Batteries vs. Generators for Home Power Backup

Having a backup power source for your house is a smart idea if you live in an area prone to severe weather or frequent power outages. Although many different backup power systems are available, they all have the same primary function of keeping your lights and appliances running when the power goes out.

Until recently, fears about the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning caused the market for backup power supplies to be dominated by fuel-powered standby generators for houses, also known as whole-house generators. Alternatives to traditional generators that are more environmentally friendly and may be safer include but are not limited to solar panels and their battery backups.

The good news is that a wide range of backup power solutions is available, including solar battery systems and propane, diesel, and natural gas-powered generators. The peace of mind from knowing your family will function even if the grid goes down is yours when you locate the ideal option for your residence.

Batteries for Home Power Backup

For various reasons, home battery storage systems have become increasingly popular in recent years. In addition to the obvious benefit of providing clean energy, more people are becoming aware of the grid’s limitations. There can be many reasons why batteries should be installed at home. One of them is provided by Gerbrand Ceder, a distinguished professor at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as the faculty staff scientist, which is energy independence. According to this, electricity transmission happens between the grid and the battery backup system smoothly without being noticed.

Both solar energy and electricity from your utility can be used to charge these systems. Depending on use and unit size, grid charging provides backup power for ten to twenty hours. Even though you’ll only have so much electricity, it could be plenty if your outages are brief and sporadic. The battery can be recharged as per the requirements until the grid comes back on when used in conjunction with a solar panel setup. One thing to keep in mind, according to Ceder, is that without a battery storage system, a solar panel system would not provide you with electricity during a blackout. Because the majority of panels powered via solar energy will turn off in the presence of power outages, during wires’ repairment, power isn’t routed into the cables.

Power for battery backups comes from the grid or your home’s solar power system. They are, therefore, far more environmentally friendly than battery generators for home that run on fuel, and they’re also more cost-effective for you. Separately, you may utilize a battery backup system to reduce your energy costs if you have a time-of-use utility plan. Using the energy from your battery backup to power your house will save you from paying expensive electricity bills when demand is at its highest. You may use your power usually — and more affordably — at off-peak times.

Solar Panels and Batteries

The energy your solar panels generate may be stored for later use using solar batteries. Creating a “hybrid solar system,” which combines solar batteries and panels, has several benefits, including utility independence and access to dependable backup power.

Solar batteries are only sometimes a part of every solar power system. In reality, just 4% of home solar installations included a battery backup in 2020, albeit that percentage is growing fast. Instead of storing solar energy locally, many solar power systems deliver electricity to a house. The solar power system then “sells back” any surplus energy to the utility company via a link to the traditional electrical grid.

The Working of Solar Batteries

The extra energy generated by your solar panels is saved in the battery generator for home when your house doesn’t require it. When the solar panels do not provide enough energy to meet the building’s demands, the battery dumps reserve power to compensate.

Lead acid, an earlier and cheaper form, and lithium-ion, the currently most popular type of solar battery bank for home, are the two elements generally present in solar batteries that perform reactions within the battery for storing and discharging power.

Solar panels generate most of the power in the middle of the day when your home consumes the least electricity. A typical grid-tied solar system sends the extra solar energy back to the power grid.

However, when solar panels and battery generator for home are used, the extra power is stored in the battery rather than being sent to the grid. You may utilize the energy you’ve stored in your batteries instead of paying for power from the utility when the sun sets and your panels aren’t producing any more electricity.

Your solar battery system’s operation depends on how you set it up. You have three primary choices:

1. Only use a solar battery system connected to your solar panels, often charging and discharging it to provide power at periods when the sun isn’t shining. Solar batteries are helpful if you’re “off-grid” and far from any power facilities.

2. Connect a solar battery pack and the grid to your solar panels. You can decide to charge your battery up to capacity and only use it sometimes to back up other sources of power, selling and purchasing extra electricity from the utility company the majority of the time.

3. If you reside in a location where power prices change according to the time of day, you may set up your system such that battery backup is used when electricity from the grid is purchased during the hours when the prices are on the lower side.

Batteries eventually lose their capacity to react quickly and store energy for later use. Solar battery manufacturers frequently provide warranties or guarantees to increase your trust in how long these items will last, although their lifespan might vary significantly based on several circumstances.

Types of Batteries

1. Lithium-ion batteries

The most environmentally friendly alternative for backup power is lithium-ion batteries. Because they can often link to intelligent home software systems, they have a long lifespan, maximize power use, save expenses, and provide homeowners greater control. Lithium-ion batteries can be installed by owners behind an electricity meter, in a garage, or outside.

2. Lead acid batteries

Lead, water, and sulfuric acid undergo chemical reactions in a lead acid battery, a type of rechargeable battery generator for home for storing excess elictricty. These batteries have been around for more than 160 years, but they are still widely used because of their durability, dependability, and affordability in production and usage.

Benefits of Solar Batteries

The following are some of the significant benefits of solar batteries.

  • Save the energy generated during the height of the day.
  • Avoid paying more when energy is most in demand.

Generators for Home Power Backup

When the electricity goes out, standby generators for homes connected to your home’s electrical grid turn on automatically. In times of power outages, generators are powered by fuel, usually natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel. Other generators can run on either liquid propane or natural gas thanks to a feature known as “dual fuel.”

There is no need to manually replenish certain propane and natural gas generators because they may be connected to your house’s propane or gas lines. However, diesel generators need to be topped off to continue operating.

More prominent, permanent, and smaller portable generators are the two categories into which home generators are often divided. Permanent generators are external systems that can withstand the elements, similar to air conditioners. These generators are linked to a fuel source—such as propane or natural gas—that does not produce electricity. Permanent generators can be fitted with an automated transfer switch that will enable their power to start up automatically when the grid electricity cuts off, allowing them to run even when you aren’t home to turn them on. They are quieter than the alternative, smaller portable generator, but they still generate a substantial amount of noise. Permanent generators are somewhat costly due to their larger size and increased output.

The Need for Generators

A backup solar generator for house is the best option for managing heavy loads or sustaining power for extended durations since it has a higher inrush current handling capacity. Generators must, however, be replaced nearly twice as frequently as lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, generators are noisier than batteries.

The lights, refrigerator, and temperature of your home can all be maintained by generators. A backup generator is an excellent option if you don’t have a solar-powered system, require plenty of energy for extended periods at home, and live close to a natural gas distribution line.

Types of Generators

Following are the some of the major types of generators.

  • Home standby generators

Home standby generators are installed permanently and activated automatically in the event of a power loss. These smart generators are made to kick on even during a power outage and continuously do tests and self-diagnostics, so you will not be concerned about whether they’ll be ready for the next outage. Propane, which can be stored safely compared to regular gasoline, is used to power home standby generators.

  • Portable generators

Although they are smaller, they have a wide range of applications. These generators, which run on propane, gasoline, or solar energy, are less expensive than whole-house generators. Numerous little equipment and appliances may be powered by a portable generator, from tailgating and camping to working in a workshop. Each tool or appliance must be plugged into one of the outlets on the generator.

  • Solar generators

Clean and reliable solar generator for house is one of the few options. No emissions make it the only generator that can be utilized safely indoors. While more expensive to acquire, solar generators sometimes require little upkeep.In comparison to other generator kinds, solar generators produce less electricity. Solar generator for homes is only sometimes dependable because it depends on the sun for electricity, making them unreliable in emergencies or at night. You can install additional solar panels if more electricity is required to boost power production. At the same time, battery power is sometimes added to solar generators for homes to increase power production and dependability.

  • Inverter generators

Compared to other generator types, an inverter generator operates differently. The inverter generator dynamically modifies its engine speed to satisfy the electrical demands instead of running at a fixed pace. As a result, both noise and fuel usage are significantly decreased. It is recommended to use inverter generators to charge computers, tablets, and mobile phones since they provide clean energy. The inverter generator has a lower power source. It won’t be able to operate major appliances, but it is a perfect alternative for traveling, camping, boating, etc., since electricity can also be saved in the inverter generator. However, you may combine the power of two inverter generators.

Benefits of Generators

The following are some of the significant benefits of generators:

  • Automatic, quick, and efficient power distribution.
  • Comfort in knowing that your family and house are protected in times of need.
  • Uninterrupted usage of gadgets, appliances, air conditioning, and heating systems.
  • During storms and outages, comfort and security.
  • When electricity is restored, safety from harmful voltage peaks and surges is provided.
  • Significant increase in the home’s value.
  • Prevents thieves and burglars.
  • Lowers insurance.

Battery vs Generator

The Generac PWRcell is intended to be used daily with solar panels to reduce your power costs. PWRcell stores extra electricity your solar panels generate when more than is needed. You may utilize the energy stored in your battery at night or during periods when your panels can’t supply your home with enough electricity, saving you from purchasing it from the utility company.

Although PWRcell is designed to function with solar panels, a backup generator may also be utilized. You will still need solar panels to charge your PWRcell or use the power grid because it cannot be directly attached to the generator and cannot charge from one.


The price of home batteries and generators varies greatly depending on what kind of generator suits you. Currently, the cheapest portable generators are less costly than residential batteries. However, fuel costs for generators are an ongoing, recurring expense. Home batteries also need a power source investment, but with renewable energy sources like solar, this is only one investment that will provide years of cost-free, clean energy. Depending on your chosen characteristics, house batteries and generators have different prices.


In contrast to household batteries, this is the point at which generators genuinely suffer. Continuous refueling is necessary for generators, and generators use large amounts of non-renewable fuel, which should be stored in addition to the generator itself. Additionally, households using generators must store conditioning chemicals, which must be maintained outside and might be hazardous. In this area, home battery backups are undoubtedly the winner. They don’t emit pollution, run independently, are silent, and don’t need continuing maintenance.

Expected Lifespan

The warranties on battery backups for houses are often longer than those for standby generators. These guarantees are evaluated differently, though. Like phones and computers, battery backup systems gradually lose their ability to retain a charge. As a result, battery backups have an end-of-warranty capacity rating that quantifies how well a battery will retain a charge after the expired warranty. It is simpler to calculate the lifespan of standby generators. If properly maintained, high-quality generators may run for 3,000 hours. As a result, your generator should last around 20 years if you use it 150 hours a year.


The fact that generators emit harmful exhaust is one of the factors requiring outside installation. Inadequate storage increases the fire risk for generators and their fuel. Home batteries produce no pollutants, and while accidents can always occur when using them, they are less frequent because they don’t need gasoline or fuel storage.

Power Supply

Typically, generators provide a lower-quality energy current, prone to power spikes and other quality problems that can harm electronic devices like computers. They frequently require manual startup, which indicates a patchy power supply. A battery generator for home may be configured within milliseconds to offer a smooth backup power source after a power failure. Batteries for homes are also less vulnerable to surges and outages. Standby generators surpass battery backups for houses in terms of the time they can keep your home powered. Generators can constantly operate for as long as three weeks, provided you have adequate fuel.

Generac Power Cell vs Generator

The Generac PWRcell is intended to be used daily with solar panels to reduce your power costs. PWRcell stores extra electricity your solar panels generate when more than is needed. You may utilize the energy stored in your battery at night or during periods when your panels can’t supply your home with enough electricity, saving you from purchasing it from the utility company.

Although PWRcell is designed to function with solar panels, a backup generator may also be utilized. You will still need solar panels to charge your PWRcell or use the power grid because it cannot be directly attached to the generator and cannot charge from one.

The Final Verdict

Even the best battery backup for home requires some consideration before purchase. While basic batteries are easier to install, premium models are more cost-effective to operate over the long haul and better for the environment. In addition, their warranties are longer than those of standby generators.

Conventional generators are occasionally a wise choice. Since just one generator is required to restore electricity during a blackout, the initial expenses are lower than battery backups for houses. Furthermore, standby generators have a longer session life than battery backup systems. So if the electricity goes out for days, they’ll be a better choice.

Besides, generators and batteries differ so greatly from one another that comparing them provides the ease of opting for one of them. Generators may be installed for a reasonable price if you don’t mind the noise, poor current quality, and non-renewable fuel they use. Home batteries, on the other hand, may provide you with reliable access to clean, renewable energy, and as demand for them grows, prices will continue to decrease.

Kateryna Ryzha

Kateryna Ryzha

Kateryna is an experienced writer with a focus in solar energy. She is a specialist in several topics related to energy efficiency, technical applications, renewable energy, and more as a consequence of her extensive reading.

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