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California Public Safety Power Shutoff Survival Guide

California Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Survival Guide

Keep The Lights On When the Grid Goes Dark

During the last two years, more than 16,500 wildfires ignited across California, and in the past 4 years, equipment owned by California’s three largest investor-owned utilities have been deemed responsible for sparking more than 2,000 fires. These utility-caused wildfires and associated damages and lawsuits have motivated PG&E, SCE and SDG&E to implement PSPS and their joint campaign: ‘The Power of Being Prepared’.

Understand Your Backup Power Options

Diesel or gas generators are not the only emergency back-up power available and, when combined with SimpliPhi’s safe, indoor/outdoor battery powered generators (ExprESS & AccEES), precious and often scarce fuel can be preserved during prolonged power shutoffs. SimpliPhi’s residential, mobile and portable backup power storage solutions feature lithium ferro phosphate (LFP), offering significant advantages:

  • They are ready when you need them. SimpliPhi’s energy storage and emergency power solutions do not require annual maintenance and only lose <1% of charge on a monthly basis when not in use.
  • SimpliPhi’s energy storage can be used indoors or outdoors without ventilation, cooling or the risk of overheating or fire. LFP does not contain cobalt, the source of toxicity, hazards and ‘thermal runaway’ associated with other lithium batteries. LFP is environmentally benign, non-toxic and safe to use as a personal power source — even with extended use.
  • Adding a SimpliPhi energy storage solution can improve generator performance, extend its life, save fuel and extend your energy budget during an outage. With SimpliPhi batteries, a generator changes its role from being a source of primary power to a source for charging power. Once the PHI batteries are charged, the generator is turned off until it’s time to charge again

By contrast, consider the constraints using fuel-based generators:

  • Most of today’s gas station fuel pumps require electricity to operate. Finding a station that is able to provide fuel during a power shutoff can be incredibly difficult — especially when entire counties and regions are affected. If you are able to find non-electric pumps, expect to wait hours in line to buy fuel and pay vastly inflated prices before the pumps run out entirely.
  • In the unlikely scenario that home improvement retail stores are able to remain open without power, they will probably not have enough generators in stock for the increased demand during outages.
  • Fuel-based generators release carbon monoxide and toxic pollutants, making it unsafe to use them inside a home, in a garage or under a carport or covered porch. Opening windows or opening a garage door does not help — the carbon monoxide in generator exhaust can sicken or kill.

Understand Your Solar Array As Back-Up

If you have installed grid-tied solar without energy storage, you will lose power during an outage. Grid-tied solar arrays feed electricity to the grid, not your home. Adding as few as two PHI batteries to an existing solar installation will allow you to disconnect or ‘island’ from the grid during a blackout and continue to generate, store and use your own power until the utility service is restored.

Understand How Much Power You Will Need

How much electricity do you want at your disposal when the grid goes down? Storage solutions are as diverse as the range of customers who need them. One homeowner might decide to create a residential storage system sized to provide power only for critical loads like the refrigerator, a home medical device, a computer, cell phone charging, lights and the HVAC system, while another could desire a large battery bank sized to support a home’s entire utility load.

ModelTypeFeatures
PHI Batteries

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Hard wired*
  • Modular batteries that can be combined to create a battery bank of any size to power any electricity load
AccESS Energy Storage System

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Turn-key hard wired*
  • Back up whole-home power solution that includes all the PHI battery and inverter equipment you need in one enclosure
  • NEMA-3R rated cabinet can be installed indoors or outdoors
ExprESS Mobile AC Generator

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Turn-key mobile or hard wired*
  • Fuel-free generator alternative
  • PHI batteries and an inverter enclosed in a NEMA-3R-rated cabinet on heavy-duty, lockable casters
  • Sufficient power to operate computers, appliances, power tools and heating/cooling for hours at a time
Genny Emergency Kits

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Portable
  • Easy-to-carry briefcase- and roller bag-sized mobile generators that come with their own folding solar panel
  • Sufficient power to operate computers, cell phones, appliances, power tools and emergency lighting for hours at a time

*Initial installation by a licensed C10 or C46 electrician required

SimpiPhi’s applications engineers and I.Q. Certified Installers can help you calculate how much energy storage capacity you will need and what solution is best for you. Little and Big Genny Emergency Kits can be purchased directly from Amazon.

Know Your Manufacturer

When it comes to emergency power, failure is not an option. SimpliPhi’s storage solutions have been proven in the field for a decade, including by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Safety is also critical. SimpliPhi storage solutions are ideally suited for use in regions prone to wildfires because they feature the safest, cobalt-free lithium ion chemistry: there are no toxic hazards, no fumes and no risk of fire from the battery itself. Many consumers do not realize that most other lithium ion batteries contain cobalt — which can be incredibly dangerous in a fire because there is no means to extinguish a cobalt battery that catches fire, and because cobalt fires produce deadly, toxic fumes.

Not only does SimpliPhi have a proven global track record you can trust, our California operations lend us unique insight into the wildfire and PSPS problems and the ideal solutions that home and business owners want and need to cope. Through Energize California, we’re committed to ensuring every Californian is truly able to realize the power of being prepared.

RESOURCE LIBRARY

Are you Prepared? Powering Through Hurricanes, Wildfires and Other Emergencies

Palos Verdes Homeowner Prepares for Wildfires with Solar+Storage

Northern Californians Opt for Reliable Backup Power During Wildfire Season

SimpliPhi Helps Governor Brown Go Off-Grid

Florida Homeowners Add Battery Backup to Prepare for Next Storm

AccESS Provides Safer, More Reliable Alternative to Generators in Puerto Rico

SimpliPhi Protects Your Power During Utility Blackouts

Not All Lithium Ion Batteries Are Created Equal

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