Plico Team 30/01/2022 8 min read

What is blackout protection?

We all know that sinking feeling you get when the lights flicker, then flicker again, and everything turns dark. Your mind turns to the food in your fridge, the low battery status on your phone and “where on earth did I put the torch?” At Plico, we have you covered with blackout protection to keep your humble abode ticking along. 

Support from the get-go 

When you join Plico, you’ll be set up with our cutting-edge blackout protection. But what does that actually mean? Well, when your solar + battery solution is installed, we connect it to a back-up circuit. This allows you to generate, store and use energy even when there is a blackout. You can use anything that is connected to the back-up circuit, which will draw from your battery or straight from your solar panels if the sun is shining. What is connected to the back-up circuit is up to you. Most often it includes your fridge, lighting, TV and modem.  

The techy stuff 

Our blackout protection is unique. Standard grid-connected solar systems stop operating in the event of a blackout. When the grid goes down, so too does the inverter’s ability to operate. These are called grid-following inverters and need the frequency of the grid to function. 

Plico uses a smart hybrid inverter with DC coupled batteries, which allows the system to operate like an off-grid system in the event of a blackout. Which means you’ll be the envy of your neighbours next time the power goes out!  

Keep it simple 

While it would be great to have the entire house hooked up, the back-up circuit is limited to around 3kW output, which is usually enough to run lighting and some crucial power point circuits.  

Heavy loads can sometimes overload back-up circuit, for example when a number of appliances are running at the same time on a hot day. This is uncommon, however is easily managed with the flick of a switch. 

How Plico members can manage their backup circuit 

When the back-up circuit becomes overloaded, it can cause mini blackouts. This is when the inverter shuts down temporarily to protect itself, then boots back up again. The best way to manage this is to bypass it.  

If you’re not a Plico member and want to control your own power, day or night, contact us or speak to one of our friendly team members on 1300 175 426. 

If you’re a Plico member looking for instructions, we’ve got you covered: 

There are a series of switches in the inverter – the grey 3-position bypass switch controls the back-up circuit bypass. To activate the bypass, place the grey switch in the UP position and leave it there. In the event of a grid blackout, you can easily re-engage your back-up circuit by switching it to the DOWN position. In either mode the battery behaves normally - discharging every night where there is demand.  

Just another feature of the Plico solar + battery solution that gives you back control of your energy.