The Best Solar Generators of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Whether you are outfitting your home in case of an extended power outage or looking for a steady supply of off-grid power for your overlanding setup, it’s never been a better time to purchase a solar generator. But sifting through all the available options on the market—power stations that are lunchbox-sized to luggage-sized, solar panels that can pack in a backpack to multiple eight-foot long panels you chain together—can take a lot of time and effort. To help you choose the best solar generator for your purpose, we tested some of the most powerful models from Anker, Jackery, Goal Zero, and BioLite side by side to see how they stacked up.
- Best Overall:Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro
- Best Value:Anker 555 Solar Generator
- Most Portable:BioLite BaseCharge 1500 Solar Panel 100
- Most Customizable:Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Generator
- Best for RVs:Anker Solar Generator 767
How I Tested the Best Solar Generators
There are two components to a solar generator—a solar panel and a power station. To understand the performance of the overall package, I looked at each component and then also assessed how they worked in tandem.
- Solar Panels were tested in tandem (to ensure similar conditions) under clear skies. Testing was conducted in late fall, when the angle of the sun is less ideal than it would be at the peak of summer, affecting the potential of each panel to reach its claimed maximum output. Solar panels were tested using power stations of the same brand, but where possible, I also used different panels with different power stations to see if that affected the results.
- Power stations were evaluated on a number of criteria. After fully charging all the power stations, I left them in a climate-controlled room for three days and then outside for twenty-four hours in near-freezing temperatures—none of the power stations registered any loss of power during this test. Next, I plugged various appliances into all of the power stations to see how they handled the volume: a dehumidifier, a sunlamp, two laptops, one of the best power banks for camping, a pair of headphones, another power station, etc. Using these setups, I ran each power station down to half its estimated output. Finally, I considered how compatible each power station was with other solar panels, as well as additional features, such as Bluetooth-compatible apps, display panels, wireless charging, USB-C input ports, and more.
Solar Panels Tested
I tested six solar panels rated for both 100W and 200W capacity from Goal Zero, Anker, Jackery, and BioLite.
I checked that all the solar panels were pointed in the same direction and at the same angle when testing their measured output against their claimed output.
|Model||Weight||Size (unfolded)||Output Ports||Warranty||Claimed output||Measured output|
|Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panel||18 lbs||540 x 2320 x 25 mm||DC||1.5 years||200W||184W|
|Goal Zero Boulder 200W||42 lbs||40 x 53.5 x 1.75 inches||High Power Port (HPP)||2 years||200W||145W|
|Anker 531 Solar Panel||20 lbs||23.75 x 83.75 x.75 inches||XT-60||2 years||200W||158W|
|Goal Zero Boulder 100W||20 lbs||40 x 26.75 x 1.75 inches||High Power Port (HPP)||2 years||100W||73W|
|Anker 625 Solar Panel||11 lbs||57 x 20.75 x 1.75 inches||XT-60||2 years||100W||94W|
|BioLite Solar Panel 100||10 lbs||20 x 57.5 x 1 inches||High Power Port (HPP)||1 year||100W||52W|
Power Stations Tested
The power stations I tested ranged in size from 1,002Wh to 2,048Wh, and were capable of either 110 volts or 120 volts (the latter is what you’ll need to run most major appliances).
All of the power stations were capable of holding a charge for extended periods of time, losing no power in either the three-day indoors test or the 24-hour outdoors test in subfreezing and near freezing temperatures.
|Model||Weight||Wh||Input ports||Input Max for Solar||Max voltage for the AC outlet||App?||Warranty|
|Goal Zero Yeti 1500X||45.5 lbs||1,516||USB-C, 8mm, high power port (HPP)||600W||120V||Yes||2 years|
|Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro||25.5 lbs||1,002||AC and DC||800W||120V||No||3 years|
|Anker 767||XX||2,048||AC and XT60||1000W||120V||Yes||5 years|
|Anker 555||29.8 lbs||1,024||DC and USB-C||200W||110V||No||5 years|
|BioLite BaseCharge 1500||26.5||1,521||USB-C, high power port (HPP)||400W||110V||No||2 years|
Best Overall: Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro (Explorer 1000 Pro Solar Saga 200W)
- Power station capacity: 1002 watt hours
- Solar panels: four 200-watt solar panels
- Energy created by one panel in direct sunlight: 184 watts
- Max AC output: 120 volts and 1000 watts
- Also available with a 2000Wh power station
- Also available with two 80-watt panels
Along with the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 and Anker 555, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro had one of the more streamlined user interfaces. There are separate buttons to activate the USB outlets, AC outlets, and DC outlet, along with a button to turn on the power station’s light (in case you want to light up your camp or home) and one to turn on the display. The display here gives you the bare minimum of information—watts in, watts out, percent of the battery remaining, and the time to charge or deplete the battery based on the current conditions.
The Explorer 1000 Pro has a max output of 1000W (peaking at 2000W), which is enough juice to power many modern refrigerators. But given that its battery life is only 1002Wh, it can only supply that power for about a day (assuming it’s not charging anything else) unless it’s also being supplied with fresh juice from a solar panel setup at the same time. For some, this won’t be an issue, as they’ll simply be using the battery to channel power to their other devices during the day while it’s charging, and then using the battery at night to power more low-key items like the best camping fans or maybe one high-energy device like a portable fridge.
At over 25 pounds, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro, is one of the more transportable units I looked at, but it’s still not something that you’d want to lug more than a hundred feet or so at a time.
The Solar Panel
I originally tested the SolarSaga 200W solar panel as a full setup, with four panels plugged into a single power station. This test showed the full power of the array, which registered 650W of power generation on a sunny (albeit hazy) day. I retested a single panel in tandem with the rest of the units in this review more recently, and under completely clear skies, the panel was even more impressive: It registered 184W of energy coming from a single panel. If you don’t have much time to recharge your power station from the sun, then the full setup with all four panels is a no-brainer.
It is, though, a little complicated. Each panel comes with a carrying case and a cable that connects back to the two DC ports on the Explorer 1000 Pro. If you see a math problem here, that’s correct: You’ll also need two of the Jackery Solar Panel Connectors, which, strangely, are not included in the purchase price. Two of these can be used to double the number of panels you can connect to the Explorer 1000 Pro.
Setting up and taking down this many panels takes some time, but I was impressed by how easy and intuitive it was. That’s because Jackery streamlined the number of ports on each unit, making it that much clearer what cable connects to what unit in what port.
While there might at first glance appear to be a disconnect between the charging time capabilities of this setup and its battery life, it’s worth keeping in mind that conditions are not always optimal. One of the things that impressed me most about these units is the panel’s ability to generate electricity in lowlight conditions. Even in complete shade—dusk fast approaching—a single SolarSaga was generating a 6W input.
Best Budget: Anker 555 Solar Generator (555 PowerHouse with Two (2) 625 Solar Panels 100W)
- Power Station Capacity: 1024 watt hours
- Solar Panels: two 100-watt solar panels
- Energy Created By One Panel In Direct Sunlight: 94 watts
- Max AC output: 110 volts and 1000 watts
- Also available with a 1229Wh power station and three 100W solar panels
- Max power station output is 110V
- XT60 port on the solar panel needs an adapter to be compatible with the power station
If your family has a bevy of devices that seemingly all need to be plugged in simultaneously, you are in luck with the Anker 555 PowerHouse. It was the only unit in my test that boasted six AC outlets, as well as three USB-C outlets and two USB-A outlets. There were so many outlets that it was actually hard to find enough things to plug into it in my home—I ended up with an air purifier, sun lamp, two fans, a laptop, and a battery pack plugged in. The 555 PowerHouse had no problem with this—it barely used a third of its total output power. If your family has a bunch of devices that simply must be charged at all times, then this is a great option.
Note that this would not be the best choice for someone looking for backup power for their refrigerator, as its 1,024 watt hour capacity was on the smaller side in my test and only has up to 110-volt output.
Something else I liked about this unit was the utility—and comparative simplicity—of its charging abilities. It has one DC input port in the back and a USB-C 100W port that plays double duty with input and output. As someone who struggles to keep track of the sheer number and variety of cords that are always floating around, I appreciated the ability to recharge this unit without tracking down the original cord.
The Solar Panel
The Anker 625 was easily the best of the 100W panels I tested—it was one of the best solar panels for camping I tested back in the spring, and it’s still one of my favorite pieces of gear. It even beat out the 200W Jackery SolarSaga if you consider that this panel generated 94 percent of its claimed output, while the Jackery only managed 92 percent. Part of this is the inclusion of a sundial in the top center of the panel, which helped me align the panel correctly during setup. This sundial is such a useful feature, that after I had correctly aligned the Anker 625, I went back and adjusted all the other panels to match it—an instant uptick in power was measured. Two of these panels is a great choice for recharging a power station the size of the 555 PowerHouse.
I’ve been testing this panel for a while—unlike some of the others in this test—and in that time I’ve noticed that it’s picked up a bit of scuffing along the edges of the fabric backing. While not ideal, this has not impacted the functionality of the unit in the slightest.
Most Portable: BioLite BaseCharge 1500 Solar Panel 100
- Power station Capacity: 1521 watt hours
- Solar Panels: one 100-watt solar panel
- Energy Created By One Panel In Direct Sunlight: 52 watts
- Max AC output: 110 volts and 1200 watts
- Also available with a 622Wh power station
- Lightest unit I tested
- Power station is easy to use
- Power station is compatible with the Goal Zero Boulder 200 (up to two)
Like the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro and the Anker 555 PowerHouse, the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 has a sleek and streamlined user interface that is easy to read and understand. The display panel shows the percentage of your battery left, the estimated number of hours it will take to either run through or finish charging the battery, the watts coming into your unit, and the watts going out. It also shows you the number of watt-hours the unit has used in total—watching that number was a bit like watching the odometer tick up on your car. Not super useful daily, but a nice thing to know in the aggregate. There are separate buttons to turn on the ports for USB, DC, and AC power, as well as a button to turn on the display. (A second button allows you to reset the display of how many watts you’ve used, useful if you are interested in getting an accurate read on your total power needs).
There were three details that made the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 stand out next to the competition:
- A wireless charging option on top of the unit. (Unfortunately, I was not able to test this as I do not have a device with this capability.)
- The choice to put the input port on the front of the unit, as opposed to the back. During testing, I found that this configuration was easier when plugging in solar panels.
- This power station is surprisingly lightweight, especially compared to the Yeti 1500X, which has a comparable watt-hour capacity. If you plan to move your power station from room to room, this is a no-brainer.
During testing, the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 was one of the few power stations where the “hours to empty” estimate kept jumping around. It probably accurately reflected the change in power needs of the bigger devices, but was confusing to look at and made the time estimates less useful than they would have otherwise been. (The percentage estimate of the amount of battery life remaining, however, stayed fairly consistent.)
The Solar Panel
While the BaseCharge 1500 ended up being one of my favorite power stations, the BioLite Solar Panel 100 was my least favorite solar panel. First off, two kickstands simply don’t provide enough support for the panels. This is partly because two just isn’t enough, but also because one of the kickstands is situated closer to the middle of the unit, rather than both being on the outer edges. I was able to use the BaseCharge 1500 to help prop it up a bit, but it wasn’t an ideal solution.
One thing that I did like about this unit is that, like the Anker 625, it incorporated a sundial, which helped me to situate the panel at the right angle to maximize the energy output.
However, even with that advantage, this was by far the weakest panel in my test, only generating about half of its claimed output even on a clear day with sunny skies. If you choose to go with a BaseCharge 1500, it’s worth considering pairing it with a Goal Zero Boulder 200W, a pairing that proved successful during testing.
Best Customization: Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Generator
- Power Station Capacity: 1516 watt hours
- Solar Panels: one 100-watt solar panel
- Energy created by one panel in direct sunlight: 73 watts
- Max AC output: 120 volts and 2000 watts
- Solar panels also available at 200-watt and 300-watt capacity
- power station s available in sizes ranging from 187 watt hours to 6071 watt hours
- Possible to monitor the power station from another room using the app
- The larger power station s could power major appliances for days without recharging
- Less intuitive than other power station s I looked at
- Difficult to recharge if you lose the original cables
The Yeti 1500X was one of the most complicated user interfaces to navigate, and included several details that I have mixed feelings about. The most glaring one is that when the unit is plugged into a power source, a light blinks blue continuously until it is charged, when it switches to solid blue—if you are in the same space as this unit when it is charging, this is very distracting. Next is the three buttons above the display—which read “unit,” “light,” and “info.” Unit is fairly straightforward—it toggles the input and output measurements between volts, amperes, watts, etc. This is pretty handy if you’re curious about how much power a given device is chewing through. Next is light—on other power stations, this button turns on an actual light, which is useful if you’re trying to see what you’re doing in the evening hours. The Goal Zero, however, does not have a built-in light; what this button turns on and off is the display screen showing the power supply. The info button only seemed to turn on the display (not off)—it was unclear what other use this was meant to have.
Interestingly, despite having one of the most powerful AC ports in my test, there was only space for two plug-ins. Most of the time, I suspect this will be plenty for people (and it does help to cut down on the unnecessary juice being lost out of these ports), but others might find themselves digging out a powerstrip to make up for the lack fo ports.
One of the more unusual features of the Yeti 1500X is a top lid, which has storage for charging cables, or anything else you want to throw in there. Underneath, it also has detailed descriptions of all of the power limitations of the various ports, plus evergreen reminders about not letting your power station get wet—all in semi-legible font. Surprisingly that can’t be said for any of the power stations in my test (including the Anker 767, which despite having the largest surface area strangely didn’t include this information at all). There is also a second 8mm port under the lid as well as a 12V HPP output port.
The amount of power it was being charged with supplying—1385 watts through a single AC port (I had plugged it back into the Anker 767 unit) was higher than anything else I tested, due to this being the only combination where that was available—the maximum input capability of the Yeti 1500X is 150V from AC power). The icon showing how much power was remaining did, however, stay consistent.
Like the Anker 767, the Yeti 1500X has an app that you can use to monitor the battery’s power usage. This app was not as intuitive to use as the Anker 767’s, requiring several more steps to get to the point where I could monitor the battery usage (it also asked me to upgrade its firmware seemingly every other time I opened it). However, once you have the whole thing set up, it provides just as much information and control as the Anker 767 app.
The Solar Panel
I tested both the Boulder 100W and the Boulder 200W from Goal Zero. These are basically the same panels (although with different ports (HPP versus DC), affecting what other power stations you might be able to pair them with), just at a different size, so whether you choose one over the other will depend on your energy needs, and your personal strength.
These panels are significantly bulkier and more cumbersome than anything else I tested. While the likes of Jackery’s SolarSaga series and the Anker solar panels are a bit like someone took a backpacking solar panel and just blew it up to 20x the size. The Boulder series from Goal Zero looks like a solar panel off your house that’s shrunken down to something you could throw into the back of your car.
Both the 100W and the 200W solar panels come with carrying cases, which due to the placement of the zippers are kind of a nuisance to use. But use them you should because the way these panels fold up leaves the solar cells on the outside of the package, rather than on the inside (like the rest of the solar panels in my test). While the 100W panel was heavy, but otherwise easy enough to move thanks to the inclusion of a comfortable handle on the long side of the folded-up panels, the 200W had a tendency to drag across the ground (at least this was my experience, as a 5 foot 5 inch individual), forcing me to lean to one side as I walked. Did I mention that these panels were heavy? At 42 pounds, the Boulder 200W is extremely heavy.
While the Boulder solar panels were reasonably easy to set up, the way the legs are designed give you fewer options for maximizing the angle of the sun in the winter months, when it’s lower to the horizon. This showed during testing, when the panels only pulled in 73W for the 100W panel, and 143W for the 200W panel.
Best Portable Power Stations With Solar Panels
Due to increasing blackouts and natural disasters, investing in a home power station has become extremely important. Today’s portable power stations are useful during emergencies, camping, or remote travel. You can also get portable power stations with solar panels for off-the-grid living and excursions. In this article, we have compiled a list of the best power stations of 2023, including portable ones, full-size models, and those suitable for medical devices like CPAP machines. On that note, let’s go ahead and find an ideal portable power station for you.
What is a Portable Power Station?
Power stations, or should I say, portable power stations are battery-powered inverter generators that convert DC to AC current. It provides power to multiple devices through various ports and outlets. In fact, you can run your refrigerator and charge your smartphone, both at the same time using the power station.
Unlike gas-fueled generators, portable power stations operate off the grid without any harmful emissions or noise. And with advancements in fast charging, you can charge the power station quickly if you have frequent power cuts in your area. Not to mention, power stations are becoming compact and lightweight, so you can carry them while camping or during a short trip to remote areas.
Things to Know Before Buying a Power Station
Battery Capacity: than anything, you should check the battery capacity of a power station, which should, at least, be more than 200 to 300Wh. When I say 300Wh, that means it can power a device of 300W for an hour. For example, a smartphone consumes around 2W to 6W, so a power station can charge up your phone almost 30 to 50 times based on your usage. So more the capacity, the better it is.
Power Output: Apart from that, a power station should be capable of providing power up to 200W. Nowadays, mini-fridges are generally rated at 60W, so you should always keep a healthy margin when charging multiple devices. By the way, power stations have almost double surge output, so you should be safe in case you plug in a high-voltage appliance.
Pure Sine Wave Outlet: If you want to run a medical device like a CPAP machine, make sure the power station offers a Pure Sine Wave AC outlet. You will need this dedicated AC outlet to be able to run these kinds of devices.
Multiple Charging Support: While solar and car charging are nice, make sure the power station supports AC wall outlet charging. This will make charging devices much faster. And nowadays, almost all power stations are equipped with fast charging support. So make sure to compare the time taken to charge the entire battery pack while you make a buying decision.
Ports Availability: Make sure the power station has ample ports, including USB-C, USB-A, carport, and AC outlets. If the power station supports PD or Quick Charging, that is even better. Some power stations also come with DC ports, which are suitable for charging portable refrigerators.
Jackery Explorer 1000
If you are looking to buy the best portable power station with solar power in 2023, I strongly recommend the Jackery Explorer 1000. It’s a portable power station that weighs around 22 pounds and comes in a rugged body. The reason I like Explorer 1000 is that it’s neither heavy nor too lightweight, placed in a sweet spot that allows you to charge both small electronics and heavy appliances. Explorer 1000’s max rated output is 1,000W and battery capacity is 1,002Wh, which means you can power devices up to 1,000W.
It can power a coffee maker, pressure cooker, and other motor-driven appliances with ease. over, you can charge a medical device like a CPAP machine for 17 hours using the Jackery Explorer 1000, as it also offers pure sine wave signals support. Talking about the ports, you have all the essential ones, including 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, 3x AC outlets, and a 12V car outlet. There is also a screen on the front, which displays the input and output power supply and how much charge is left. Overall, Jackery Explorer 1000 is a tried-and-tested power station that will not disappoint.
|Power output of 1000W||Can’t run appliances of above 1000W|
|Can run heavy appliances too|
|Lots of ports to use|
|Rugged and very well-built|
Buy from Amazon (999)
BLUETTI is another company that makes reliable power stations for all kinds of pricepoint and capacities. Its AC2ooP model is one of the most popular portable power stations with solar power out there. With a 2,000W power output (4,800W peak), it can run almost any electronic device, be it your smartphone or a large appliance like a dishwasher. You can use BLUETTI AC200P as a home backup solution and can also utilize it during outdoor camping.
The total capacity of this power station is 2,000Wh, meaning you can use it to power an appliance of 2000W capacity for 1 hour. It utilizes a LiFePO4 battery cell, which is known for its efficiency and protection. As for outlets, you get a total of 17 ports, including 6x AC ports, 4x USB-A ports, 1x USB-C port, 1 car outlet, 2x wireless charging pads, and more. And it can also be full charge in just 4 hours from an AC outlet. Overall, BLUETTI AC200P is a capable power station, and you can use it to run almost any device or electronic device.
|Powerful 2000W output||Quite expensive|
|LiFePO4 cell for long-lasting battery|
|Supports heavy home appliances as well|
|supports 17 output ports|
Buy from Amazon (1659)
Anker 545 PowerHouse
Anker offers an incredible portable power station with a good selection of ports and ample power capacity in a lightweight profile. It weighs around 18 pounds, so you can easily carry around while camping or on a short trip. Its maximum output is 500W, which is lower than Explorer 1000, but that’s what you sacrifice for portability. You won’t be able to run power-hungry motor-driven appliances like a washing machine or a microwave.
However, Anker 545 PowerHouse is best suited for charging electronics such as smartphones, laptops, TVs, and more. It can also power CPAP machines, but the power draw must be below 500W. And with the built-in 21,6000 mAh battery, it will last much longer. This Anker portable power station also supports fast charging, meaning you can fully charge it within 5 hours. And as for ports, you get 2x USB-C ports, 4x USB-A ports, 1x car socket, and 2x AC outlets, which is pretty decent. So, the Anker 545 PowerHouse is a good portable power station with solar power at an inexpensive price, and you should definitely consider it.
|Quite compact and portable||Not for powering home appliances|
|Reliable and offer solid backup|
|Power output of 500W and 21,6000 mAh|
|Offers fast-charging ports|
Buy from Amazon (519)
Goal Zero Yeti 1500X
If you want the most powerful power station to run the generator off the grid for home backup, Goal Zero Yeti 1500X is a fantastic solution. It’s one of the heaviest power stations available in the market, supporting a capacity of 1,516Wh and 2,000W power output. So be it a blackout or an emergency, the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X will last you for days and can handle large appliances like refrigerators and washing machines as well.
You can also fast charge the power station with a 600-watt outlet. It can fully replenish the power station within 3 hours and with a 230-watt outlet, it can charge in 7 hours. There are also numerous ports on Goal Zero Yeti 1500X. You have 2x USB-A, 2x USB-C, 1 car outlet, 2x 360W power outlet, 2x 120W and 2x 2000W AC outlets. To sum up, Yeti 1500X ranks among the most rugged and powerful portable power generators. And if you want a heavy-duty portale power station and don’t have any budget restrictions, this is the one to get.
|Heavy-duty power station||Quite expensive|
|Offers up to 2,000W of power|
|Best for home backup|
|Offers multiple AC ports|
Buy from Amazon (1999)
EcoFlow Delta 2
The EcoFlow Delta 2 is another hugely-popular power station you can buy in 2023. It has a dimension similar to Explorer 1000 but offers more power and ports. Slightly expensive, this portable power station can offer power up to 1800W, which is huge and comparable to the mightiest Yeti 1500X. You can power and charge almost everything, including smartphones, laptops, cameras, drones, CPAP machines, refrigerators, and more. Not to mention, with the EFDELTA technology, it can quickly charge the power station from 0% to 80% in only 50 minutes and fully charge it in 2 hours.
Apart from that, it comes with a built-in battery having a capacity of 1,024Wh, so that’s great. Coming to ports, you have 6x AC outlets, 2x USB-C ports, and 4x USB-A ports onboard. In tandem, the EcoFlow Delta 2 lands between Explorer 1000 and Yeti 1500X in terms of power output, but it draws a bit more power than the competition. To conclude, you should go for EcoFlow Delta 2 for all its multitude of features and also if this portable power station with solar power fits your bill.
|Power output of 1800W||Power draw is a bit higher than the competition|
|Fast charging support|
|ports than the competition|
Buy from Amazon (999)
AUKEY PowerTitan 300
The AUKEY PowerTitan 300 is one of the most affordable power stations you can buy in 2023. Priced at just 269, it comes with a capacity of 288Wh that can charge all your necessary accessories while you are out camping or on a trek. It can charge iPhone 11 nearly 30 times, a laptop 4 times, power a lamp for 27 hours, a mini fridge for 20 hours, and much more. Basically, the lightweight Aukey power station is one of the best ultra-portable power stations and can be helpful to users who want to charge multiple devices on the go.
There is also a 7-inch screen to check the power input and output. As for the ports, the AUKEY PowerTitan 300 features 3x USB-A ports, 1x USB.C PD (60W) port, 2x 12V DC output, and a single 110V AC outlet for TVs and CPAP machines. To sum up, if you are looking for an inexpensive power station with solar power for charging your essential devices on the move, the AUKEY PowerTitan 300 is a great pick.
|Best ultra-portable power station||Battery capacity could have been higher|
|Offers 288Wh capacity|
|Pricing is modest|
Buy from Aukey (269.99)
BigBlue CellPowa 500
For just 360, the BigBlue CellPowa 500 is a promising portable power station with a huge capacity. It has a maximum power capacity of 537Wh, double of what the competition offers. Packed with a high-grade LiFePO4 battery, it can be provide power backup for multiple devices. Your smartphone can be charged 36 times, a laptop can be charged 7 times, and it can also run a mini-fridge for 10 hours and do a lot more. If you have a medical CPAP machine, the BigBlue CellPowa 500 can provide up to 20 hours of power backup for the device, which is awesome.
Not to mention, due to higher power output, you can also run a juicer, rice cooker, and TV with this power station. You don’t have to worry about ports as well since the BigBlue CellPowa 500 features 2x USB-C 60W ports, 2x USB-A (18W) ports, a 12V car charger, 2x DC output, and 2x AC outlets having a capacity of 500W (surge of 1000W).For this price, you will not get a better portable power station than BigBlue CellPowa 500.
|537Wh capacity at a low price||Not as rugged as other power stations|
|Multiple ports available|
|Supports CPAP machine as well|
Buy from Amazon (449)
Energizer also offers a portable power station for only 329. At this sweet price, you get a maximum output of 300W and a total capacity of 320Wh. It uses a LiFePO4 battery that can last for more than 2,000 charging cycles and has built-in BMS protection. You can use this portable power station with solar power to charge all your electronic devices, ranging from smartphones to Airpods. It can run any device that has a power input less than 300W. And since the power station supports pure sine wave signals, you can also use it to run CPAP machines.
There is also an LCD screen up-front, where you can check the power usage and how much battery is left. Coming to the outlets, you get access to 2x USB-A ports, 1x USB-C port, and 2x AC output. Not to forget, the Energizer 320 can be fully recharged in 3.76 hours, and that’s decent for a battery of this size. Simply put, if you are on the lookout for an affordable portable power station under 300, Energizer 320 can be a good choice.
|Offers 320Wh capacity at an affordable price||Charging time is long|
|Ample ports available|
Buy from Energizer (329)
Jackery Explorer 240
Jackery has also launched a highly-portable power station called Explorer 240. As the name suggests, it comes with a capacity of 240Wh and can offer a pure sine wave output of 200W. Basically, for short travel, hunting, or outdoor camping, it’s a suitable power station. Not to mention, the price is low, coming at just 219, which is amazing as Jackery’s power stations are known for reliable power backup.
As for the weight, it weighs only 6.6 pounds, making it easy to lug around. For charging multiple devices, you have ample ports, including 2x USB-A, 1x AC outlet (200W), and 1x carport. The only con here is that there is no USB-C port, which is a bummer in 2023. Nevertheless, at this price, the Jackery Explorer 240 is the best value-for-money portable power station with solar power to consider.
|Lightweight and compact||No UBS-C port|
|240Wh of capacity|
|Offers 200W of power|
Buy from Amazon (239)
MERRAC Space Pro
MERRAC recently announced two incredible power stations with a power output of 650W and 2000W, respectively. The MERRAC Space Pro I 06 has a compact and lightweight design, while the bigger Space Pro I 20 comes in a larger footprint with a big battery capacity. The smaller one has a total battery capacity of 540Wh and the 2,000W model brings 1,440Wh of capacity. As for the I/O ports, you get 3x USB-A ports, 2x USB-C ports, a car outlet, and 2x AC outlets.
The MERRAC Space Pro power stations also support fast charging and can be refilled entirely in 3 hours. The best part is that these power stations are priced well. The 650W variant costs 399 and the larger 2,000W model costs 1099, putting them in direct competition with Jackery and BLUETTI. Overall, the MERRAC Space Pro has unveiled a great lineup of power stations at an affordable price, and you should check them out.
|540W and 2000W of power output||None as such|
|Supports fast charging|
|Has ample ports|
Buy from Merrac (399)
EBL Portable Power Station Voyager 1000
Delivery areas within the U.S.
EBL official website supports delivery to most areas of the United States. We cannot deliver to the following areas:
Northern Mariana Islands
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1) Standard Shipping is not available for P.O. Boxes and APO/FPO addresses.
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Welcome to EBL’s Warranty and Refund Policy page, where you can email us directly if you encounter any quality-related problems after purchasing EBL products. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience your purchase of EBL products may cause.
If your product is defective during the warranty period, please contact us by mail or via live chat and let us know what we can do to help you.
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All products purchased from EBL are guaranteed with a 12-month hassle-free warranty. In each case, the warranty period is measured starting on the date of purchase by the original consumer purchaser.
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The 7 Best Solar-Powered Generators of 2023
Heidi Wachter was a senior editor at Experience Life magazine for 10 years. She has written for publications like Experience Life, Shondaland, and betterpet.
Our top pick is the Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station. However, if you want a smaller, less expensive option, consider the Jackery Explorer 500W.
It’s always good to have a backup in life, especially when the power goes out. Gas-powered generators can do the trick, but they’re loud, emit smelly fumes, and require a place for storing gasoline safely. They also contribute to climate change.
Solar generators, on the other hand, are clean, easy to use, don’t require fossil fuels, and are becoming more and more affordable as solar technology improves. They can be particularly useful in emergency situations where other fuel supplies are cut off or difficult to access. Solar generators typically capture the sun’s energy via stationary or portable solar panels that are sold separately, convert it into electrical power, and store it in a battery for later use.
What’s the best generator for you? First, estimate how much power you need to run appliances, laptops, and televisions in your home should a power outage occur or for whatever you’ll need to power up while you’re camping, living off the grid, or traveling in an RV.
Once you know how many watts you’ll need; consider the other features you want such as USB charging ports and rechargeable batteries. You can avoid blowing your budget by selecting a generator with features that make the unit more efficient rather than more expensive.
We researched the market to recommend the best generators that are compatible with solar panels.
Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station
Need to power your laptop, phone, power drill, coffee maker, and refrigerator all at once? The Goal Zero Yeti 1500x is a high-capacity power station that supplies electricity with the touch of a button or the Yeti 3.0 app. Weighing in at 43 pounds, it’s a solar option for those living the van life or to provide back-up energy when power lines go down.
The lithium battery supplies 1500-watt hours, so you can charge your phone a hundred times or run a refrigerator for up to a day. Its industry-leading 2000-watt AC inverter is one of the most powerful on the market, making it our top overall pick. The integrated MPPT charge controller increases efficiency by 30% when recharged with a compatible Goal Zero solar panel. Everything is backed by a two year warranty.
Price at time of publish: 1,800
Output: 2000 watts | Weight: 43 pounds | Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 14 inches | Output Ports: 2 USB-A ports, 1 18 watt USB-C, 1 60 watt USB-C PP, 1 6mm port, 1 12 Volt (regulated), 1 12 volt HPP, 2 120 Volt AC inverters
Jackery Explorer 500 Solar Portable Generator
Weighing in at a relatively light 13.3 pounds, the compact, durable, and affordable Jackery Explorer 500 lets you take solar-powered electricity along on every adventure. The 500-watt inverter provides enough juice for charging multiple devices in any either of the AC or DC ports or one of the three USB ports.
It comes with a car charging cable and an AC adaptor. Like many of the solar generators in the Jackery family, the unit can be recharged from an AC wall outlet or with a Jackery SolarSaga solar panel (sold separately). The 518-watt rechargeable battery will need replacing after about 500 uses, but that’s after a lot of camping trips.
Price at time of publish: 500
Output: 500 Watts | Weight: 13.3 pounds | Dimensions: 11.8 x 7.6 x 9.5 inches | Output Ports: 1 AC outlet (110V 500W 1000W Peak), 3 USB ports, 2 DC ports, 1 car port
Best for Emergencies
ITEHIL LiFePO4 500W 500Wh Solar Generator
If you’re looking for source of backup power that’s cleaner than a diesel generator, the ITEHIL power station is an excellent option. With high-speed charging, you can get your devices back up and running when the power goes out, as well as a built-in light. You can charge it via solar panels (ITEHIL separately sells panels that fold into a suit-case style envelope), a car charger, or a wall plug. There are both U.S. and international AC plug versions of the device.
At nearly 19 pounds, it’s heavier than our Best Portable pick, but is still light enough to be moved around fairly easily, and has built-in handles. Our tester notes that it’s not big enough to power most full-size refrigerators, but could power a small electric cooler. It has an intuitive display that shows how much battery capacity is remaining.
“It seems to be well-designed for safety, and includes warnings like ‘do not stick fingers directly into the power port.’” ~ Lloyd Alter, Treehugger Design Editor
Price at time of publish: 500
Output: 500 Watts | Weight: 18.74 pounds | Dimensions: 14.17 x 13 x 13.4 inches | Output Ports: 2 AC outlets (100-120V 500W), 2 USB-A ports, 1 QC USD-A Poert, 1 Type C, 1 DC ports, 1 car port
Jackery Explorer 160 Portable Power Station
While many of the budget generators still cost over 200, this affordable option from Jackery comes in at under 150 and has a two-year warranty. It’s also one of the lightest option on the market at just under 4 pounds, making it another great pick for camping or even backpacking.
It can be charged using a solar panel, wall outlet, car outlet or electric generator. It’s great for charging your phone or camera, or running small appliances like a fan or laptop. It has a surge capacity of 150 watts, but you should avoid using it with any device that has a 100 watt or higher rating.
Price at time of publish: 150
Output: 100 watts | Weight: 3.97 pounds | Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.5 x 6.7 inches | Output Ports: 1 100 watt AC outlet, 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A
Best High Capacity
Bluetti AC200P 2000WH/2000W Portable Power Station
With just as many watts as our Best Overall pick, the Bluetti 2000W Portable Power Station can be charged five different ways and has 17 different output ports, each of which is covered by a high-quality dust cap. You can charge it using solar panels (not included), a via a wall outlet, car plug, using a generator, or lead acid battery.
You can hook up a number of smaller devices, at the same time, like a laptop, camera charger and several phones. Or you can use it as back-up power for larger appliances—according to the manufacturer, you can power an 800 watt wall refrigerator with this power station for over two hours.
A nice feature is the LED touch screen, which can tell you how much energy you’re drawing down and how much battery charge is remaining. You can also set it to an Eco mode, which will shut the device down if it senses you’re not using it after several hours. It has rubberized feet, so the unit won’t slip around on smooth surfaces. It’s also quite heavy so it’s not ideal for camping situations where you’d need to carry it, but it is compact enough to fit into a car trunk.
Price at time of publish: 1,599
Output: 2000 watts | Weight: 60.6 pounds | Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches | Output Ports: 6 110 Volt AC outlets, 1 DC 12 Volt/10A, 1 DC 12 Volt/25A, 2 DC 12 Volt/3A outlets, 4 USB-A ports, 1 USC-C port, 2 wireless charging ports
Best for Home
Point Zero Energy Titan Solar Generator
True to its name, the Titan is packed with power. Its 3000-watt inverter has enormous output capacity for powering up household appliances like refrigerators and portable AC units with ease. Are you in heavy Cloud cover? No problem. The Titan includes a stackable battery bank, which can be combined with additional batteries (sold separately). You can recharge the generator via solar panels, an AC outlet, or a DC car charger.
In addition to extra batteries, you can also add on USB adaptors or a car charger. THE MPPT charge controllers allow it to reach full battery capacity in about four hours making the Titan a versatile, efficient, and reliable backup plan.
Price at time of publish: 2,716
Output: 3000 watts | Weight: 67 pounds | Dimensions: 18.5 x 12 x 12 inches | Output Ports: 6 AC outlets, 4 DC 12 Volt outlets, 1 NEMA TT-30
MAXOAK Bluetti Portable Power Station
During extreme weather events, generators like the ones on this list can sell out quickly. So, if other options aren’t available, there’s a lot we like about this one. The Bluetti stores plenty of power at an affordable price. It’s 1500-watt-hour lithium-ion battery is quick-charging and ample for powering up most home appliances during a blackout.
While it serves as a great home power supply during an emergency, the MaxOak Bluetti is also portable enough take along on fishing or a road trip. It includes two AC ports and five USB outlets and a 12-volt DC outlet that can handle a mini-fridge. There’s also a nifty LCD display to help you track the generator’s performance.
Output: 1000 watts | Weight: 37.9 pounds | Dimensions: 14.6 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches | Output Ports: 2 110 Volt AC outlets, 1 12 Volt regulated DC, 45 watt USB-C, 4 USB-A ports
If you’re looking for something high powered to help you weather a storm, the Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station is our top choice. If you need something portable for a camping trip, then the Jackery 500W might be your best new travel buddy.
What To Look for in a Solar Generator
When deciding what solar powered generator is right for you, consider which types of appliances, tools, and devices you need to charge and how often you’ll be without a traditional power source. Here are some other tips to help guide your decision-making.
There are three common types of solar panels—monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar cells, and thin film, or amorphous crystal panels. They each offer different efficiency levels. Monocrystalline panels are most common and slightly more efficient than polycrystalline cells. Thin film panels are a newer technology and are light, flexible, durable, and more affordable than the others, but about half as efficient as the other types. Sometimes they’re included with the generator and sometimes they’re sold separately.
Battery Capacity and Power Rating
Solar generators run on stored energy so you’ll want to consider the battery’s capacity (the total amount of electricity stored). You’ll also want to know the power rating (how much power is delivered at a time). A battery with a high capacity, but low power rating typically delivers less electricity for a longer period of time.
Lead-acid and lithium-ion are the most common options. Lead acid are used to power things like automobiles, while lithium-ion options are often used to run power tools. They’re increasingly used in solar-powered generators because they’re lightweight. While they tend to be more expensive than lead-acid varieties, they typically have a longer lifespan which saves money on replacement batteries and keeps them out of landfills.
In order to regulate the current between the solar panels and the battery, the simplest controllers cut the power when maximum voltage is reached. This isn’t as efficient as models that use three- power point tracking (MPPT).
Converting direct current (DC) from solar panels to alternating current (AC), inverters carry a watt rating to show the maximum output of power they can generate. Pure sine wave inverters are more expensive, but more efficient. But they’re not necessarily a cost-effective option if you only plan on using the generator occasionally.
Will you be using your solar generator in your home or on the go? For portability, look for units that are easier to carry and maneuver, and that house parts in a sturdy box rather than as separate pieces.
Note the presence of multiple USB ports and AC outlets, replaceable batteries, and LED panels that help you monitor your system when it’s dark. Finally, consider the length of a unit’s warranty, or any other manufacturer grantees.
When determining the size of generator, you’ll want to look at output measured in watts, as well as storage capacity measured in watt hours (Wh). As a general rule of thumb, generators with under 1000 Wh can keep electronics charged, and are great for camping. To power many devices in your home for longer, you’ll want a large generator with around 1500 Wh capacity.
If you want to keep those devices charging and in use for five hours:
So, in this case you’d want a generator with at least 85 watts of output and 425 Wh of capacity. When in doubt, round up. For another way to calculate your needs, you may find this explainer from the manufacturer Jackery helpful.
Keep in mind that most solar generators do not connect to your home’s electrical panel, so they won’t power hard-wired devices like your hot water heater or ceiling lights; for that type of power you’ll want to consider a home battery system.
Solar generators should last at least 20 to 25 years. Many manufacturers offer warranties that cover repairs and replacements should anything malfunction within the first few years of use.
Most high-capacity solar generators cost between 1000 and 2000. Generally speaking, larger generators cost more than smaller, portable devices. The generators on the list range from between 140 and 3,400 without taking into account sales or discounts.
Why Trust Treehugger?
Treehugger is committed to helping our readers transition away from fossil fuels, and we deeply researched the market to find the best generators compatible with solar panels.
A travel and adventure writer for many years, author Heidi Wachter knows how handy the sun’s rays can be for keeping her phone and camera charged.
Maggie Badore is an environmental reporter and editor based in New York City. She started at Treehugger in 2013 and is now the Associate Editorial Director.