Solar Industry News

Pika Energy Island Keeps the Power On

Around 1.2 million homes and businesses in the Northeast lost power recently after severe weather brought high winds and heavy rains through the region.

Tom Dunne and Mary Hodgkin didn't even see the lights blink when an outage occurred at their home in Maine. We sat down with Tom recently to talk about their recent installation of solar panels connected to the Maine-made Pika Energy Island with a Harbor smart battery , and how they weathered the unexpected storm:

RE : So, like many others, your neighborhood lost power in the recent storm? Tom : Yes, and we actually lost power the week before the storm for about 2 hours. We were sitting having dinner and didn't know for a few minutes - no flicker, nothing.

RE : Your battery kicked in and did the job? Tom : Sure did - it was our first outage since the installation and we were happy to see that the elements designated to be powered with the backup were indeed working. Same story after the wind storm we just had.

RE : It's nice you could test it out before the big storm outage! How's it going now? T om : We were without power from early Monday until 6pm Saturday , and the solar was able to keep up with our needs. The Pika Energy Island allows us to monitor our consumption, so we can adjust our usage as is appropriate. The battery got down to about 75% one night before refueling with solar electricity the following day.

RE : How would you grade your "islanded" solar + battery Pika system? Tom : In meeting our primary objective of providing a sound solution during an outage, the battery and solar gave a strong "A" performance.

RE : Are your neighbors aware you have backup power? What do they think? Tom : Well, a nice side benefit of the reliable backup is that we were able to store medicines for neighbors that needed them kept refrigerated. Some folks came by to charge up their cell phones. Some other neighbors have generators, but it's nice to not contribute to the noise and smell of those!

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