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7 Best Solar Generators: Buyers Guide (2023 Updated Review Guide). Household solar generator

7 Best Solar Generators: Buyers Guide (2023 Updated Review Guide). Household solar generator

    Solar Generators for Camping and Van Life

    At Goal Zero, we’re big fans of solar power, but solar is only really useful if you have a way to store and use all that power you collect. That’s why we love solar generators. They combine the clean energy of solar power with the convenient portability of battery power stations so you can do more and stay out longer.

    What is a Solar Generator?

    A solar generator is a combination of solar panels and a power station. You can use solar panels to collect and convert energy from the sun. The power station lets you store the energy you collect and then use it to power your devices.

    Choosing a Solar Generator

    A solar generator is the perfect addition to your next camping trip or van build. And when you aren’t on the go, they’re great for home back up. There are three key factors to consider when deciding which solar generator is right for you.

    Capacity

    Solar lets you recharge more or less indefinitely, but the capacity of your power station will impact how much you can run at a time, how long you can keep things running, and how often you have to recharge. For example, if you’re choosing a solar generator for camping, you can get away with less capacity than you’d need for home backup.

    best, solar, generators, buyers, guide

    When considering capacity, you’ll also need to think about the amount of solar input you want. A larger power station has more capacity but requires more solar panels to fully charge it. This increases the cost of your solar generator and means it will take up more space.

    Portability

    Portability is a huge benefit if you’re taking your solar generator camping or on a road trip, but it may not be a priority if you’re installing it at your off-grid or in your home. All of our solar generators can be moved and taken with you, but the smaller solar generators are much easier to carry and move around.

    Versatility

    The beauty of a portable solar generator is that you can use it however you’d like. If you want the option to run high-energy appliances in a power outage and the option to recharge your laptop while camping, versatility will be a priority. We offer solar generators that are light enough to move but powerful enough to run a TV, grill, or refrigerator for hours.

    The Best Solar Generators for Camping

    Our favorite camping solar generators are small and lightweight, making them easy to set up and move around.

    Taking your solar generator camping lets you recharge phones, laptops, camera batteries, and other small devices, but it also gives you enough power to run a portable fridge and power cooking appliances so you can enjoy good meals throughout the whole trip. These solar generators are easy to move so you can set up near your cooking station in the morning, then move things over to your tent while you recharge your phone during a midday nap, and simultaneously also charge your portable speaker so you can listen to music around the campfire in the evening.

    Yeti 200X solar generators for camping

    The Yeti 200X is only 5 pounds, meaning even your kids can carry it as they help pack up the car. We offer it in 3 different solar generator bundles, depending on how much solar power you want to pair with it.

    We think the Yeti 200X Boulder 50 is the perfect solar generator for camping because it’s incredibly portable and easy to set up. The Boulder solar panel comes with a convenient kickstand so you can set it almost anywhere. It can completely recharge your Yeti 200X in 4-8 hours.

    Yeti 500X solar generators for camping

    Upgrade from camping to glamping with a little extra power. Need a few more ports so you can blow up your air mattress and plug in the portable fridge at the same time as your grill?

    Another favorite solar generator for camping is the Yeti 500X Nomad 100. You get the Yeti 500X which comes with more ports and more power plus the foldable Nomad 100 solar panel that weighs just over 10 pounds, making it easy to move around throughout the day to get the best sun.

    The Best Solar Generators for Van Life

    Versatility is key when choosing a solar generator for van life. Space is limited so it’s Smart to get something compact, but since you’re living there long term, you need something robust enough to run lights, fridges, power tools, and more while keeping your devices charged.

    We offer a lot of great solar generator solutions, but one excellent van life option is the Yeti 1500X (4) Boulder 100. This gives you a power station that can run high-energy appliances and four solar panels you can mount to your vehicle roof or set up on the ground when you find a good stopping spot.

    Solar generators can help you get more out of your next adventure whether you’re headed on a weekend camping trip or a month-long van trek. And when you aren’t hauling it around, they provide home backup power for emergencies. Choose from Goal Zero’s wide selection of solar generators to find one that’s best for you.

    Best Solar Generators: Buyers Guide (2023 Updated Review Guide)

    This review guide has helped thousands of homeowners save time and money when searching for a reliable, clean source of backup energy that they can use to remain worry free during power outages.

    Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

    Written by Josh Hurst

    Writer and editor with more than a decade’s experience in journalism. Josh worked for Christianity Today for seven years, and has contributed to special assignments for Apple Music and iTunes. Josh lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife, Kati, and two sons, Henry and Dylan.While he mainly focuses on musical journalism he is excited to save the earth on article at a time through sustainability best practices articles as well. Learn About This Person

    Reviewed by Irma Omerhodzic

    Irma joined the EcoWatch team in August 2015. She holds a Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha – a national honor society of journalism. Learn About This Person

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    What Are The Best Solar Powered Generators In 2023?

    Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

    How Did We Review Each Solar Generator?

    There are a number of factors we considered when choosing which solar power generators to recommend, including:

    Battery Capacity

    Battery storage capacity is an important ranking factor. A greater battery capacity means the generator can store more energy, which ultimately means it will last longer without requiring a recharge. This is measured in watt-hours (Wh).

    Power Output

    When your generator is up and running, it will put out a certain amount of energy, measured in watts. It’s important to select a generator that offers enough watts for you to power your essential home appliances.

    Inverter Rating

    The inverter is a critical part of any backup power generator. Basically, this is the component that turns solar energy into AC (alternating current) electricity. Inverter rating, along with battery capacity, determine how much power you can get from your home backup generator.

    Expandability

    In order for your backup generator to function, you’ll need some way of charging it. And if you plan to rely on solar energy, that means using solar panels.

    Expandability means that you can add solar panels to your generator as needed, making it easier to absorb more sunlight for energy. You will typically need a special solar adapter cable to facilitate this, which may need to be purchased separately.

    Number of Outlets

    How many devices, power tools, or appliances do you need to plug in? The functionality of your backup generator will be determined by how many outlets are available.

    The type of outport ports is equally important. The most common types that buyers check for include mobile device charging ports (USB-A and USB-C), AC ports (the normal household wall outlet), and even 12-volt DC ports (what you probably have in your car).

    Price

    Of course, as you look for the best home backup generator, one of the most crucial considerations of all is your budget. We’ve sought to emphasize generators that offer maximum value.

    Based on these criteria, we’ve determined the solar backup generators that offer the most consumer value. Check out our complete list of recommendations below. You can also read our complete review of the best solar energy companies for rooftop home solar systems. If you’re interested in learning more about going solar, fill out the form below to get connected with a local solar installer in your area.

    Our Complete Reviews of Solar-Powered Generators

    Best Overall: Renogy Lycan Powerbox

    Renogy produces several different power stations and chargers, but we especially like the Lycan Powerbox, a solar power solution that’s only a little bit bigger than a suitcase. It comes with an easy-grip handle and heavy-duty wheels, making it one of the most portable solar generators around while still offering 1200W of output, which is enough power for most electronic devices and some appliances.

    Why buy: The Lycan Powerbox can provide 1075 watt-hours of continuous power without the noise or fumes associated with gas generators. It offers great portability and includes an LCD display and easy, intuitive controls that allow you to switch between DC power and AC power as needed, as well USB ports and 12 volt car charger ports.

    Best All-Purpose: Goal Zero Yeti 6000X

    The Yeti 6000X is actually a portable power station that can be used for off-grid camping or powering an RV. With 6,000 watt-hours and two 2000W AC charger ports, it will give you plenty of power for your home. With a home integration kit, it’s easy to use the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X to power essential circuits.

    Why buy: Though it isn’t exactly cheap, the Yeti 6000X power station is a great all-purpose backup generator, including a top-of-the-line charge controller and two robust AC outlets that make it easy for you to keep your household essentials up and running. It can even power a full-size refrigerator or microwave.

    Best for Camping: Jackery Explorer 1000

    The Jackery Explorer 1000 portable power station is one of the best all-around options, equally suited for outdoor activities and for emergency power readiness. Though it’s rated for 1,000 watts, it can actually get closer to 2,000. The lithium battery pack offers a capacity of 1,200 watt-hours, and Jackery’s professional MPPT technology makes it easy to get your unit fully charged in a relatively short span of time (usually just eight hours if you have two panels going).

    Why buy: Jackery is one of the leading names in outdoor equipment and in clean energy products. This portable power station is a great pick for campers and can also be a very effective home backup power solution for small appliances and electronics thanks to its pure sine wave inverter AC outlets.

    Most Affordable: Westinghouse iGen600s

    Westinghouse Outdoor Power

    Westinghouse is another company that specializes in solar powered generators, most of which are more ideally suited for camping trips. Their iGen600s portable generator, however, offers a wattage of up to 1,200 peak watts, which can certainly function as a decent emergency backup for certain household appliances and small devices.

    Why buy: For a portable yet still very versatile solar generator, Westinghouse is a company to keep on your list. The iGen600 power system can run a mini fridge for up to 42 hours or a CPAP machine for up to 46 hours thanks to its lithium-ion battery that offers 592 Watt-hours of energy and a long battery life.

    Fastest Charging: EcoFlow DELTA

    The EcoFlow DELTA power station is a wonderfully rugged, dependable backup generator that can help meet your power needs during a blackout. For one thing, the charging time is incredible; you can potentially go from zero to 80 percent in under an hour with a wall outlet. Should you ever find yourself facing a power outage, this is an emergency energy solution you’ll be really thankful for.

    Why buy: The DELTA station from EcoFlow offers a lot of value and usability; in particular, it has one of the fastest recharging times of any solar generator, which may be reason enough for you to choose it over the competitors. The DELTA unit offers 13 ports, meaning it’s compatible with pretty much any device or appliance you could ever need to charge.

    Best for Appliances: MAXOAK Bluetti AC200P

    For a heavy-duty emergency power solution, look no further than to MAXOAK, and particularly to a product called the Bluetti AC200P. With a 2000 Watt-hour capacity, this is one of the most robust solar generators you’ll find anywhere.

    Why buy: MAXOAK’s Bluetti AC200P is the one you’re going to want for really heavy-duty home energy backup. With massive AC inverters that offer up to 4800W surge capacity, it can provide more than enough power to fuel all your most critical home appliances, even some HVAC units. Also note the two-year warranty, a generous consumer protection.

    Most Powerful: Point Zero Energy Titan Solar Generator

    Point Zero Energy is one of the foremost names in disaster preparedness, and when you take a look at their product specs, you’ll see why. Their Titan model solar generator offers almost twice the storage of similarly priced units with a high-capacity 2,000-watt-hour battery capacity and 3,000 watt high-efficiency inverter.

    Why buy: On a purely technical level, this is the beefiest generator on our list, though of course, it’s also one of the priciest. The unit is made with high-efficiency components, meaning it doesn’t waste a lot of energy running the system; instead, it just supplies you with plenty of functional electricity when you need it the most.

    How Does a Solar Generator Work?

    Solar generators capture energy from the sun using photovoltaic solar panels, and store it in a built-in battery. Note that in order to absorb the sun’s energy, your portable generator will need solar panels.

    These are typically sold separately, or as a package with the unit, so you’ll need to factor in this additional cost. Solar panels contain solar cells, which are typically made of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicone that acts as a semiconductor.

    Once the sun’s energy is stored in the battery, it is converted into AC energy. This happens via a component known as an inverter. AC power is required for most of your household appliances, as well as for charging devices like your phone, laptop, or tablet that normally require a wall charger or AC outlet.

    We’ve included a short video below for a more in-depth look at how they work.

    Can a Solar Generator Power My Entire House?

    Generally speaking, a rechargeable solar generator won’t be able to power your entire house if you lose power. With that said, even a smaller generator can be used to power key devices or appliances, sometimes for days at a time depending on its power consumption. For instance, you can keep your refrigerator up and running, and/or ensure plenty of sustained use for medical devices, like CPAP machines.

    With an especially robust generator, you may also be able to connect to core circuits, running multiple appliances at one time.

    So, while having an emergency power supply from a solar generator may not mean that you can go about your life just like you would normally, you can at least keep the lights on at home, run your air conditioner, or ensure your perishable food items remain fresh until your electricity comes back on.

    What Are the Advantages of Using a Solar Generator?

    There are a number of advantages you can anticipate from an emergency generator, especially when you choose to go solar. Consider:

    You can minimize the disruption of a power outage.

    Again, inclement weather can cause power outages that last for hours, sometimes even days. During that time, you can use a backup generator to keep your essential appliances and devices up and running. This level of preparedness can offer ample peace of mind.

    Solar generators offer a clean alternative to other energy sources.

    Most generators are powered by fossil fuels, which means they emit a lot of noxious emissions. If you want a clean power source and a minimal environmental footprint, these solar solutions are just the ticket. They are also much quieter than traditional gas or diesel generators.

    They can be very cost-effective in the long run.

    While the initial purchase price of a solar generator may seem steep, keep in mind that sunlight is free. You don’t have to worry about buying fuel or any additional expenses associated with your solar unit.

    Find the Solar Generator That’s Best for You

    Disaster preparedness begins by identifying a reliable power source, and if you want that power source to be clean and renewable, solar generators are ideal. Take a moment to explore the options and find the generator that’s right for you.

    In addition to the criteria we used to review solar generators, you may also want to consider the following when selecting a model:

    • Charging Options: does it offer fast charging? Quick charge settings are always convenient when you need a full charge
    • Durability: if you need a generator for camping, finding a durable one may help to extend its lifespan
    best, solar, generators, buyers, guide

    All EcoWatch solar companies are pre-vetted for your convenience.

    Writer and editor with more than a decade’s experience in journalism. Josh worked for Christianity Today for seven years, and has contributed to special assignments for Apple Music and iTunes. Josh lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife, Kati, and two sons, Henry and Dylan.While he mainly focuses on musical journalism he is excited to save the earth on article at a time through sustainability best practices articles as well.

    Irma joined the EcoWatch team in August 2015. She holds a Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha – a national honor society of journalism.

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    How to build your own portable solar generator

    Are you looking for an eco-friendly and cost-efficient way to power your electronics? Building your own portable solar generator is a great way to do just that! A portable power station is an extremely useful tool, allowing you to get energy from the sun and power your devices while camping, hunting or engaging in any other outdoor activities, as it serves as a backup source of power.

    Be prepared for power outages with clean energy to run your household appliances. In this blog post, we’ll show you step-by-step how to design and build your very own portable solar generator.

    What you’ll need

    When building a portable solar generator, you need to consider what components you will need. A basic setup will include a solar panel, charge controller, inverter, and batteries. You’ll also need some wiring, connectors, and mounting hardware depending on the design you choose.

    Solar panels are the main component for harvesting solar energy and converting it into usable electricity. To get the most out of your solar power portable generator, you will need to select a solar panel that has the right size, voltage, and wattage for your project.

    The charge controller is an important part of your setup as it regulates the amount of current that enters the batteries from the solar panel. It also prevents overcharging or discharging of the batteries which can be damaging.

    The inverter is used to convert the direct current (DC) produced by the solar panel into alternating current (AC) that can be used to power appliances and devices. Depending on the size of your setup, you may want to look into a sine wave inverter.

    Finally, you’ll need to consider your battery setup. When looking at batteries, you’ll want to consider their type, capacity, and discharge rate. This is essential for ensuring that your portable solar power generator can provide enough power for all your needs.

    The batteries

    The most important component of any solar power portable generator is the batteries. You will need to choose the right type and size of batteries that fit your needs. Generally, you should use deep cycle batteries which are designed to hold a large amount of energy over time.

    When selecting the size of the battery, you should consider the amount of power you want to store and how much power your solar generator portable will be producing. Make sure to buy batteries with a high quality rating, such as AGM or lithium, as these are more durable and can handle more power than cheaper options. Additionally, you should buy an AC battery charger in order to keep your batteries charged when the sun isn’t shining.

    KiloVault Magazine provides an in depth solar batteries and is a great resource to learn more about batteries for your portable power station.

    The solar panel

    A key component of any portable solar generator is the solar panel. Solar panels are responsible for converting sunlight into electricity which can then be used to power your home appliances, tools, and other devices. In order to maximize the efficiency of your portable solar generator, you need to select the right solar panel for your needs. The size, type, and quality of solar panel you choose will all play a role in the effectiveness of your generator.

    When selecting a solar panel for your portable solar generator, there are a few important things to consider. Firstly, determine the total wattage of your desired output by estimating the amount of power you will need to run your appliances. This will help you decide on the wattage rating of the solar panel you purchase.

    Secondly, consider the size and weight of the panel, as this will determine how easy it is to transport and set up your portable solar generator. Lastly, make sure the solar panel you choose is capable of withstanding inclement weather and other environmental conditions.

    Our Intro to Solar Panels video series is a great place to learn more.

    The charge controller

    When building a portable solar generator, the charge controller is an essential component that needs to be included. This device helps regulate the flow of electricity from the solar panel to the battery and prevents overcharging or draining of the battery. Charge controllers can be purchased based on the wattage, current and voltage of your solar panel.

    Many modern charge controllers come with built-in features such as low voltage protection, temperature compensation, and adjustable charging current settings. These features ensure optimal performance for your solar power portable generator and provide protection against power surges and other potential problems.

    Learn more about charge controllers in our resource library.

    The inverter

    When it comes to building your own portable solar generator, one of the most important pieces of equipment you need is an inverter. An inverter is a device that converts direct current (DC) electricity from the batteries into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by appliances in your home. It is responsible for regulating the voltage and frequency of the AC electricity, so it is important to choose the right inverter for your system.

    There are many different types of inverters available, ranging from basic models to ones that are more advanced and powerful. Generally, the more powerful the inverter, the more expensive it will be. It’s important to choose an inverter that will be able to handle the power output of your portable solar panel generator. You’ll want to go with an off grid inverter for your portable power system, and many come with built in AC outlets so you can plug your devices in without any additional wiring.

    Other Parts

    When constructing your own solar power portable generator, it is important to include all of the necessary components. In addition to the batteries, charge controller and inverter, there are other parts that will help you create a reliable and efficient solar powered generator.

    You will need additional wiring, fuses, breakers and other balance of system parts. You will also need a mounting frame and hardware to securely mount the solar panel. Additionally, it is important to have an enclosure for the generator to protect it from the elements. With all of these parts, you will be able to create your own portable solar generator that can provide you with electricity whenever you need it.

    If you need help selecting all the right parts for your system, a great place to start with with the off grid solar system sizing calculator. You can also submit a request for a free quote or give us a call at 877-878-4060 and we can help you select the right stuff.

    Putting it all together

    Once you have gathered all the components needed to build your portable solar generator, it is time to put them all together. Start by connecting the solar panel to the charge controller, ensuring that the positive and negative terminals are aligned correctly.

    You should then connect the batteries to the charge controller, making sure that the terminals are also properly aligned. Then, connect the inverter to the battery, again ensuring that the positive and negative terminals are aligned correctly. Make sure that all your disconnects and over current protection are in the appropriate places.

    Once all the components are connected, it’s time to test your solar power portable generator. Make sure that all the connections are secure and that everything is running smoothly.

    Once you have tested your generator, you can enjoy all the benefits of solar energy whenever and wherever you go. With your new portable solar generator, you can now enjoy renewable energy while enjoying the great outdoors. Your solar powered generator will provide you with reliable, safe energy whenever you need it. Now that you have your own portable solar generator, you can take advantage of this abundant resource and make sure you never run out of energy!

    Solar Generator

    Growatt solar generators deliver infinite green energy to power your devices, from off-grid adventures to home backup power during power outages. all while requiring no additional fuel as the gas generator.

    In general, a solar generator technically refers to any energy system being powered by the sun. Growatt solar generator bundles typically include portable power stations with high-efficient solar panels. Such solar generator kit is an ideal portable and sustainable power solution to give you clean solar energy, lower your carbon footprint, and reduce your reliance on the grid.

    A solar powered generator works by collecting energy from the sun via solar panels, storing the energy in its built-in battery (lithium battery), and converting the energy into AC power through an inverter before being used in household appliances and other electronic devices.

    Growatt Solar Generator VS. Generator

    Solar generators are ideal for both short-term and long-term power shortages. Traditional generators, on the contrary, do not last long unless they are constantly refueled.

    Growatt Solar Generator Buyer’s Guides

    Solar Generator VS Gas Generator. Choose the Best One for You

    Solar Generator: The Best Choice for Your Next Camping Trip

    FAQ

    Yes, Solar generators are worth the money. Because they are portable and simple to use, which requires zero maintenance and no extra fuel costs. They are reliable power source and backup power for home power outages and also works well for most outdoor activities.

    Size here usually refers to capacity. Firstly, decide how many devices you want to power and how much total power you need. Secondly, you must consider how long you want to supply these devices and how much power you require each day before deciding which solar power generator to purchase.

    Yes, safety is always our top priority. Our portable solar power station’s built-in battery management system regulates key battery parameters to keep the batteries safe, secure, and built to last. It belongs to clean green energy and renewable energy, whether it is charging or using, it will not produce harmful gases like fuel generators.

    Yes, but it must be based on the number of appliances in your home as well as the output power and capacity of the solar portable generator.

    It depends on the wattage of your refrigerator and the capacity of your solar generator. For example, the Growatt INFINITY 1500 portable solar generator has a capacity of 1512 Wh, which can power a 150W refrigerator for approximately 8.5 hours. The reference calculation formula used is:

    Working time (hour) = solar generator capacity (Wh) 0.85 / refrigerator operating power (W)

    Yes! But not all. This is a relatively new technology, and manufacturers often state in their owner’s manuals whether or not their portable solar generators are UPS capable. Both Growatt INFINITY 1500 and INFINITY 1300 solar generators are equipped with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) of less than 20 milliseconds, so you no longer have to worry about power outages at home or failure of important work during power outages. Everything from lights in heavily used rooms and refrigerators to medical equipment, computers and more will never fail.

    Generally speaking, it is 5-15 years, but it mainly depends on the quality of the battery and how often you use it. For example, the Growatt INIFNITY 1300 solar powered generator uses a LiFePO4 built-in battery, which can have 3000 life cycles and can be used for at least ten years. Its built-in battery management system can also better optimize battery efficiency and help extend service life.

    The equipment and appliances you can run depend on the capacity and output of the generator. A lower wattage generator like the Growatt VITA 550 (538Wh Capacity 600W Output) can power small devices like your laptop, phone, and fan. Higher wattage generators such as the Growatt INFINITY 1500 (1512Wh Capacity 2000W Output) can power your large appliances such as TVs, refrigerators and microwaves for longer.

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