What is "Black Start" and does my solar storage battery need it?

Posted on October 25, 2021

Black Start is an important battery feature for those who experience prolonged black-outs.

When the grid goes down, you may think that having a solar storage battery will save you from the inconvenience of losing power. But this is only true up to a point.

In the instance of a black out, your system will continue to operate as usual - until you totally deplete your storage battery. At that point, your whole solar system will automatically shut down. You won't even be able to use electricity directly from your solar panels while it's being generated during the day.

This is a technical issue where the solar system requires external power (from the grid) to restart after the battery has been completely drained and shut down.

Black Start is a functionality that eliminates this problem.

Having Black Start capability means that your system can restart itself after being completely drained, even while the grid is still down. If you drain the battery overnight, for instance, as soon as the sun rises again, you will be generating and using your solar power (and storing any excess!) as usual.

Two of the brands we recommend - Redback Technologies and Sonnen - both provide Black Start functionality and are the options we recommend for those who experience prolonged blackouts.

Find out more about these two options on our Storage Battery page.