Blog Post

Florida Residents Avoid Outages & Save Money w/SimpliPhi

Florida is ranked #1 out of all U.S. states in terms of the number of people affected by power outages, according to the latest Eaton Blackout Tracker Report. Hurricane Irma, for example, left at least 6.7 million Florida  utility customers, or two-thirds of all Florida residents, without power. Florida utilities are also notorious for taking longer to restore power to customers, as was the case in the aftermath of the multi-state Hurricane Michael, where 80% of the customers who were still without power on day nine following the Hurricane were Floridian.

After Hurricane Irma struck in 2017, Florida natives Stephen C. and his wife were without power for seven days. “We lost power as soon as the Hurricane hit. I had a small gas powered generator that was sized to power a few lights and the refrigerator/freezer. Having to deal with the generator was a pain – from the fuel shortages to the refueling to the noise,” Stephen explained. “I had to get it setup in the dark and put gas in it every 6 hours or so. Not to mention the difficulties of protecting it from the weather, having cords running into the house, and having to safely store gas fuel for the generator,” Stephen elaborated. After that experience, Stephen became determined to find a reliable, fuel-free, safe, seamless and long-lasting backup power source.

Stephen researched potential fuel-free backup power solutions and decided that the SimpliPhi PHI batteries were unbeatable. “I liked that the U.S. military had rigorously tested the PHI batteries and that they come with a 10-year warranty, which equates to about 15 to 20 years actual lifetime. The PHI batteries were smaller than most, and could be installed in our garage because they do not need venting and can hold up to the Florida heat, given their wide operating temperature range,” Stephen explained. “I also liked that the PHI batteries use the safest, most environmentally benign lithium ion chemistry – lithium iron phosphate – which doesn’t pose any risk of thermal runaway or fire so I didn’t have to buy or make room for any additional cooling equipment.”

Stephen had also read countless success stories of the PHI batteries being paired with  OutBack power electronics and was certain this would be an ideal combination for him as well. He was excited that the two manufacturers have had such a longstanding, close and successful partnership, as it gave him further peace of mind knowing these brands’ products would easily integrate as well as outperform the competition.

Professional Electrical Services (PES), an experienced and reputable Florida installer, was vetted and selected over nine other potential installers to install Stephen’s SimpliPhi + OutBack system. Stephen already had a 10.1 kW solar energy system installed, so PES retrofitted Stephen’s solar system to integrate four AC-coupled PHI 48V batteries for a total of 14 kWh of energy storage and an OutBack Radian 8048A Inverter. Stephen’s system includes a connection for a portable generator, which allows for possible charging during unusually long power outages, if needed. This solar+storage system also comes with an OutBack MATE3 and access to OutBack’s OpticsRE software platform for remote system control and monitoring. All equipment was purchased through the altE Store

The solar+storage microgrid powers 90% of Stephen’s home, including all outlets, lights, fans, internet, TVs, radios, a refrigerator, a freezer, garage doors and kitchen appliances.

Stephen couldn’t be happier. As he points out, thanks to his reliable and long lasting SimpliPhi storage system, he no longer has to deal with the headaches that are part of relying on a noisy, disruptive, fuel-based generator during a power outage. “The PHI batteries have been well worth the cost. I would purchase them again without a second thought. In fact, the PHI batteries have performed even better than we calculated. We figured we would get 4 to 6 hours of use out of them daily, but they actually are able to take us through an entire night and still have power leftover if we needed to go longer,” Stephen explained.

We spoke with Stephen as Hurricane Dorian approached Florida, and Stephen wasn’t worried. “We had a two hour power outage at the beginning of this week and did not even realize it until the power company texted us asking if our power was on yet. As Dorian comes closer to Florida, I have no worries about power whatsoever. I will probably have a house full of folks taking shelter when Dorian officially hits. My only worry is how to feed all of my guests,” Stephen said.

In addition to providing reliable, safe and long-lasting power during both short and long-duration power outages, Stephen’s solar+storage system will also be used to sell excess power back to the utility through net metering. 

Thanks to his SimpliPhi energy storage plus solar system, Stephen is saving money on generator fuel costs; is able to keep his appliances operating without worry; and is even earning a profit with the excess power he generates.