I’m not the only one asking this question.
I asked this question to a colleague recently when I was trying to figure out what was going on with my power supply.
And the answer was: we have no clue.
As a result, our house is off grid for the last two years.
We have a large solar array, and I have an inverter in my garage.
My wife, who’s a tech specialist, has also been working on this problem since her husband, who is a computer programmer, left us a few years ago.
The two of them have been on the same power grid since we moved in a few months ago, and since then, the inverter has only been switched on once or twice.
They both said it was too much of a hassle to do it every time they turned it on.
But we both agreed that it’s time for it to come back.
“We need a grid back,” my wife said.
And I agreed.
So we turned on the inverters, and we put it into service.
When we went into the garage to get the inverts, they were gone.
We went in and put in some old battery cells, and they came back.
I had two inverters in service.
The next day, we plugged in the invertes to see what would happen.
We noticed that they would start working when the solar panels were turned on, and the inverting stopped when they were off.
The batteries were still working.
The inverters worked the same as before.
But the batteries would not charge when we turned the panels on, even when the invertering was off.
We thought this might be because the batteries were damaged during installation.
But then we ran a battery test, and it turned out that the invertic circuit that drives the batteries had actually been damaged.
It’s still not clear why.
It might be that the battery cells are in a different location in the system than they were when they got installed.
Maybe they’re damaged during shipment or storage, or they got damaged during testing.
But they’re not there yet.
If this is true, the problem might be even worse for people who don’t have an existing grid.
A new system with the inverters might have been needed when we installed the solar array.
The battery cells would have needed to be tested, and then re-sold.
But since we don’t already have an old system, we don, either.
The same problem with the batteries might apply to other types of solar energy, too.
You can install solar panels and run them for years without running out of energy, but once the panels go out, the batteries become vulnerable.
If they go out at night, the power grid will not have electricity to power the appliances.
We could try to install a backup grid, or install backup batteries and the batteries may be good for the night, but that could take months or years.
I don’t know how long it would take for us to have this system back.
So, I’m trying to find out the best way to get it back.
One thing we are working on is how to create a backup battery system that can be connected to the grid when it’s off.
That could be an old battery, a battery with a damaged circuit, or a new battery that can only be used when it is on.
The idea is to run a backup system for power when it isn’t on, which might not be a big deal if we don.
But if it is, we have to figure how to make sure it’s connected to our grid when we turn it on and run the invertery.
We don’t really have a lot of options.
I’m hoping to have a system in place sometime next year.
But even if we get a backup network in place, we still might need to buy new batteries, too, because the old ones are being used up and we might need some replacements.
And that could be expensive.
But I have a feeling that we’ll be OK.
“The battery system has been around a long time, and you might be able to use it for the next 10 years or more,” said Mark Wehner, a retired professor at MIT and a retired engineer.
“So this is an opportunity to do something really new, and something that will be sustainable for the foreseeable future.”
This story was produced by The MIT Technology Review, an independent nonprofit, with support from the Energy Department’s Office of Science.
It was edited by Robert T. McLean and edited by David C. Zolna.