Can You Run a Standby Generator on Solar Power?


Standby generators must monitor incoming utility power for them to operate, and a solar system provides DC power to a battery bank. Home standby generator systems are designed for use with utility power only unless otherwise specified. There’s no way for the generator controller to monitor this DC battery bank as it is looking for AC power.

Also, most standby systems on the market today have specific controls where multiple control wires are needed for the generator to communicate with the automatic transfer switch. These systems do not offer the old two wire start controls that they used to. Installing a home standby generator system for manual operation will void the manufacturer’s warranty and can cause issues with the control system.

While the idea of a solar-powered standby generator is great, these systems are just not designed for that type of use. There is however, two specific systems that are designed and warranted for solar applications. The Generac EcoGen and the Kohler 14RESA can handle these specific solar applications.

They are designed for 2 wire start with the solar system inverter controller and include a manufacturer’s warranty. These systems are for backup power if your batteries ever run out and will continue to run until your inverter controller switches them back over.  We suggest consulting with a local installer who is familiar with these types of systems.


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