your home electrical appliances.
- 【Package Contents】Our Generator Interlock kit include 1 ×Interlock plate, 1 × Instruction Bulletin, 1×Compatible Model Lists, 1×Caution Reminder Sticker. No need to buy a separate transfer switch. The generator lockout kit installs and works on your existing breaker panel, saving your money and time.
Pros and Cons of a Standby Battery Backup
The standby battery is a popular choice for many homeowners. Here are some of the pros:
- Switches quickly to generator power
- Keeps important appliances running, like refrigerators and water pumps
- Lasts for several days of energy use on both fuel and solar power
- More affordable upfront
While a standby generator is a great choice for some, it isn’t for everyone. Here are some of the cons:
- Doesn’t offer completely uninterrupted electricity
- Permanently installed and difficult to move
- Produces more noise
- Requires a supply of fuel or solar power
- May require a permit, depending on the country and state
- Comes with higher maintenance costs, including regular oil changes and checkups
When To Consider a Standby Battery
A standby battery works best for people who don’t have high power quality requirements, like households or small offices. If you need a seamless, uninterrupted transition between power sources when there’s an emergency, one of the more reliable UPS systems might be a better choice.
It’s also a good choice for homes that already use or plan to use solar power. This would allow you to invest in a standby generator that relies on electricity instead of fuel, cutting down on maintenance costs.
2. Line-Interactive UPS Systems
While a standby backup battery is often used for low-priority power issues — like household service interruptions — an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) takes backup power to the next level.
A UPS system is a power system that provides near-instantaneous protection from power interruptions. There are a few kinds of modern UPS systems, but we’re first going to be addressing the line-interactive UPS.
A line-interactive UPS can automatically regulate the voltage . If the flow of electricity drops too low or stops altogether, the technology immediately responds to restore power. Depending on the size and brand of UPS unit, a line-interactive UPS can provide backup power for a period of time until another generator can be activated or regular power can be restored.
For power protection, a line-interactive UPS system is especially effective for safeguarding vital equipment during blackouts. It allows you to maintain regular performance during periods of low-voltage or short-term power failures. It can be used to shield just one device or an entire data center.
- Work though short blackouts & maintain a network connection/ save files safely during longer blackouts: 1500VA / 900W Smart LCD Battery Backup Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) provides up to 90 minutes of runtime for an entry level PC system, and 10 min of half-load runtime
- 10 Outlets protect desktops & all peripherals: 5 Outlets provide UPS Power Backup & Surge Protection (for desktop, monitor, LCD, keyboard, external hard drive, wireless router, IoT device); 5 Outlets offer Surge Protection Only (ideal for printers and other electronics that are not essential in a blackout)
- Avr corrects brownouts & overvoltages without using battery power: Otherwise known as Automatic Voltage Regulation, this conserves battery power for critical blackouts. Also features TEL/DSL/Ethernet protection
- Free management software / user replaceable batteries: USB port & free software enable unattended system shutdown and power management. Batteries are fully hot-swappable / user-replaceable
- Operating temperature range: 32 to 104 degrees fahrenheit / 0 to 40 degrees celsius
Pros and Cons of a Line-Interactive Battery
Compared to other power systems, a line-interactive UPS comes with some advantages. The pros include:
- Highly reliable for maintaining power whenever needed
- Quick and seamless transition to backup power
- Senses low voltage as well as total blackouts to ensure efficiency
- Low operating temperature and electricity consumption
- Relatively low cost for UPS systems
While it’s a highly effective unit, line-interactive UPS systems have their cons as well:
- No protection against power irregularities
- Larger, bulkier unit when compared to some other UPS systems
- Requires frequent battery use in areas of extreme voltage distortion
- Doesn’t provide power factor correction or frequency regulation
The Right Circumstances for a Line-Interactive Battery
As one of the options often chosen by businesses, line-interactive UPS offers high power reliability. Therefore, it’s best suited to meet homes or businesses that have a high demand for power.
For example, homes, small businesses, departmental servers, or medium-sized enterprises could all benefit from line-interactive battery. Keep in mind that this UPS system still has its drawbacks, like a lack of protection against power irregularities and frequent battery use in certain areas. If this UPS system is being used in an area where the AC line voltage fluctuates or is unstable, the battery may drain at a faster rate, needing to be charged several times a day.
3. Online Uninterruptible Power Supply
Just like a line-interactive battery, an online UPS is a type of uninterruptible power supply. However, online UPS systems use double conversion technology.
With double conversion technology, the equipment doesn’t receive electricity from the AC outlet, but instead the power goes through a rectifier to convert it to DC power. After going through the battery and the inverter, it’s converted back into AC power. Finally, it’s delivered to the equipment.
If there’s a loss of power, an online UPS system will “drop” the rectifier from the circuit, keeping the power steady. This allows the system to skip some of the processing steps, which means that there’s no delay during a power failure — the system maintains a consistent current flow at all times. Once the power comes back on, the rectifier will begin charging the batteries again.
- 1000VA/1kVA/900W on-line double-conversion 2U rack/tower UPS
- 100/110/120/127V 50/60Hz output; High efficiency economy mode option
- Interactive LCD with 9 selectable screens of UPS and site power data
- Expandable runtime, Hot-swap batteries, 12.5-Inch/31.8cm depth
- USB, RS232 & EPO ports, support for SNMP/WEB card option
Pros and Cons of an Online UPS Battery Power Supply
The UPS system is built to handle a heavy load, making it a favorite option for more demanding workplace environments. Some of the pros include:
- Completely seamless transition of power without disturbances
- High-quality load voltage free from distortion, as the inverter is always on
- Improved power regulation compared to other UPS units
While there are advantages to installing a more complex system, this can come with some downsides as well:
- More costly than other UPS systems due to its weight and complexity
- Reduced overall efficiency as the inverter is always on
- Increased rectifier wattage in order to supply power to the inverter while charging the battery
Scenarios in Which a UPS Backup Power Supply Makes Sense
The reliability of this system makes it a great choice to protect more sensitive equipment, including mission-critical equipment. With the double conversion process, online UPS units can handle network servers, data centers, and other demanding loads.
Small and large businesses alike can keep equipment running with a seamless transition to battery power. The kind of industries that tend to use online UPS systems include computer programming, transportation, banking, communications, intensive care units, and motor control applications. Any field requiring a long-time, uninterrupted power supply could benefit from these units.
Like other units, the run time depends on the unit. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the unit, the longer equipment can be powered.
The Leading Brands for Backup Batteries
The backup battery market is still relatively new, as far as these technologies go. But plenty of companies have created innovative products to compete in this growing market. How do you know which one is right for you?
There’s no way to say for sure what the “best” home battery and backup system is — it depends on a variety of factors, including your home size, power needs, and budget. But we’ve gathered a few of the leading brands to help guide you to the right purchase for your home.
Here are three of the top backup battery brands to consider.
APC is one of the top brands for UPS battery backup systems. They offer options for computers and home networks, high-performance servers, business networking systems, and data centers. That means whether you need a battery backup for your home needs or to keep a business running, there are APC battery backups for you.
Starting at only $89.99, this model is a wallet-friendly option for those seeking backup power on a budget. The smaller battery doesn’t offer much power, but it’s enough to keep smaller devices running — or at the very least, save your work and shut down your computer.
With its compact size, low price, lightweight build, and built-in surge protection, this unit offers an affordable way to protect home electronics.
This model is pricier, but comes with enough power to handle more demanding at-home setups. With a bigger and heavier build, this model resembles a small computer tower, but stands vertically to make for easier storage.
With 10 surge protected outlets, the unit is a reliable option for anyone looking to cover a small office, gaming space, or at-home computer network.
Weighing over 110 pounds, this large unit is made to handle just about anything. Any kind of home computer likely wouldn’t need 2200VA, but it could keep one running with continuous power for an extended period of time.
If you have an office or run a small server, this model might better meet your needs. While it has a high price point — over $1,000 — this unit is designed for more complex energy needs.
CyberPower Systems is a well-known manufacturer of UPS systems, surge protectors, and other backup power options. Its most popular products, however, are affordable line-interactive UPS devices. Like APC backups, CyberPower has a wide range of product options that can handle the power needs of anything from a few small devices to an entire home.
While most UPS systems are dedicated to keeping computers and other devices up and running, this model is made to keep your network running. The unit is on the heavier side, but it’s enough to safeguard all of your network equipment to keep your WiFi running for hours.
The battery also comes with automatic voltage regulation, which corrects minor power fluctuations to improve the battery health and keep it running for longer.
This model is aimed at users who need more power — with a large, mini-tower build and 12 sockets. At 1500 VA it offers a hefty amount of power for more demanding home setups or offices.
It puts out about 930 Watts, which is enough to cover large home office or entertainment setups.
This unit blows past most at-home requirements, coming in at 5000VA for a massive amount of power. With a price of about $5,000 and a hefty weight of 92 pounds, a unit of this size requires a bigger upfront investment.
However, it has the power capacity to handle anything from large office spaces to high-end corporate servers or other sensitive electronic devices. It’s also an online UPS, which means it offers a completely seamless transfer of power.
Tripp Lite is another established player in the UPS backup battery market. The company is known for creating simple but reliable power protection equipment with lower installation costs. Its most popular products are line-interactive UPS battery backups.
Depending on your energy needs, there are a few Tripp Lite battery backups to choose from, ranging from 550VA (300W) and 5000VA (3750W).
This model is a more affordable option for anyone seeking a modest battery backup. While it has a smaller battery, it still offers enough power to wrap up your work, save essential files, and safely shut down your computer system.
Although it’s a smaller unit, it lies on the floor horizontally, taking up more floor space.
This model offers a reliable battery backup for virtually any at-home needs. At 1500 VA, it can handle computers, phones, desktops, small servers, wireless routers, or even more complex office systems.
While the batteries aren’t replaceable, unlike other similar models, the SMART1500LCD still offers a half-load runtime of 11.8 minutes. It can also automatically correct brownouts and over-voltages without tapping into battery power.
Find the Best Backup Battery System for Your Home
There’s a reason why diesel, propane, and natural gas-powered generators have dominated the backup energy market. They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to adjust to your home’s power needs.
But there are also some advantages to installing battery backup power for your home or business. Especially when used alongside solar, these systems can help trim your electric bills, keep vital equipment running during emergencies, and ensure that you always have access to reliable power when you need it most. When compared to traditional generators, battery backup systems also have the benefit of being more eco-friendly, requiring less maintenance in the long term, and generally having longer warranties.
From standby generators to more advanced UPS systems, there are plenty of options for homes and businesses with a range of power needs. To help you make the right choice for your home, check out the selection of products from some of the leading brands in the industry.