Is it possible to have a grid tied solar installation operate when power is out without a battery bank? All of the grid tied inverters I have found kick offline during power outages. This is a fine safety feature but I'd like to find a way to have my array work when I need it most! This will of course involve installation of an interlock.
I'd like to find a way to have my array work when I need it most!
You'll need to invest in a home battery bank. These batteries are built to simulate grid-like conditions by providing a constant stream of power to your house (until exhausted of course).
The power produced by the inverters would fluctuate too much for most electronics to operate correctly - as others have commented. For example, fluctuations from both the generation-side (a cloud passing overhead causing a drop in voltage) and use (the fridge or freezer attempting to kick on and drawing too much power).
Yes, there are!
This is an example of a product that will do exactly what you are thinking:
Renogy 48V 3500W Solar Inverter Charger
It accepts inputs from the utility grid and solar, then powers your AC loads and charges a battery bank. If the AC utility power goes down, it has a built-in transfer switch and it will power your home from solar and battery power. It can be used without a battery, only from solar, but you will probably want to use it with at least one 48v battery if the outage occurs during the night so you can power your AC loads until the next morning. If used without a battery, it will start up when the sun comes up, and power down at night.
It connects to your AC distribution box. Each inverter/charger can handle up to 4400 watts of solar input, and up to eight 48v 50ah batteries (19200-watt hours storage). These inverters can be daisy-chained if you need more power than 3500 watts.