Connecting solar panels to your UPS system has some benefits that make it worth your consideration.

Key Takeaways:

  • A UPS system provides temporary power during an outage
  • The goal is to keep critical equipment operating while the generator activates
  • Collecting solar energy can cut costs when using a UPS system
  • It also allows you to back the system up using a solar battery

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system provides backup power if you experience an outage. These devices aren’t meant to power your building for long periods but instead buy you some time while your generator activates to offer you long-term emergency power. 

A typical UPS battery uses the power grid to charge. This system is integrated with your regular power supply to ensure it turns on the instant you experience a power outage, keeping vital components active. You’ll typically see UPS systems in hospitals and data centers because the devices in those settings can’t afford a momentary outage due to the damage it could do. 

Using solar panels to power a UPS system is a relatively new advancement that makes it possible to store energy from the sun for these emergency situations. The result is a more efficient UPS setup at your business.

There are pros and cons to installing solar panels and connecting them to your UPS system. Here’s a look at whether a UPS for solar panel setup is worth the investment.

How to integrate solar panels

A typical UPS system has batteries that connect to the power grid and store emergency power from it. A solar system usually sends energy to a charge controller and then an inverter, which ensures your appliances can use the energy. 

A UPS device has a built-in inverter, so you don’t have to worry about buying one. However, you will have to invest in a few components to get your solar panel setup off the ground. 

The first thing you’ll have to do is select your solar batteries. Solar batteries are rated 12-24V, but you’ll want to ensure you choose an option that can handle your energy load. These batteries are responsible for storing energy from your solar panels for future use.

You’ll also need charge controllers, which are responsible for ensuring your solar batteries use the solar energy available to them. They also prevent the batteries from overcharging or discharging. If you have a significant load to power, your setup will require an MPPT charge controller that allows your panel to send more current than the output.

The next step is investing in some solar panels. You’ll want to ensure you have enough panels to meet your desired purpose, whether to charge the UPS and solar batteries or provide additional power to your building. 

Finally, you’ll take care of the wiring. How the system is wired will depend on your setup and how you wish to use the solar energy you’re collecting, so speaking with a professional is essential in this situation.

The benefits of connecting a UPS to solar panels

Why would you want to use solar panels in this situation? After all, you can power your UPS utilizing the power grid, so installing solar panels is an extra step. To answer this question, business owners should look at the pros and cons of UPS installation for solar panels. 

One of the main benefits of using solar panels is the savings you’ll experience on energy costs. UPS systems are expensive to keep charged because you must draw from the power grid to keep the batteries topped up. There’s very little expense associated with a solar system once you complete the installation, saving you money every month. 

You can also use your solar panels to provide additional power for your building, even when the power grid is functioning. You’ll be collecting this solar energy anyway, so you might as well use it as part of your day-to-day operations. The result is a reduced carbon footprint while lowering energy costs even further. 

Your solar system should self-monitor to ensure the UPS is always charged. It can then send excess power into your system, so you don’t waste it.

Utilizing solar panels to power your UPS system has many benefits because it will change how your organization consumes energy. The result is a greener company with a cost-effective uninterruptible power supply in place long-term.

The drawbacks of this setup

Despite the benefits of a UPS for solar panel system, there are some cons. You’ll want to look at these drawbacks before making your final decision.

The main issue with any solar system is the upfront cost. You’ll have to purchase the solar panels and the equipment necessary to integrate your UPS, so you will have the invest in this technology. You can expect some savings on the back end, though, which takes some sting out of the setup expenses.

Another potential issue is the amount of space solar panels require. For this setup to work, you’ll need room on your roofs or other locations around your commercial property for these panels. Space is also necessary for your solar batteries. 

It’s also worth noting that the solar panel construction process has an environmental impact. If you’re making this switch for that reason, it’s essential to factor solar panel production into your decision.

Creating a UPS system to meet your needs

No matter the UPS system you select for your business, getting professional assistance with the installation is essential. This job is significant and could end up powering critical equipment your company needs to survive, so you’ll want to ensure everything is completed correctly. 

Universal Electrical Services can assist with all your commercial electrical needs in South Florida, including UPS installations. Our experienced team will measure your current load, help with the design process, and ensure you know how to operate the system, so you don’t run into any surprises in the future. Contact Universal Electrical Services for a free quote.