bhodilee wrote:two ways to look at this. One, depending on where you are you can conceivably sell power back to the grid.
In CA the account is credited back for power returned to the grid. But if I understand correctly, only in an amount to offset usage; that is you won't be reimbursed should you be a net producer.
Second, and if you think I'm at all joking you are dead wrong, when the zombie apocalypse happens, you'll have power while us other poor saps are driving around in our jalopies trying to stay safe.
There are caveats to that as well. Most systems are 'grid-tie' systems and are prevented from producing usable power in the event of a power failure. The thinking here is they don't want systems energizing the utility grid in an uncontrolled manner. Should the grid become powered down for some reason, maintenance, they want it OFF, period, no surprises for linemen.
However the PV system could be connected via an automatic transfer system but this entails additional complexity, and to remain functional would require some battery back-up, or other, capability.
Again, as I currently understand this, some number of breakers/circuits the owner desires to remain energized in the event of an outage are rewired to the local side of the transfer switch; so you don't get the entire house, but important things, like wine coolers. The battery bank would then power an inverter, similar to what you may find in an auto to provide 117VAC, and this provides an excitation signal so the converters attached to the PV panels will 'think' the grid is still happening and continue working. Those local circuits are disconnected from the grid and are just local; the rest of the circuits are still connected to the grid during the outage. The battery system could, if large enough, actually provide power during darkness, but that type of a system really cranks up the $$$ to install, and maintain. Another option is a local fueled generator.
On the downside, it's only going to be about a month, once people realize the government has collapsed and anarchy reigns, before someone breaks in, kills you, and takes over your house.
basically, if you're going to do this, you need to make sure to invest in some robust anti-intrustion technology. We're talking bars, bulletproof windows, reinforced doors. (this will also help keep the zombies out) Oh, you'll want a close spaced iron fence sunk at least six feet deep in concrete.
Any yes, pretty much agree on this as well, and protecting your garden and any livestock as well!