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Reviews on the best portable solar generators with a pic of a generator

Having a generator as part of your survival gear can come in very handy.

You never know what type of situation you will end up in.

It could be from rolling blackouts, just like California experience last year when the power company decided to cut power from homes to help lower the risk of fire. It could be losing power in a bad storm or hurricane.

Having a good generator in an emergency may mean the difference between making sure knowing your loved ones are safe or worrying if they are alive.

There are many situations where a generator can come in handy. In this article, we explore solar generators. We discuss some of the technical details, as well as the pros and cons, and what to look for when shopping for a solar generator.

The 5 Best Portable Solar Generators

Preview
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Wh Battery Powered Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs
MAXOAK Portable Power Station BLUETTI EB150 1500Wh AC110V/1000W Camping Solar Generator Lithium Emergency Battery Backup with 2 AC outlet Pure Sinewave,DC12V,USB-C for Outdoor Road Trip Travel Fishing
Sungzu Portable Power Station 1000W, 1010Wh Portable Solar Generator Lithium Battery Backup Power Inverter with 2 110V AC Outlet, 2 DC, 4 USB for Home and Outdoor Camping Emergency
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station WiFi Mobile App Enabled 1425Wh Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inverter, USB, USB-C, USB-PD, 12V Outputs
Nature's Generator Gold System 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Pure Sine Wave Off-Grid Generator + 100W Solar Panel, w/Infinite Expandability, Gasless for Refrigerators, RV, Tiny Homes or Emergency Backup
Product
Goal Zero Yeti 400
MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150
Sungzu 1000W
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station
Nature's Generator Gold System
Power Output/Wattage
400W
1000W
1000W
1428W
1800W
Battery Capacity
396 Watt Hour
1500 Watt Hour
1010 Watt Hour
1425 Watt Hour
720 Watt hour
Preview
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Wh Battery Powered Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs
Product
Goal Zero Yeti 400
Power Output/Wattage
400W
Battery Capacity
396 Watt Hour
Check Price
Preview
MAXOAK Portable Power Station BLUETTI EB150 1500Wh AC110V/1000W Camping Solar Generator Lithium Emergency Battery Backup with 2 AC outlet Pure Sinewave,DC12V,USB-C for Outdoor Road Trip Travel Fishing
Product
MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150
Power Output/Wattage
1000W
Battery Capacity
1500 Watt Hour
Check Price
Preview
Sungzu Portable Power Station 1000W, 1010Wh Portable Solar Generator Lithium Battery Backup Power Inverter with 2 110V AC Outlet, 2 DC, 4 USB for Home and Outdoor Camping Emergency
Product
Sungzu 1000W
Power Output/Wattage
1000W
Battery Capacity
1010 Watt Hour
Check Price
Preview
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station WiFi Mobile App Enabled 1425Wh Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inverter, USB, USB-C, USB-PD, 12V Outputs
Product
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station
Power Output/Wattage
1428W
Battery Capacity
1425 Watt Hour
Check Price
Preview
Nature's Generator Gold System 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Pure Sine Wave Off-Grid Generator + 100W Solar Panel, w/Infinite Expandability, Gasless for Refrigerators, RV, Tiny Homes or Emergency Backup
Product
Nature's Generator Gold System
Power Output/Wattage
1800W
Battery Capacity
720 Watt hour
Check Price

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Watt Battery Powered Generator

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Wh Battery Powered Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs
465 Reviews
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Wh Battery Powered Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs
  • 396Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 7 devices at once (33Ah @ 12V)
  • Continuous 300W, 600W surge pure-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
  • Charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and most small devices. Backup power for small appliances, lights, and more
  • Recharges from AC, 12V or solar panels (sold separately). Gas-free generator alternative with no noise, no fumes, no maintenance
  • Chainable with other 33Ah lead acid batteries for longer runtimes

This solar generator power system can power up to seven devices at one time using a 396Wh lead-acid battery. It can charge laptops, cameras, phones, tablets, and other small devices. It can also be power backup for lights, small appliances, and more. It is a generator with no-gas-required alternative that has no maintenance, no noise, and no fumes. In order to provide longer runtimes, you can chain it with other batteries of the same type.

The solar generator is ideal if you are going camping or traveling around in your RV or even living off the grid. It will help to keep all of your devices that are essential charged and ready to use. This generator is an all-in-on generator that you can start with the touch of a button. You can charge it in 13 hours using a car charger, 8 hours using solar panels, or 5 hours for a wall outlet. It is safe to use inside your car, your home, RV, or tent.

There is an informative LCD display which will help you estimate your runtime. It only weighs 29 pounds and measure 8 x 10.25 x 8 inches and has a wattage of 400. With this design, you can chain other 33Ah lead-acid batteries to extend the power and runtimes, so you do not have to frequently recharge.

Pros

  • Lightweight makes it easy to carry and move around
  • Great for indoor spaces
  • Reliable, rugged

Cons

  • Have to buy the solar panels and car charger separately
  • The 33 AH battery has limited storage capacity for the 12-volt system
  • Has a heavier battery because it is a lead-acid battery

Battery charges

  • Smartphone—100 charges for 5-7 watt-hours
  • Digital camera—20 charges for 8-watt hours
  • Laptop—3-5 charges per 50-watt hours
  • Tablet—10 charges per 25-40 watt-hours

MAXOAK Portable Power Station BLUETTI EB150 1500Wh AC110V/1000W Camping Solar Generator – Lithium Emergency Battery Backup with 2 AC outlet Pure Sinewave, DC12V, USB-C

MAXOAK Portable Power Station BLUETTI EB150 1500Wh AC110V/1000W Camping Solar Generator Lithium Emergency Battery Backup with 2 AC outlet Pure Sinewave,DC12V,USB-C for Outdoor Road Trip Travel Fishing
98 Reviews
MAXOAK Portable Power Station BLUETTI EB150 1500Wh AC110V/1000W Camping Solar Generator Lithium Emergency Battery Backup with 2 AC outlet Pure Sinewave,DC12V,USB-C for Outdoor Road Trip Travel Fishing
  • Highest Capacity Power Station: 1500Wh/1000W(Max.), Longest Lasting Lithium Power Station, Built in Top-brand LG Battery Cell, Safety and Quality is Rest Assured. Specially Designed for High-power Device Such as Blender, Drill, Hair Dryer(Max.1000W).
  • Multi-use&Various Outputs: 2*AC Outlets(Standard AC110V US Plug) for Most Household Appliance under 1000W Such as TV, mini Refrigerator, Household Dryer, CPAP,Drone.1*DC12V for Car Powered Devices like Car Fridge, Car Vacuum Cleaner,1*PD Type-C (Max 45W) for USB-C Devices Such as Laptop MacBook/MacBook Pro & PD USB-C Phones,4*5V3A(Max) USB for phones, Tablets, Camera, Fans, light, etc, Keep Multi Devices Powered in Case Power Failure or Away from a Wall Outlet, Widely Used for Indoor or Outdoor.
  • Solar/AC Recharge: 1)This Power Generator Can be Recharged from the Sun with Solar Panel (Open Circuit Voltage must be 16V~60V(Max),Max 500W,Solar Panel not Included). 2) This Power Station Can be Fully Charged in 10 Hrs by being Plugged into the Wall Outlet.Charge Time varies on the Solar Panel(Higher Power of the Panel, Shorter Charge Time you will Get), eg. 300W Solar Panel: About 5-5.5Hrs. 3*150W Panel in Series: About 3.5-4Hrs. Tips:Car Charge: you need buy a Power Inverter(≥300W) yourself.
  • Other Highlights: 1) MPPT High Efficient Solar Charing; 2) MC4 Solar Charging Cable is Included, No need other Charge Controller; 3) Battery Management System (BMS),Protect from Overvoltage,Overcurrent,Short-circuit, Temperature Control & more Safeguards. 4) LCD Screen to Monitor the Remaining Capacity/Charging/Discharge/Abnormal Status, Error Code will be Showed for any Malfunction; 5)Auto Shut off after Fully Charged; 6) 50/60Hz Frequency Adjustable 7)Size&Net Weight: 14.6*6.5*14.4inch,37.9lb.
  • What you Can Get: 1 * Portable Power Storage (EB150), 1 * AC Wall Charger, 1 * PV Solar Charging Cable(DC7909 to MC4), 1 * User Manual, 1 * Warranty Card(12Months), 1* Certificate of Qualification

This solar power generator has a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 1500Wh. It is different than other power stations with smaller capacity, in that it is capable of charging the higher power devices like your hairdryer, an electric drill, and more as long as the device is not more than 1000W. With the huge capacity, after being fully charged, it will ensure that your device(s) will have a longer charge time.

This solar generator can be charged with solar panels using sunlight or AC recharged. It can be fully charged in ten hours if you have the wall outlet charge, but the time varies if you are using sunlight. The higher power of the solar panel they shorter charge time. For example, if you use a 300W solar panel it will take about five hours. To monitor the generator for the capacity, discharge, charging, or any abnormal status there is an LED screen. If there is any malfunction it will show an error code.

The battery management system helps to protect it from over-current, short-circuit, over-voltage, and temperature control. It is great for both indoor and outdoor use. This solar generator weighs 37.9 pounds so for some, it may be a little heavy to carry. It measures 14.6 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches with 110 volts and 1,000 wattage.

Pros

  • The high capacity power station
  • Specially designed for higher powered devices
  • Automatically shuts off after it is fully charged

Cons

  • The solar panels need to be bought separately
  • The power station is not TSA approved

Sungzu Portable Power Station 1000W, 1010Wh Portable Solar Generator Lithium Battery Power Backup Inverter with 2 110V AC Outlet, 2 DC, 4 USB

Sungzu Portable Power Station 1000W, 1010Wh Portable Solar Generator Lithium Battery Backup Power Inverter with 2 110V AC Outlet, 2 DC, 4 USB for Home and Outdoor Camping Emergency
39 Reviews
Sungzu Portable Power Station 1000W, 1010Wh Portable Solar Generator Lithium Battery Backup Power Inverter with 2 110V AC Outlet, 2 DC, 4 USB for Home and Outdoor Camping Emergency
  • 【A perfect portable power station makes you out of power outage anxiety. 】Ideal power supply for home and outdoor battery backup or emergency, which works for almost all the electric device less than 1000W(the peak power 2000 watt) such as smart phone, laptop, Camera, light, TV, fan, drone, CPAP, power bank, mini refrigerator etc. No worry for the power outage once you get this portable power station.
  • 【High capacity power station】1010Wh(273,000mAh/3.7V), much bigger capacity to provide more and longer power supply. Equipped with 2*AC outlets (110V 9.1A 60Hz), 2* DC ports (12V/8A max), 4*USB ports (5V 3A max), OLED screen with display charging/discharging and battery life status. Perfect for home and shop battery backup, outdoor activities, medical equipment, construction site etc.
  • 【Easy to recharge via the solar and wall socket】 This portable generator is equipped with a lithium battery pack. It can be recharged directly though the wall socket or a 32-45V output solar panel (Sungzu 100W super compatible, sold separately). Full charged only takes 5.5~7hrs by wall socket, takes around 8hrs by 200W and 14hrs by Sungzu 100W solar panel at normal sun illumination. Clean power, more eco-friendly than the traditional generators, Fuel-free and Gasoline-free, No smoke, No noise.
  • 【Safety and warranty】 SKA1000 is certified with CE RoHS FCC, which with perfect safety systems: short circuit protection, over-charge protection, over-heat protection, over-discharge protection, over-voltage protection. Return within 30 days hassle-free, 18 months product warranty and lifetime customer service commitment.
  • 【What you get】 Package included 1*1000-watt portable power station, 1*adapter, 1*power cable, 1*micro USB cable, 1*cigarette lighter line, 8*fuse tubes, 1*instructions, 1*quick start guide.

This is the perfect solar generator to help you with power outage anxiety. It is a very good generator for outdoor or indoor emergency or battery backup.

It will work with most electrical devices that have less than 1000 wattage like your laptop, camera, fan, drone, mini-fridge, and more. It is easy to recharge using a wall socket or with solar energy. It includes a lithium battery-pack and takes five to seven hours to recharge if you use the wall socket but can take as long as fourteen hours using sunlight.

It is fuel-free, gasoline-free, making it eco-friendly by using clean power. There is no noise or smoke with this generator. It comes with various protections such as over-charge, over-voltage, over-discharge, and over-heat. It can be used on camping and fishing trips, at home, to run your CPAP machine, and more. This solar generator weighs 25.4 pounds and measures 16 x 6.4 x 10.8 inches.

When you purchase this solar generator, you can get it in 300W, 500W, and 1000W.

Pros

  • The higher capacity station will give you a longer power supply
  • Lifetime customer service commitment
  • The outside of the generator is of high quality.

Cons

  • Does not come with a solar panel
  • Does not display how many watts are being used or being inputted into the battery

Power supply time

  • Cell phone—60 times
  • Television—11 hours
  • Lighting—33 hours
  • Laptops—11 times
  • Fan—22 hours
  • Tablet—14 times

Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station WIFI Mobile App Enabled 1425Wh Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500-Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inverter, USB, USB-C, USB-PD, 12V Outputs

Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station WiFi Mobile App Enabled 1425Wh Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inverter, USB, USB-C, USB-PD, 12V Outputs
100 Reviews
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station WiFi Mobile App Enabled 1425Wh Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inverter, USB, USB-C, USB-PD, 12V Outputs
  • 1425Wh lithium portable power station can power up to 10 devices at once (single cell equivalent capacity: 396Ah @3.6V)
  • Patented AC inverter (output, pure sine wave) and 60W USB-C power delivery ports
  • WiFi connectivity, simply connect a Yeti through your WiFi router and control it remotely using the Yeti App
  • Charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones, and more. Powers your refrigerator, blender, TV, lights, power tools and medical devices
  • Using App, check battery level, power in and out, even turn ports on and off, all from the palm of your hand.

This generator can be used to run ten devices at a time. It has an AC inverter, which means the output is pure sine wave. There is also Wi-Fi connectivity using your router and then you use the Yeti app to control it. It has the capacity to charge your phone, laptop, drone, camera, computer, and more. It can also power your television, tools, and more. When you use the app you can check out the level of the battery, turn ports off and on and see the power going in and out. This generator has pure sine wave.

This solar generator is clean, exhaust-free, and portable. It weighs 43.7 pounds, which is a bit heavy but it does have the capacity to run high-power devices. It measures 10.1 x 15.3 x 10.4 inches. This generator is safe to use in your apartment or home. The lithium battery pack prevents short-circuiting, over-charging, and over-current. It is packed in a water-tight enclosure so it is sealed against the elements. It allows for a user-replaceable system. It also comes with an advanced cooling system that helps to regulate the temperatures of the system.

It comes with a wall charger that will recharge your solar generator in twenty-five hours. If you pair it with the solar panel it will take as long as thirty hours to charge but it depends on the conditions. It can charge and give you power simultaneously at the same time. With this generator, you can charge it and it will hold that charge for several months. An example of its charging power is by using this fully charged it can run a fridge for about twenty-six hours, but a gasoline generator can only run the same fridge on one tank of gas for about six hours. It also has no additional operation or maintenance costs such as gas or oil changes.

Pros

  • It comes with a Wi-Fi mobile app
  • It has an energy-dense state-of-the-art lithium battery with many layers of protection and security to make sure it operates safely.
  • Long shelf life for those unexpected outages of power

Cons

  • It does not come with solar panels
  • Customer service can be better
  • Wi-Fi software does not work all that well

Recharges and power hours

  • Smartphone—70 charges
  • Tablet—52 charges
  • 32 inch LCD Television—14 hours
  • Laptop—23 charges
  • Fridge—23 hours
  • Camera—230 charges

Nature’s Generator Gold System 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Pure Sine Wave Off-Grid Generator + 100W Solar Panel, w/Infinite Expandability

Nature's Generator Gold System 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Pure Sine Wave Off-Grid Generator + 100W Solar Panel, w/Infinite Expandability, Gasless for Refrigerators, RV, Tiny Homes or Emergency Backup
26 Reviews
Nature's Generator Gold System 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Pure Sine Wave Off-Grid Generator + 100W Solar Panel, w/Infinite Expandability, Gasless for Refrigerators, RV, Tiny Homes or Emergency Backup
  • Nature's Generator has a built-in 1800W Pure Sine Wave Inverter and Internal 60 AH battery; Helps produce 720 watt hours of total output on a single charge.
  • System includes 1 x 100W Polycrystalline Nature's Generator Power Panel with built-in wheels for ease of transport and movement. Also includes 50ft power panel cable for easily connecting the Power Panel to the Nature's Generator (some assembly required).
  • The Nature's Generator features 3 x 120V AC outlets, 2 x USB ports that produce 3A of combined power , 1 x 12V DC outlet, 1 x Solar Input (200W charge controller built-in) and 1 x Wind Input (300W charge controller built-in).
  • The front of the Nature's Generator also features a light up LCD screen that gives the user a view of the battery level, charging status, output usage (above 100W) and more!
  • The back panel of the Nature's Generator also has a built-in 600-Volt/175 Amp expansion port for connecting an unlimited amount of Nature's Generator Power Pods.

This solar generator produces 720-watt hours of output with a single charge. This system does come with one Polycrystalline Nature’s Generator Power Panel. There is also a fifty-foot power panel cable so you can connect the panel to the generator easily. On the front of this solar generator, you will find an LCD screen which lights up to give you the charging status, a view of the level of the battery, output usage, and more. On the back of the generator, you will find there is a built-in expansion port (600-Volt/175 Amp) so you can connect an unlimited number of their Generator Power-Pods. With this solar generator you can basically create a solar production plant.

It combines wind power and solar, to give the user two ways naturally to generate free electricity. The generator will store the energy in the battery, converting it 12-Volt power into 120-Volt household electricity to run what you need. This is the perfect backup and emergency power source that you can use inside your home. It has 300W max wind input and 200W max solar input. If you are not using the battery on a regular basis you should try to recharge it every three months or keep it plugged in. In the package, you also get a cart that you can use to move the generator.

There is a Smart key dongle that lets you sync the generator via Bluetooth with the pulse app so you can keep track of the system use and level of the battery. The weight of this solar generator is 128 pounds so you will need the cart that is included to move it around. It measures 23 x 22 x 17 inches. If you want to increase the panels recharge you can add one more solar panel to the generator. The set up of this generator is fairly easy and in most cases, it can be set up in ten minutes.

Pros

  • Built-in wheels on the panel for easy movement and transportation.
  • Comes with one solar panel
  • This solar panel has a winter and summer tilt position

Cons

  • To use this solar generator for wind power you have to purchase the Nature’s Generator Wind Turbine and then you will hook it up to the wind input on the generator.

What are Solar Generators?

Solar Generators are a device that converts solar energy, which is light energy emitted by the sun, and turning it into electrical energy. This is referred to as photovoltaic power.

There are some that use a solar generator to be earth-friendly while others use them to reduce utility bills, for power outages, and others if they want to live off the grid.

Many times, they are referred to as a solar generator but are often just a rechargeable battery that is powered by a solar panel.

The solar generator is comprised of three main parts, which include:

  • Solar panel—this is what is used to collect sunlight or solar energy. It is also called a photovoltaic cell. This is a panel that is very delicate and made with amorphous or crystalline silicon along with other items that will allow the panel to convert the light from the sun into electricity. It is what they place strategically to capture the most sunlight. A solar panel is made of many individual solar cells.
  • Battery—this is what is used to collect the energy until you are ready to use it. It also makes sure that there is energy available when the sun goes down. The battery is a deep cycle one that is made for continuous use with a voltage of 12 or higher volts of electricity. There should also be a voltmeter so the incoming and outgoing electricity can be measured.
  • Inverter—this is what coverts the power that is stored in the battery to AC power for powering your electrical devices. Many have a pure sine wave inverter, which produces a smooth sinusoidal AC waveform. This is the type of inverter that many looks for when they are purchasing a solar generator. The reason is that many of the electronic appliances and products that you will need to use a generator for use standard utility electricity. This is a pure sine wave so that is why you need it in your generator so they will work better and more effectively. Always make sure of the watts that you will need to run the appliance or product effectively so that you will get the correct inverter. For example, if you have something that requires 1500W it will not work with a 400W. You do not want to spend money on a solar generator that does not have the right inverter or if you must buy one, you want to get the right one.

With an inverter, you should check out the features such as USB ports, solar charger, LCD display, overload and over-heat protection. You should also look to see if it has a power jump start so that if your car battery dies, you could use the inverter to jump start your car.
Electricity is either DC (direct current) or AC (alternating current). Solar energy is direct current. Since most appliances use AC, you will need to make sure that you have an inverter. This will convert the DC to AC and will usually have the standard plugins for AC power. There are a few appliances that you can buy that run on DC power. A solar generator can range in size from small, to power a few items at a time, or one that is large enough to power a building completely.


Types of Generators

Advantages of a solar-powered generator vs other types of generators

There are several types of generators on the market, each with their own pros and cons.

  • Diesel
    Pros—long life, highly durable, easy to start even in the cold
    Cons—release emissions which can be a threat to the environment, not well suited to wet environments
  • Natural gas
    Pros—run quietly, cause very little disturbance, burn without producing too much waste
    Cons—do not last as long as a diesel generator, high installation costs due to connecting to gas lines
  • Gasoline
    Pros—easy on the pocket, very portable so you can move them as needed
    Cons—produce high emissions, create annoying sounds and unwanted noise, in cold temperatures they don’t start well and not as effective.
  • Standby runs on gas or diesel and operates automatically
    Pros—continuous flow of power in a power shortage or other emergency, easy switching between systems so if the power goes out you do not have to worry about power
    Cons—can be costly, needs regular and thorough maintenance
  • Portable, runs on diesel or gas
    Pros—cheapest option for temporary power, work well when no access to other sources of power
    Cons—need protection from the weather, cannot be operated inside a garage or home
  • Inverter
    Pros—run quieter, longer, and give maximum performance, do not need to be refilled as often, and produce low emissions
    Cons—have a high price tag, not powerful enough to run heavy-duty tools, machinery, or large homes

With using a solar generator, you can avoid a lot of the cons seen with the other types of generators plus there are also many advantages. There are disadvantages or cons with solar generators too.


Advantages of Solar Generators

  • Power on demand—most, if not all, people have this fear of having a power failure and not having a way to cook, heat your home, etc. If you have a solar generator you can alleviate some of these fears.
  • Eco-friendly and perfect to use inside—with many of the different generators, especially the gas ones, you should never use inside due to the possibility of carbon monoxide, which can be lethal. If you live in an apartment and cannot have a generator outside, this is where a solar-powered generator comes to mind. One of the main advantages of a solar generator is that you can use it indoors with no chance of getting carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, with an outdoor generator, there is a chance of it being stolen. The solar generator is powered by a lithium-ion battery.
  • Noise-free—most generators produce noise and if the generator is too noisy, you could have complaints from the neighbors plus alert them to the fact you have a generator. A solar generator is really quiet and almost impossible to hear.
  • Power portability—it is a fact that generators need some source of power involving a cord so that makes it hard to take them anywhere – but not a solar generator. This makes a solar generator great to take on a picnic, camping, or any place off the grid.
  • Zero free emissions—gasoline and diesel generators are not emission- free because of their combustion engine design. A solar generator has just solar panels, a battery and an inverter so they give out the cleanest energy sources. It does not harm the ozone layer, pollute the air or emit gas.
  • Free fuel system—the fuel that powers generators can be pricey but with a solar generator the fuel is basically free. The unit is charged by sunlight and does not use nonrenewable energy like coal or gas.
  • Long warranty—most warranties for those solar panels that the generator uses for capturing the sunlight can be as long as fifteen to twenty years.
  • Saves energy—as it relies on the sun for energy, you do not need to rely on any other sources so that will help you save on your electric bill.
  • You get a return on your investment
  • You have the ability to live off the grid if you want

Disadvantages of Solar Generators

  • Solar generators can be slow to charge the battery storage capacity because they can only store a certain small amount of electricity. The disadvantage is because of the energy storage device that is in the generator and using lead-acid batteries, although many now do not use these types of batteries. If they do use lead-acid batteries, they are very heavy so if they stored a large amount of energy it would make it difficult to transport the generator.
  • The AC output that they release can only be done at a defined rate. The inverter and the battery charger control the rate at which the energy can be discharged and the rate at which it can be charged. Both are generally only enough to service the electrical load that is associated with a camp fridge or light. Using a solar generator for appliances that have a large start up load is usually not possible.
  • Compared to a fuel-powered generator with the same power output, like gas or diesel, a solar generator is more expensive.
  • A solar generator offers a limited amount of battery backup with a max draw of 1500 watts.
  • A solar panel that brings in the energy to the solar generator is dependent on the weather. The sun does not always shine and when it rains you could have some technical difficulties.
  • If you have your solar generator near dirty air, it can be prone to pollution. If you have a solar generator you should avoid smoking around it because the smoke from cigarettes and such could affect its performance.
  • They are sensitive to the temperature, which means that they cannot stand too long exposure to hot temperatures. You just need to make sure that the solar generator is kept at a cooler temperature while at the same time getting maximum sunlight exposure for your solar panels. To help with this problem you should look for a generator with a battery management system (BMS) that helps to control the temperature of the solar generator.

How to Find the Right Solar Generator for You

  • Size—you want them big enough to power what you need but small enough that they are portable and can be moved around. The actual size depends on what you are using it for and if you want a stationary one or a portable one.
  • Weight—if you want one that is portable, they should weigh between ten and thirty pounds. But if you are looking for something that will provide power for the entire family and home and are stationary – they can weigh over a hundred pounds. Portable ones are much lighter.
  • Dimensions—the dimensions of the solar generator will depend on what you want. For example, one size measures 14” W x 7” H x 8” D but you can get some that are larger or smaller. Know what you want to use it for and where you are going to put it to find the dimension you need. On a portable solar generator, they can range in height and width from 8 to 21 inches.
  • Watts—on the market today the average watts for most solar generators is 1,500 watts but there are some with higher wattage.
  • Battery capacity—this is a very important part of their usability. The battery storage lets you make use the generator during nighttime hours, when your energy needs exceed the amount of sun coming in, or in periods of time when there is limited sun. Most are a 12-volt 100 amp/hr. battery.
  • Solar panels—these are what power the generator. You want to make sure to have enough solar PV input for recharging after night usage and during the day you want to have uninterrupted solar generator use. The panels are rated by their watt-generation capabilities. For example, if you have a 149-watt PV panel in full sun, it will give out 140 watts of inbound power. If you have separated PV panels it will let you move them around to match with the arc of the sun so you can capture the best input of sunlight. You will also need to have a portable generator.
  • Inverter rating—these will convert the low DC volt to the standard AC power of 120 volts to let you use the power that comes in from the panels easily for powering your appliances. An upgraded type of inverter will give you the ability to charge your battery bank externally by plugging into a gas generator or grid so you can route the AC power that is coming into the DC power for the batteries.

What watts or size—how to decide

On average homes use 26,000 watts every day of electrical power so that equals about 1,100 watts an hour. When looking at a solar generator you want one that will provide enough electricity to power the most crucial and needed appliances when you have a power outage for a particular number of days. If you have a power outage you do not need to power the entire house, just the basics. The basics should include the fridge, indoor lighting but not in every room, the microwave a few times a day, keeping your phones charged, a laptop or two, and maybe the television for a few hours along with any needed medical devices like your CPAP machine. Depending on the weather, you may need to run a fan or heater.

What watts or size solar generator you will need will depend on what you are going to power with it.

  • For a home, you will generally be running several home appliances so you will need at least 10,000 watts
  • For an RV you should consider an inverter generator of at least 3,000 watts so you can run everything in your RV

The questions you should have the answers to before solar generator shopping include:

  • Where you want to use it, such as camping, home, backup
  • Know all the appliances that you want to run using the solar generator.

To calculate the size that you will need, estimate your energy needs and then find out how much wattage you will need totally. One thing to consider is if you have an emergency outage, what appliances are necessary for you to keep running at the same time. If you are just going to use it as a backup generator, then you will not need to spend thousands of dollars on it.

Online you can find a calculator that will help you calculate the total power requirements to make it easier to figure out what you need.

The two figures that you need to pay attention to are:

  • Running watts—this is how much energy the appliance will need to run non-stop after turning it on.
  • Starting watts—this is the amount of power that the appliance will consume when you turn it on.

Make sure to pay attention to both of these numbers when figuring out the size or wattage you need. This may sound a bit crazy, but you should pick out a generator that is a little bigger than you really need. This is so you will have a few hundred extra spare watts. For example, if you have a starting wattage of 8,200 and a running wattage of 6,800, then you should look for a solar generator with a starting wattage of 9.500 and a running wattage of 7,500.

What to avoid when buying solar power generators

Those that have overstated battery storage capacity; you want to look at the usable watt-hours and not the total battery rating

  • Ones that have no or little battery storage capacity. You need to make sure that they have at least 1000 usable watts hours because if not, it will affect their reliability, storage capacity, and usability.
  • Ones that do not come with solar panels because when you have to purchase solar panels separately, it makes them that much more expensive. If you can find them with a solar panel, they can be expensive but you get a bargain deal.
  • Have recharging times that are lengthy. Having recharging times that are manageable gives you reliable usage and power when you need it the most.
  • Having big inverters but no to little battery storage.
  • Ones that have plastic casings because these are not very durable. If you are going to take them off the grid or camping, then you want to make sure that they have a durable case to prevent them from becoming damaged.

In conclusion

If you want to have a back-up power source in case of a power outage or a portable source of power so you can get off the grid for a weekend, then getting a solar-powered generator would be ideal. All you need is the generator and a solar panel. There is no need to worry about taking enough fuel with you if you go off the grid using a gasoline or diesel generator. Most are portable and can be easily carried. They are also great for tailgate parties, or backyard barbeques to power a radio for music, or to keep a small dorm size fridge cold for soft drinks and anything else you need to keep cold.

If possible, find a deal where you get the generator and solar panel together like Nature’s Generator Gold System 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Pure Sine Wave Off-Grid Generator + 100W Solar Panel, w/Infinite Expandability.

With this one, you have a cart to carry the solar generator and the panel has wheels so unless you are hiking up a narrow bumpy trail, this one would be ideal.

Know what you are going to use the solar generator for before you purchase one so you will get the one that suits your needs. In addition, expensive does not always mean that it is the best one. Have a list of features that you want so you can make sure that you get them. You can also look at the above solar generators and others online to find the one best suited for you.

Read articles online to help you make your decision so you will know what to look for. Although solar generators can be a bit costly, in the long run they are worth the investment in case of a power outage or you just want to get off the grid for a weekend away.

When you look at all the advantages and disadvantages of using a solar generator it appears that the portable solar generators are best suited for outdoor activities like camping and fishing. This is because they are noiseless so they don’t disturb any of the wildlife or neighbors that may be camping near you. They are also environmentally safe and friendly because they do not release any fumes.

Other uses for a portable solar generator are for professionals that are working in remote, off the grid areas like health care workers. Before you purchase a solar generator, make sure that you have enough area to put one or two solar panels. When using a portable solar generator, make sure that where you are using it has an area for placing solar panel so it gets plenty of sunlight from which you can charge the generator.

A solar generator can be stored in the house in a closet or an out of the way place until you need it. If it is fully charged you can even move the solar panel into a closet or anywhere it will not get broken. Remember to start the generator every once in a while and always check to see if it is fully charged. You do not want to need your solar generator and then find that it is not fully charged.

With no emissions to worry about, it is safe to use at night while you are sleeping so there is no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning like with gasoline generators.

Choose correctly and you should never be without power again.

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