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8 Best Solar Generators (2021) – Portable Solar Powered Generators. Expert power solar generator

8 Best Solar Generators (2021) – Portable Solar Powered Generators. Expert power solar generator

    Best Solar Generators (2021) – Portable Solar Powered Generators

    Today, the majority of the world depends on oil for fuel, which is a non-renewable resource. But alternative power sources are beginning to gain popularity so there are some people looking for the best solar generators.

    If you like the idea of living off-grid or maybe you just want to have another power source for your needs, as backup, then a solar generator may be right for you.

    Solar power is more efficient and accessible than the majority of the energy sources out there, especially if you live in a remote location. It is also eco-friendly and able to save you money.

    There is a lot to consider when selecting the best solar powered generator. That’s probably because there are so many choices available to you. It’s important to choose the best one for your needs. To do this, you will need to define your usual energy requirements.

    Best Solar Generators (2021)

    Editor’s Choice

    Expert Power Alpha 1900

    High Performance

    Budget Friendly

    Rockpals Solar Generator

    Jackery Portable Solar Generator Explorer 500

    Best Solar Generator (Editor’s Choice)

    The Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 is the best solar generator on the market. It’s a convenient and handy power supply for the outdoors.

    Features

    It features a pure sine wave ac outlet has a portable power station which provides steady power capable of providing power to various devices such as TVs, projectors, small blenders as long as it’s under a 500 watts.

    If you’re someone who enjoys nature and camping, you can take advantage of portable power. This power station is great for people who own RVs, because it’s portable for trailers. It packs enough power to operate an RV ceiling fan, RV lightings and other electronics devices.

    You can also use it if you want to have an outdoor grill party, because it can energize a small blender, small ice shaver or projector for a nice movie and grill party with loved ones.

    For you safety concerns, it features a pure sine wave inverter so that you can rest easy when using you important devices such as phones and laptops without fear of short circuit and damage. It also has the added benefit of being quiet, because it’s engineered to lower electrical noise.

    It you intend to use it at home, it’s great for your important Wi-Fi router, home security system and lights, so that you will always have them up and running.

    With the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, set and use is quite simple and you can use multiple outputs at the same time for various devices. You also have voltage protection and temperature protection, to protect you and your devices during use.

    Performance

    It can be quickly recharged in the sun with Jackery Solar Saga 100W Solar panel. The charging takes approximately 9.5 hrs of maximum sunlight. You can also charge it with your carport and it takes 16 hrs, with a convenient charging cable included in the package. Or you can use an AC wall outlet and be fully charged in 7.5 hrs.

    Expert Power Alpha 1900 Solar Generator

    High Performance

    The ExpertPower Alpha1900 Rechargeable Solar Powered Station Combo is energy revolutionized. It surpasses almost everything on the existing transportable in-class solar generator market.

    Features

    Featuring a state of the art battery capability specially engineered for lengthier use and constructed for supreme dependability. It’s powerful enough to handle bigger machines such as power-tools, mini-fridges, washers, microwaves, TVs, or anything below 2000W.

    It also features a revolutionary plug and play technology offering convenient on-demand energy to over six appliances at the same time with ease.

    The informative LED screen shows vital charging info such as output / input power, battery capacity, and charging/discharging time so you know what is happening to your devices in any situation.

    It has built-in wheels as well as a telescoping handle to assist with transport so that its weight will not be a problem. It comes with two 100W portable solar panels is made with top-quality Monocrystalline cells. These panels also have foldaway stands and a solid carrying handle for easy portability.

    Performance

    These panels can produce 100 watts each, working with a total voltage of 18V and 5.56A and come with two sets of MC4 cables. Each panel weighs 17.5lbs and is 26 x 20 inches long when folded out. The great thing about them is that they can work with almost any solar generator or standalone batteries.

    To ensure that you are safe, it has total protection with a ground breaking battery management system (BMS), so that your generator and devices are protected against low-voltage, over-voltage, short circuits, overload, and over-heating.

    BALDR Portable Solar Generator

    Budget Friendly

    The BALDR Portable Power Station 330W is a large capacity transportable energy generator. It has a 297wh energy capacity which can successfully charge the same devices for more time than competing batteries.

    Features

    Perfect for travel, home and camping and able to charge a variety of devices like tablet computers, mobile phones, tablet computers and CPAP machines.

    It is also efficient and safe to use with a built-in battery management system (BMS) to help with battery utilization, and prolong battery life with protection from short circuits, overheating overvoltage, overcurrent and overload.

    It’s most special feature is its wireless charger and a built-in multi-mode flashlight able to rapidly power the mobile phone in case of a disaster. The pure sine wave inverter, is steady and stable operating at a faster pace with less noise.

    Performance

    It performs efficiently with three easy charging methods and works with any compatible 100W solar panel. The solar generator can be fully charged in 5-8 hours using solar energy. You also have the option to plug in the wall outlet to be charged within 5-8 hours.

    For car charge, it take 7-8 hours for a full charged. For an added benefit, it only weighs 7.1 pounds, so it’s highly portable. It has a multi-function output port and 1 pure sine wave AC power socket.

    Westinghouse iGen160s Solar Generator

    The Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station is an innovative high performing machine. It’s a lot smaller than others in its class but caters for many charging needs.

    Features

    It’s built with no engine for clean power without fuel, fumes, or noise and has solar panel capability.

    This generator is intended for festivals, camping, or even home backup, and has 100 running watts and 150 peak watts. It is a great energy solution with two 120V outlets, four USB ports including a USB-C and QualComm Quick Charge 3.0 USB outlet.

    It also has three convenient 5mm DC outputs and 3 Mode Lighting. Weighing only 3.5 lbs, it’s simple to transport and store whether in a vehicle or your backpack.

    Performance

    Powerful enough to operate many devices great selection for home use as an emergency backup in a power loss. It’s powered by lithium-ion batteries effortlessly charged with wall charger (included), car charger, or optional solar panel.

    It runs seamlessly with 12V 5. 5mm DC Outputs, two USB Ports, QualComm Quick Charge 3. 0 Port, two 120V Household Outlets, and a USB-C Outlet. So it’s great for charging small devices such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones. Specially designed with overload, short circuit, and overheat protection for your battery and connected devices.

    ROCKPALS 250W Solar Generator

    Featuring a pure sine wave inverter, the Rockpals 250w portable power station, is an exceptional generato rable to produce clean energy comparable to what is supplied by the electricity company. It has a fast motor that operates cooler and is able to a variety of devices.

    Features

    It can be simply recharged in three main ways. Firstly, you can charge it with the energy of the sun, using a compatible 60 watts or a 100watt solar panel, which is separately sold.

    Secondly in eight hours the battery can be fully charged when you plug it in to the wall socket. There is a car charger included in the package so that you can charge the generator by plugging it into your car’s 12 volts socket.

    Performance

    It performs seamlessly with an amazing USB and 12v outputs that have been upgraded to powerful 250-watt AC. It’s a great alternative energy for any occasion that can charge a range of small appliances, like, laptops, iPhone, iPad and CPAP machine.

    The high capacity lightweight lithium power pack stores a generous amount of energy and it only weights 5.5lbs. It is a convenient addition to you camping plans and can be easily stored in you RV or home emergencies.

    MAXOAK EB150 Solar Generator

    The spectacular Maxoak portable power station BLUETTI can be recharged easily with solar or AC power.

    Features

    Compatible with any solar panel with open circuit voltage 16V-60V and it takes less than 6 hours more powerful solar panels will have it charged in a shorter time. For approximately 8 hours, you can charge it fully by plugging it into the wall socket.

    It also features short-circuit, overvoltage overcurrent, temperature control and more safeguards and an MC4 solar charging cable is included. It’s battery management system (BMS) will help to prolong the battery life while keeping you and your devices safe.

    To observe you charging progress, there is an LCD and an Error Code will be displayed for any glitches. It has a special auto shut off design that powers off the machine when it is fully charged.

    What is special about this generator is that it has larger capacity and can charge more powerful devices like electric drills, hair dryers, blenders as long as the maximum of the device is no more than 1000W, but it still maintains a small size and light enough weight.

    Because of its large capacity of 1500Wh, your device doesn’t have a long charge time, so there is no need to charge it over and over again.

    Performance

    It runs with a super long lasting lithium power station and built in top-brand LG battery cell. You can rest assured of its safety and quality as it can handle larger devices and appliances.

    It can be used both indoors and outdoors.

    Flash Fish Solar Powered Generator

    The Flashfish G300 portable power station is upgraded for increased power supply to meet your needs. You can enjoy indoor and outdoor activities because of the specially designed handle them.

    Features

    It’s portable and convenient for fishing, camping, and everything else in between. Get rid of the hassle of having no power when there is a disruption is service at home.

    It features a silver case that is metal and with a sturdy and durable black ends made up of plastic. You get 300W continuous power and 350W peak power. It has a 60000mAh battery capacity and a pure sine wave, can power your devices more steadily but only weights 5.6lbs So it’s portable and light weight enough to fit snugly in your backpack.

    A car charger is included in the package for easy recharge via into your car 12V socket. You may also use any compatible solar panel. Or simply plug it into the wall if you have access to electricity.

    Performance

    It has multiple USB port and able to charge multiple devices. It also has the added benefit of built-in multi safety protections such as low-voltage, short-circuit, lock-on, overheat, over-voltage and over-current protection.

    Duracell Power Source Solar Generator

    The amazing Duracell PowerSource Quiet Gasless Portable Power and Solar Generator has 4 AC outlets, 2 USB ports and a 12V DC port for your vehicle.

    Features

    It has an outstanding 1800 Watts of peak output power and 1440 Watts continuous power output so you can operate heavy appliances such as TVs or refrigerators with ease.

    It uses a standard Anderson connector so that it can work with most solar panels. You may even charge it using your car through the use of daisy chain terminals. Or simply use AC power when available.

    It also features a digital LCD display so you can check on the status with one glance. There’s an “Input” indicator for details on recharge from car, AC or solar power and there’s an “Output” indicator for the level of power used from the generator in Watts. You can also view the remaining power in the battery.

    With this generator you can prepare for power loss and put your mind at ease. Or you can use it for fun outdoor activities like camping, to inflate your mattress or use in you RV.

    The most distinctive and convenient feature of the Duracell PowerSource is the Instant On. Uninterrupted Power system. With this feature you can keep the generator on and plugged into the wall and have continuous power for equipment that you don’t want to be unplugged.

    If there is a disruption in power, the PowerSource will automatically transfer from the AC wall power to the internal battery power to maintain charge to your devices, without interruption in power.

    Performance

    This generator has an abundance of power to maintain your devices charged but it may also be daisy chained with an external battery to access even more power.

    The battery is noiseless and is ideal for devices that need to be continuously powered as it is capable of seamlessly transitioning from AC power to the internal battery power. This makes the generator a very wise investment.

    What Are Solar Generators and How Do They Work

    To put it simply a solar generator is a compact electrical box that consists of three main components. These are an inverter, a battery and a charge controller.

    Solar panels collect energy from the Sun which the generator in a high capacity battery. To release the energy for use, an inverter is needed so that’s a wide variety of devices and appliances may be charged.

    If you are worried about the negative effects of gas and diesel on the environment, solar generators are an excellent choice. Solar generators are convenient because They are not harmful to the environment and since they use the power of the Sun they are great in a power outage and also for people who live in remote locations.

    Solar generators work by trapping power of the sun and placing it in the battery and then transforming that power via and inverter for use. And inverters job is the transform low and direct current (DC) power from the battery into alternating current (AC) so that you can use it to charge your devices and appliances.

    The battery stores the energy captured by the sun and lithium-ion are the most effective and affordable. The charge controller works to safeguard the life of the battery. You can consider this the generator’s brain.

    How To Determine What Solar Power Generator Size You Need

    Different people have different needs, so to decide what size of solar power generator you need to buy, you would first need to determine what your power needs are. So start by making a list of all the devices and appliances you need to power and the amount of time you use them.

    For a proper calculation you would need to know how much power in watts the appliances and devices consume. Then you would need to calculate the watt hours. You can do this by multiplying the number of hours you use the appliance by the watts of each appliance or device.

    For appliances that turn on and off due to the thermostats, like refrigerators and freezers, you will have a harder time calculating their power consumption. To calculate the watt usage for these appliances you will need to do research on how much power they use in a year than simply divide this number by 365 for the daily amount.

    In addition, you’ll have to determine the total amount of watts you will consume at any period because you may want to use a few devices and appliances simultaneously, so you will need to know if your generator can handle the load. Then use this comprehensive list we have compiled and select the best solar generator for your needs.

    Things to Consider When Looking For the Best Solar Power Generator

    Solar Panels

    The energy production of solar panels is calculated in watts. The amount of sun hours that the panel gets determines the water rating of the solar panel. This is not an exact science though, because on certain days the sun may shine brighter than others. There may also be low light in certain seasons and this may affect the performance of the solar panel. So we may look at the rating as an approximation.

    The three main types of solar panels are:

    Monocrystalline solar panels these are the one most widely used around the world and are produced from single-crystal silicon wafers. They are known to be more effective than polycrystalline, but also more costly.

    Polycrystalline solar cells are created from melted pieces of silicon due to the fact that electron movement is reduced between pieces. They are known to be less effective than monocrystaline panels but only slightly.

    Amorphous crystal, or thin film panels. are a new type of solar panel that is cheaper but less effective than the previous two. It should be noted however, that they are lighter, slimmer and more durable.

    Battery Capacity Power Rating

    The maximum amount of energy that a solar battery can store up is known as the battery capacity. But this is no indication of the amount of power it can offer at any given time. To determine that, you will need to look at the energy rating of the battery.

    Perhaps the highest standard of a solar generator, is its ability to be used, while being charged, performing these tasks at the same time. This may prove to be a useful feature in order to cover your energy requirements on a given day.

    Without this feature you will be out of power when you have to charge the battery, if you don’t have a spare. If your generator takes a long time to charge, this may be a great inconvenience to you.

    This is why battery capacity is so important; you need to ensure that the battery capacity of your solar generator is enough to supply your needs even if it needs to be recharged.

    Battery Type

    There are different types of batteries but lithium-ion and lead acid are the most popular. The least expensive one are the lead acid you will mostly find them on cars. They have a shorter life span what are cheaper. Some of them use gel to lengthen the lifespan an increase their safety, but they have the same power performance. Deep cycle batteries are more durable but cost a little more than well.

    For a lengthier lifespan we have lithium-ion battery these batteries are found in cord-less appliances because they are compact and lightweight. Even though there are a bit pricier, the much more portable which makes them popular for solar generators.

    Power Inverter Rating

    The alternating current (AC) that powers your devices is not the same as the electrical current that is captured by your solar panels. This is where power inverters come in! Power inverters transform the direct current (DC) into the alternating current to be used by your devices. Alternating current is the same type of power that’s comes out of the wall sockets in your home.

    All power inverters however are not the same. Inverters usually come with a water rating so that customers will know how much power they are capable of handling. This rating should always be at least the maximum amount of power the system can produce.

    Pure sine wave inverters are generally more costly, but also more effective and result in reduced depreciation of appliances.

    Weight

    The weight of the generator is an important factor when it comes to portability. It’s important to consider how the weight is distributed within a generator than the weight itself. You need to also look at the handle and the materials used because you won’t want you unit to fall apart.

    Generators that are compartmentalised in a durable box are better in the long run. Some generators even have wheels to be carried easily. The foldable solar panels are usually easier to transport since there is not much you can do about the weight without decreasing its quality. If you don’t intend to move your generator then the weight is less of an issue so you should FOCUS more on the performance.

    Charge Controllers

    The solar panels will overcharge the battery without a charge controller. Charge controllers adjust the amount of power that the solar panels send to the batteries. Simple charge controllers work by simply cutting off the supply of power to the battery when the capacity for the battery’s voltage is achieved.

    Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) it’s able to control the flow of electricity more efficiently and may result in you having more power. For a good working system your charge controllers should be waterproof and should come with an LED display so that you can or the status of the charge.

    Final Words

    The best solar generator that you can buy is the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, because it is a convenient and handy power supply for the outdoors and indoors. It features a pure sine wave ac outlet has a portable power station which provides steady power capable of providing power to various devices.

    For you safety concerns, it features a pure sine wave inverter so that you can rest easy when using you important devices such as phones and laptops without fear of short circuit and damage. It also has the added benefit of being quiet and light weight.

    With the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, set and use is quite simple and you can use multiple outputs at the same time for various devices. You also have voltage protection and temperature protection, to protect you and your devices during use. It has everything you could need in a solar generator.

    How To Use Compatible Solar Panels With ExpertPower Alpha 1500, 1800, and 2400

    ExpertPower is a company that sells a lot of batteries, and have recently started selling portable power stations, also known as solar generators. These portable batteries are used by people that don’t have access to the power grid.

    They’re excellent for camping, boondocking, emergencies, power outages, and even used as by some as a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) since some power stations support pass-through charging.

    In this post, we’re going to take a look at how you can connect solar panels to the ExpertPower Alpha 1500, 1800, and 2400 power stations. ExpertPower uses very powerful MPPT charge controllers in these power stations, so they can handle a lot of solar power and quickly charge the lithium batteries.

    Let’s start by listing my solar panel recommendations, then we’ll talk about the limitations of the ExpertPower batteries, how to connect any panel, and how many you can connect at once.

    Solar Panel Recommendations

    Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

    The solar panels that don’t have a green checkmark next to “Requires MC4 Adapter” can be plugged into the ExpertPower Alpha power stations without the use of any additional adapters. These panels come with different DC connectors, including the 8mm which you need for the ExpertPower Alphas.

    If you choose a panel with MC4 connectors, you’re going to use the MC4 adapter included with the power station.

    ExpertPower Alpha 1500, 1800, 2400 Specifications, Limits, And Ports

    The ExpertPower Alpha power stations are very similar to one another, but I wanted to do a quick comparison so I made this table to give you a quick overview of how they differ.

    Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

    How To Connect Solar Panels To The ExpertPower Alpha

    Before you connect any solar panels, read the product manual, and make sure that the specifications above are correct. They’re what ExpertPower advertises, but the actual specifications might be different, so read the manual to be sure. I am not responsible for any damage.

    You also need to make sure that the wires and connectors used can handle the amperages that your panels are going to output.

    The Charge Controller

    What’s impressive about these power stations is the MPPT charge controller that can handle a voltage range between 16-60V. That means that we’re not limited to wiring solar panels in parallel (like in most cases).

    It also means that you can connect two panels together without the use of an MC4 Y branch.

    Connect panels in series

    Connecting two solar panels in series will double the voltage, but not the amperage, and with a 16-60V/10A limit, a series connection is more appropriate and useful.

    I recommend going by the VOC rating when calculating how many solar panels you can connect. So for example, the Renogy 100W panel that has a 21.6V rating, connecting two panels would equal 43.2V.

    To connect two panels in series, you take the positive MC4 wire from one panel and connect it to the negative MC4 wire on the second panel. Then you’re going to have a positive MC4 wire left from the second panel, and negative MC4 wire from the first panel. These will now be connected to the MC4 adapter included by ExpertPower.

    When that’s done, you’re ready to connect the adapter to the Alpha power station.

    Connect panels in series-parallel

    To add additional panels, what you can do is add another pair of 100W panels wired in series, but in parallel. This way you’ll create a series-parallel setup and increase the input amperage as well as the voltage.

    To do a series-parallel connection, set up the four panels in two pairs, in series as I explained above. When you have two pairs of solar panels connected in series, you’ll use a Signstek MC4 Y Branch (click to view on Amazon) to connect the two series pair in parallel.

    Connect panels in parallel

    Another way to go is to only connect panels in parallel, this will double the amperage but keep the voltage the same. It’s done with a Signstek MC4 Y Branch (click to view on Amazon).

    Take the positive MC4 wire from both panels and connect them to the adapter that has two MC4 female connectors. Then do the same with the negative MC4 wires from the panel. Finally, connect the two MC4 Y Branch adapters to the adapter included by ExpertPower and connect it to the Alpha power station.

    Extension Cables

    It’s very likely that you’re going to need extension cables to make the connections work no matter how you connect the panels. Here you need to make sure that the wire is thick enough to handle the total amperage of your solar panels.

    I recommend these MC4 extension cables by WindyNation (click to view on Amazon). They come in different lengths and gauges. Use as low of a gauge as possible to limit power loss.

    You can also use an 8mm extension cable like this by Graybull between the ExpertPower MC4 adapter and solar generator.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Long Will It Take To Charge The Batteries?

    That depends on which model you have and how many solar panels you have connected.

    Here is estimates on how long it would take to charge each model with two 100W solar panels generating 140W:

    As you can see, it takes a while when only using two 100W panels. Therefore, I recommend doing a series-parallel connection with four panels, which will double the charging speed and split the hours above in half.

    What Is The Difference Between The Different ExpertPower Alpha Power Stations?

    The biggest difference is the battery size, the watt-hours. This is how many watt-hours the battery holds and decides how long you’ll be able to power your devices.

    To give you an example, here is how long each power station would power a 100W device. These are estimates and do not count in inverter efficiencies.

    You should expect an 80-90% inverter efficiency, so multiplying the numbers above with 0.8 (80%) will give you a more accurate estimate.

    Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or have experience with these power stations and believe there is something that needs to be corrected.

    ExpertPower EP12200 Lithium LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery

    ExpertPower EP12200 is Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, designed for deep cycle applications, like electric trolling motor battery, RC house battery, electric vehicle battery, solar/wind off-the-grid battery and similar.

    ExpertPower EP12200 features a nominal voltage of 12 volts (actually 12.8 volts) and a nominal 0.2C capacity of at least 200Ah, @25°C. Also, it features an ultralight design and supports a huge number of charging/discharging cycles (2500-7000, or even more).

    Published: February 24, 2021.

    ExpertPower EP12200 Features and Specifications

    ExpertPower EP12200 physical dimensions are (L x W x H) 20.6 x 9.5 x 8.6 (8.8 with M8 terminals) inches (~52.4 x 24.2 x 21.9/22.4 cm) and it weighs only 48.3 pounds (~21.9 kg), which is on average just 1/3 of 12V 200Ah lead-acid battery.

    ExpertPower EP12200 is labeled as 4D battery, but it actually belong to 6D BCI battery group:

    The nominal voltage of the battery is 12.8 volts, while its nominal capacity is 200Ah, when the battery is being discharged for 5 hours (0.2C, 40 Amps) at 77°F (25°C). that also means that the battery’s Reserve Capacity (RC) value is at least 480 minutes (8 hours!).

    When the battery is being discharged, the voltage is kept above 12V for ~95% of the time. This however strongly depends on the ambient and thus battery temperature. lithium batteries, in general, are not the best performers in cold conditions, with the optimum temperatures being room temperatures (68-77°F, 20-25°C).

    ExpertPower EP12200 is designed to provide up to 150 Amps continuously and up to 200 Amps for 3 seconds. Also, it can be recharged with the maximum current of 50 Amps, allowing the user to fully recharge the battery in ~4 hours.

    As one can see, ExpertPower EP12200 is not intended for cranking/starting applications. it can be used to start small internal combustion engines whose starters require up to 100-150 Amps, but not more.

    However, as deep cycle battery, ExpertPower EP12200 is able to withstand huge number of charging-discharging cycles. number of cycles depends on the discharge current and temperature and for 0.2C (40 Amps) @77°F (25°C) the battery features:

    So, on average, ExpertPower EP12200 features a cycle life that is 10x better than the cycle life of a general-purpose 12V 200Ah lead-acid battery.

    ExportPower EP12200 features Battery Management System (BMS) which protects the battery from unwanted events including overcharge, deep discharge, overload, overheating, low temperature, short circuit, and low self-discharge.

    ExportPower EP12200 is intended for both 12V and 24V electric systems and it can be connected in parallel (up to 4 batteries) and in series (2 batteries).

    Note: since exact numbers may change over time, before connecting the batteries, charge them fully one by one and connect as recommended by the manufacturer. Also, never mix lithium batteries of different sizes and especially different brands.

    Thanks to the lithium chemistry and the built-in BMS, ExportPower EP12200 features a very low self-discharge rate and can be kept at room temperature (77°F, 25°C) up to a year.

    ExportPower EP12200 comes with a 1-year warranty.

    How to Charge ExportPower EP12200 Battery

    ExportPower EP12200 and other similar lithium batteries should NOT be charged using Smart lead-acid battery chargers since they often feature charging modes that can even damage the built-in BMS.

    ExportPower EP12200 should be charged using either a dedicated lithium battery charger or using a lead-acid battery charger that also features a dedicated lithium battery charging mode.

    Since ExportPower EP12200 supports a maximum charging current of 50 Amps, battery chargers featuring a maximum charging current in the 40-50 Amps range are recommended for the fastest allowed charging.

    The required charge voltage for the ExportPower EP12200 battery is typical 14.4 volts, with a standby voltage of 13.8 volts.

    In order to recharge its 12V 200Ah lithium battery, ExpertPower recommends its ExpertPower EPC1220 dedicated lithium battery charger.

    ExpertPower EPC1220 is an advanced ‘Constant Current/Constant Voltage’ (CC/CV) battery charger with the maximum charging current of 20 Amps, which is well below ExpertPower EP12200 battery’s limit of 50 Amps. Such charging current prolongs charging time, but additional strain on the battery is practically negligible, prolonging the battery’s lifetime.

    ExpertPower EPC1220 may be used for charging other lithium batteries as long as they are safe to be recharged with 20 Amps.

    For more info about this unit, feel free to check the ExpertPower 12V 20A Smart Charger Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

    Another very interesting battery charger that can be used for charging ExpertPower EP12200 and similar lithium batteries is NOCO Genius G26000 12V/24V 26 Amp Pro-Series Battery Charger and Maintainer.

    NOCO Genius G26000 costs more than the ExpertPower EPC1220 battery charger, but it can be used to charge 12/16/24 volt batteries in normal and cold conditions, it can be used to repair 12-volt batteries, it can act as 13.6 volts power supply, etc.

    Note: actual voltages and currents depend on the set battery type. NOCO Genius G26000 is able to recharge 12V lithium batteries with 26 Amps. but it is up to the user to set the proper charging mode.

    For more info about this unit, feel free to check the NOCO Genius G26000 Pro-Series Battery Charger and Maintainer Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

    Personally, if You need to regularly recharge various types of batteries(lead-acid AGM, wet/flooded, Enhanced wet/flooded, Gel-Cell batteries; lithium batteries), go for NOCO Genius G26000 or a similar battery charger. If You need to recharge ExpertPower EP12200 or similar lithium batteries, go for ExpertPower EPC1220 battery charger.

    ExpertPower EP12200 Battery as Trolling Motor Battery

    ExpertPower EP12200 can be used as an excellent high-capacity, ultra-light electric trolling motor battery.

    ExpertPower EP12200 is able to provide 40 Amps for 5 hours and 25 Amps for at least 8 hours at 77°F (25°C).

    For 24V trolling motors, ExpertPower EP12200 can be connected in series, just be sure to recharge them fully prior to connecting in series.

    Since trolling motors are rarely used at the full-throttle (if they are, they are seriously underpowered), ExpertPower EP12200 can power most trolling motors practically all day long, just be sure to check the battery charge with battery monitor for lithium batteries. some electric trolling motors feature built-in battery charge monitors, but they are usually set to lead-acid batteries and provide wrong data when the motor is powered by a lithium battery, which can be dangerous in terms of false data being presented to the user.

    And after trolling all day long, ExpertPower EP12200 can be recharged overnight using 20 Amps battery charger (like ExpertPower EPC1220).

    If the battery is used on a daily basis, it can withstand at least 2500 cycles (0.2C, 77°F) and that is almost 7 years!

    ExpertPower EP12200 Battery as Power Inverter Battery

    With its 12.8 volts nominal voltage and 150 Amps maximum discharge current (200 Amps for 3 seconds), ExpertPower EP12200 can be used in off-the-grid situations to provide energy to power inverters.

    For example, if 1000 Watts power inverter with 85% efficiency is connected to the battery, then the battery must provide:

    P(W) = 1000 W / 0.85 = 1177 W → I (Amps) = 1177 W / 12.8 V = ~92 Amps

    92 Amps are well below the upper continuous discharge current of the ExpertPower EP12200 battery (150 Amps).

    But, most power inverters are able to withstand surge power which is approximately 2x their rated power. in this case, that would be ~184 Amps, which is still below 200 Amps for 3 seconds.

    So, when the ExpertPower EP12200 is used as a power inverter battery for a 1000W power inverter with ~85% efficiency, it can power such device for at least 2 hours. this also depends on the battery condition and the ambient/battery temperature.

    Note: this is just an example. After all, if your power inverter is pushed to its limit almost 100% of its operating time, it is seriously underpowered. IMHO of course.

    Long Story Short: If You are looking for a deep cycle battery that can withstand a large number of charging/discharging cycles, and that must be much lighter than similar lead-acid batteries, consider ExpertPower EP12200 battery.

    ExpertPower EP12200 battery costs more than similar AGM/Gel-Cell batteries and it must be recharged with dedicated lithium battery chargers or battery chargers with dedicated lithium battery charging mode, but it supports 10x more charging/discharging cycles, capacity drop because of the stronger discharging current is negligible when compared with lead-acid batteries, it is ~3x times lighter than AGM/Gel-Cell batteries, etc.

    And in the long run, if the ExpertPower EP12200 is cycles regularly, it is practically cheaper than a similar AGM/Gel-Cell battery.

    However, if You are looking for a 12V 200Ah battery for a standby application, regardless of its mass, then a good AGM/Gel-Cell battery is a better and cheaper choice.

    For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check ExportPower EP12200 Lithium LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

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    Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new Windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

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    The 10 Best Solar Generators (2023 Review)

    A solar generator gives you backup energy from the sun if you’re out camping or if you’re experiencing a power outage. We’ve reviewed the top solar generators here.

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    Affiliate Disclosure:This Old House’s Reviews Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services. To support this business model, This Old House may be compensated if you purchase through links on our website.

    Solar generators convert sunlight into energy to power your devices and appliances when you don’t have electricity. If you’re looking for a portable power source to take with you on a trip, read our review below to see our top picks for the best solar generators. You can also read our buying guide to generators to aid you in making a Smart purchase.

    Compare Top Solar Generators

    ProductWatt HoursWeightWarrantyDimensionsProductWatt HoursWeightWarrantyDimensions
    Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 240 5 pounds 2 years 9 x 5 x 8 inches
    Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 518 13 pounds 2 years 12 x 8 x 9 inches
    ROCKPALS Portable Power Station 300 8 pounds 2 years 11 x 5 x 9 inches
    EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station 1,260 Not listed 2 years 16 x 8 x 11 inches
    BLUETTI Portable Power Station 2,000 61 pounds 2 years 17 x 11 x 15 inches
    Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station 505 13 pounds 2 years 14 x 12 x 9 inches
    MAXOAK Portable Power Station 2,400 49 pounds 2 years 19 x 7 x 14 inches
    ITEHIL Portable Power Station 500 19 pounds 2 years 11 x 9 x 8 inches
    EF ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station 720 17 pounds 2 years 11 x 7 x 9 inches
    Rainier Outdoor Power Equipment Portable Power Station 150 5 pounds Not listed 10 x 4 x 6 inches

    Top 10 Solar Generators

    Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

    taken at time of publishing.

    This solar generator is lightweight at under five pounds and has a textured handle that makes it easy to carry from location to location. Another unique feature of this generator is that it can charge devices while it’s been recharged, and it can be recharged through a wall or car outlet.

    Pros and Cons

    Has the most affordable price point out of the models in this review

    Can charge and recharge at the same time

    Has a built-in textured handle for easy carrying

    ✘ Criticized by some customers for dying quickly

    ✘ Has the lowest power output in this review at 200 watts

    What Customers Are Saying

    Many customers praised this portable power station for producing minimal noise, having a long-lasting battery, and being easy to carry. Others said that they had positive customer service experiences. Unhappy customers noted that this model died quickly and lacked power.

    Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500

    taken at time of publishing.

    This solar generator has an output of 518 watt-hours and has eight output ports and outlets, allowing it to charge a handful of devices. Additionally, it can be carried with you on a camping or hiking trip due to its small size, and it features an oversized carrying handle.

    Pros and Cons

    Has the most affordable price point out of the models in this review

    Can charge and recharge at the same time

    Has a built-in textured handle for easy carrying

    ✘ Criticized by some customers for dying quickly

    ✘ Has a low power output of 200 watts

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers praised this generator for its ease of use and portability. However, negative reviews complained about the fan not working properly and the manufacturer providing poor customer service.

    ROCKPALS Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

    The carrying handle on this solar generator is rubberized and textured, making it easy and comfortable to hold onto. With its 300 watts of power and 280 Wh, this generator can handle small home appliances and electronic devices, such as lamps, hair dryers, and laptops.

    Pros and Cons

    Can be recharged using a cigarette lighter, three-prong wall outlet, USB port, or solar panel

    Has one fast-charging USB port

    Has enough power to provide about 40 charges to small home appliances

    ✘ Not sold with the DC converter

    ✘ Criticized for feeling cheaply made

    What Customers Are Saying

    Many customers were happy with this portable power station because of its great value for the money, portability, and long battery life. Some said that it met all of the manufacturer’s claims and was easy to use. Negative reviews noted that this model felt cheaply made, not offering much power and struggling to charge devices.

    EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

    Two of this solar generator’s six USB ports are fast-charging to ensure your necessary devices and appliances, such as lanterns and phones, stay charged at all times. The generator provides up to 1,260 watt hours for refrigerators,

    Pros and Cons

    Features patented X-Stream Technology to help it recharge faster

    Features two fast-charging USB ports and four standard ports for multiple charging options

    Can provide power to a laptop for over 25 hours

    ✘ Doesn’t have all of the ports and outlets on one side for easy access

    ✘ Noted by some that the wattage didn’t match the advertised output

    What Customers Are Saying

    Amazon customers praised this power station for having a lot of power, minimal noise, and responsive technical support. They also loved how lightweight and portable it was. However, dissatisfied customers said that it didn’t provide as much power as advertised and that it broke after minimal use.

    best, solar, generators, 2021, portable, powered

    BLUETTI Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

    This solar generator can run several powerful devices at once with 2,000 watt-hours. It has an intelligent temperature-activated fan that keeps the unit cool and quiet. Plus, all of its outlets and ports feature covers to keep them protected when they’re not in use.

    Pros and Cons

    Has a touchscreen to control its settings

    Includes a car charging cable

    Has small carrying handles on either side of its body

    ✘ Costs the most out of the options in this review

    ✘ Weighs 60 pounds, making it more difficult to transport than other models

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers praised this power station for being an excellent value for the money. Many loved its easy-to-use touchscreen and long battery life. Some unhappy reviewers experienced temperature errors despite the model’s fan.

    Goal Zero Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

    This generator is a great choice for campers due to its easy operation and 505 watt-hours of operation. It also includes four different port options, including AC, 12V, and 60W USB-C PD, ensuring you can operate several different devices outdoors without worry. Courtesy Amazon

    Pros and Cons

    Can charge in a 180-watt wall outlet in three hours, a 60-watt outlet in 10 hours, or a 120-watt outlet in 4.5 hours

    Is made from rugged, durable material that’s perfect for on-the-go operation

    Can recharge a phone up to 42 times and a laptop up to 10 times

    ✘ Has a long auto shutoff timer

    ✘ AC outlet is sometimes slow to operate

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers who were happy with their purchase of this solar generator commented on how simple it was to operate, as well as its long-lasting battery and its lightweight design. However, others felt this generator had issues powering on large devices, and some had issues with the LCD screen.

    MAXOAK Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

    This portable power station has an impressive eight ports that include two AC outlets, one car outlet, four USB-A ports and one USB-C port, giving you the flexibility to charge a variety of devices under 1,000 watts. It is also available in numerous color options to match your style.

    Pros and Cons

    Can be charged up to 80 percent within 10 hours

    Features an intelligent cooling fan to prevent overheating

    Can charge a laptop up to 32 times

    ✘ Wall charger has a slower operation than some other models

    ✘ Is heavier than many other solar generators

    What Customers Are Saying

    This generator earned positive reviews on Amazon for its high-charging capacity, and several others were also impressed with its durable design and many charging ports. On the other hand, it was docked by some for its LCD display. A handful of reviews noted that it was hard to read and didn’t display the remaining battery percentage. Others were also disappointed in its 1000-watt inverter, which was lower than other solar generators of similar sizes.

    ITEHIL Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

    This heavy-duty solar generator is made with aviation-grade aluminum alloy, giving it extra protection and impact resistance. It also comes with a convenient carrying handle that makes it easy to transport and a bright LED light to help you use it in the dark.

    Pros and Cons

    Features multiple input and output ports that can reach over 700 watts

    Can be charged via wall outlet, car outlet, or solar panel

    Includes an LED display and SOS rescue and warning features

    best, solar, generators, 2021, portable, powered

    ✘ Does not include USB-C charging

    ✘ Does not feature Wi-Fi compatibility

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers who left positive reviews for this product were impressed with its charging imports, as well as its LCD screen and its overall design. However, some customers found it was lacking in the overall power level, while others found that it needed to be frequently recharged to work correctly.

    EF ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

    With 720 Wh and 600 watts of power, this solar generator is a good medium-sized option that won’t break the bank. It can charge up to 80 percent in just one hour, and can power some devices of up to 1800w. Additionally, it features three AC outlets and weighs less than 17 pounds.

    Pros and Cons

    Features 10 total output ports

    Includes a built-in flashlight

    ✘ Can be difficult to carry and transport

    ✘ AC sockets can occasionally be obstructed

    What Customers Are Saying

    This solar generator earned positive reviews from customers for its low noise level and lightweight, compact design. Several other customers also were impressed with its fast charging ability, noting it completely charged in just over one hour.

    Rainier Outdoor Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

    This small generator, which features 150Wh, is perfect for charging small electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, drones, lights or speakers. It weighs only five pounds, comes with a built-in flashlight and measures only six inches tall, making it easy to fit anywhere.

    Pros and Cons

    Features three USB Ports, three 12V 5.5mm DC outputs

    Includes a battery level display for easy tracking

    Has a lower price point than most other portable power stations

    ✘ Not ideal for charging large appliances

    ✘ Charging times can be inconsistent

    What Customers Are Saying

    Customers loved how maneuverable and portable this portable power station was, noting it was a great choice for camping or fishing. Several also complimented its durable, long-lasting design. On the other hand, some customers felt this product was overly loud, while some said they had difficulty getting it started.

    Buyer’s Guide

    Portable generators that utilize solar charging are a reliable source of renewable energy. Read our buying guide below to learn about battery life, portability, and other factors that will help you decide on the best solar power generator.

    Type

    Solar generators are available as both portable generators and backup generators. Most solar generators are portable, lightweight, and have a built-in handle. The best portable solar generators are used to provide power for construction sites, campers, events, or other settings where access to electricity is limited.

    Backup solar generators provide backup power for when an electrical grid fails, providing an efficient alternative for installing a complete system. Backup solar generators provide enough power to turn on appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, and more in the event of a blackout.

    In the video below, Ask This Old House master electrician Scott Caron shows how to use a solar generator:

    Battery

    When examining the battery of a solar generator, you should consider its overall battery capacity (measured in watt-hours) and its charging method.

    Life

    The lifespan of your generator’s battery depends on the size of the battery and the amount of power required to run your devices. For example, a battery with a watt-hours rating of 150 can run a 100-watt appliance, various power tools, or several small appliances that equal 100 watts for 1.5 hours.

    Charging

    The amount of time it takes to recharge the battery depends on the size of the battery and the method of charging, as well as the charger’s power. Larger batteries take longer to recharge than smaller batteries. Additionally, while solar generators are meant to connect to solar panels for charging, that’s not always convenient if it’s overcast or if you’re pressed for time. That’s why they typically also offer an electric charging function. A quick charge function may also be available on certain models.

    Outlets/Ports

    Solar generators come with various outlets and ports to run several devices simultaneously. Common plugs include AC outlets, USB and USB-C ports, and car cigarette lighters.

    Price

    The price of a solar generator depends mainly on the type you’re purchasing and the power output. For portable generators, some lower-end models that will only power small items can cost 200 or under, while higher-end models can cost well over 500 or upwards of 1,000.

    Backup generators also vary in price depending on the model, but smaller generators can cost around 1,000, while generators with higher wattage can cost several thousand or more.

    Size

    To determine what sized solar generator you need, consider how much power you need for your devices. For example, if using a portable generator on a camping trip, do you need to power a portable fridge, television, or coffee maker? Or do you only need power for small items like a mobile phone or a mini fan? The wattage required to run each item may vary, and most portable solar generators can power in the range of 100-500 watts. Smaller units typically have a lower power capacity and can only charge small devices.

    Backup solar generators can typically power at least 1,000 watts, which should be enough to power appliances like small lights, a fridge, or a television. However, if you need whole-home power or need to turn on devices like a washing machine or air-conditioning unit, you will likely need a generator with a power level of at least 2,000-3,000 watts.

    Brand

    To ensure you’re getting a high-quality solar generator, look for trusted brands that make well-reviewed products. Some of the brands that are well known for making solar generators include Jackery, ROCKPALS, Renogy, BLUETTI, EF Ecoflow, Goal Zero, Kohler, Titan Solar and Flashfish.

    What Are The Benefits of a Solar Generator?

    When shopping for a new generator, there are several unique advantages to buying a solar generator instead of a gas-powered model, such as:

    Noise Level

    Standard generators can get noisy, which could be a significant factor if you’re using them while camping, RVing, or even running them outside your home. However, one of the benefits of solar generators is that they run completely quiet since they don’t have any of the parts of gas-powered generators.

    Maintenance

    Solar generators also require little-to-no maintenance to operate. Solar generators are less likely to break than fuel-powered generators and have fewer parts to maintain. The standard maintenance needed for a solar generator is dusting, removing moisture, and checking the connection.

    Fuel and Clean Energy

    One of the main benefits of solar generators is that they use clean, renewable energy, which is better for the environment. It can also be better for your wallet, as solar generators avoid having to stock up on fuel to run your generator.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it worth getting a solar generator?

    A solar generator may be worth it depending on how you use it. The cost of the generator easily pays for itself if you live somewhere that receives ample sunlight and you utilize the energy from the generator as a home backup. Alternatively, if you frequently go on road trips, a solar generator is also worth it.

    Will my solar generator come with a solar panel?

    It depends on the model. Some generators come with the solar panels needed to operate them, and some don’t. If you don’t have a compatible solar panel already, it might be worth it to find an all-inclusive kit, as this cuts down on the cost and the number of purchases.

    Are there other types of generators?

    Yes. Some generators use electricity or gas for power, and all power generators are able to support off-grid living. However, some people prefer solar generators for the following reasons:

    • They’re more eco-friendly because they use energy from the sun as opposed to fossil fuels.
    • They’re cheaper to operate because you don’t have to buy fuel refills for gas generators.
    • They’re better in emergency situations where you might not have access to fuel.
    • They’re quieter.
    • They’re more portable because they’re smaller and lighter.

    What’s the purpose of the inverter in my solar generator?

    The power stored in a solar generator’s battery is in direct current (DC), but most devices and appliances use alternating current (AC). This inverter converts DC to AC. If your solar generator doesn’t have a built-in inverter, you will need to purchase one separately.

    Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

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    We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

    To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.

    The 7 Best Solar Generators of 2023

    Whether camping or dealing with a power outage, these solar generators help keep you powered.

    Jack Byram is a freelance writer focussed on all things self improvement. He has interviewed countless professionals for his articles, including everything from interior decorators to chiropractors. Jack has written for The Strategist, Today.com and The Spruce.

    Emily Estep is a plant biologist and journalist who has worked for a variety of online news and media outlets, writing about and editing topics that range from film and beauty to science and the automobile industry. Her plant biology degree has a FOCUS on sustainable agriculture, and she’s an expert on growing your own food, environmental sciences, and all topics relating to houseplants.

    In This Article

    Though there is plenty to enjoy about summer, it also brings with it heat waves and storms that can knock out power. Thankfully, solar generators offer a way to help keep your electronics powered without the fuel smell that comes attached to a gas-powered generator.

    Solar generators are generators that can be charged either using connected solar panels or, oftentimes, by plugging them into a power source. According to Gary McCoy, store manager of Lowe’s in Charlotte, North Carolina, “Solar generators operate without requiring fuel, providing free energy. These generators also operate quietly, with zero emissions and are better for the environment.”

    McCoy also tells us that solar generators are generally much lighter than traditional generators, making them easier to transport. This helps to make them a great option for people who need energy sources when camping or for their RVs.

    We spoke with McCoy to help guide us in picking the best solar generators. In addition to understanding the basic benefits of solar generators, we also inquired into details like their value, who they are right for, and how long they last. Other details worth considering include portability, solar charge time, and wattage when trying to find the best solar generator for your needs.

    Best Overall

    Geneverse HomePower Two Pro

    The quality of materials, ease of recharge, and solid five-year warranty help to solidify Geneverse’s HomePower Two Pro as our pick for the overall best solar generator. The Pro series uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which provide added benefits when compared to more affordable lithium-ion batteries.

    With LFP batteries, you can expect charging that is twice as fast, and a lifespan that is six times longer when compared with other, cheaper lithium ion options. It also ensures a battery that is equipped to handle more dramatic temperature changes.

    This generator features additional watt-hour capacity that ensures it can power most home appliances and devices. When operating at full capacity, it’s able to hold a charge for up to a year, and it can be charged by solar power in just three to four hours. If you decide to use an AC wall outlet, it can be charged in one to two hours.

    This generator also features a built-in LED light and a user-friendly display that enables it to be set up within 30 seconds. For added convenience, there is an accompanying app that allows users to control it remotely.

    Do note with this option that it weighs 61 pounds, and it features no wheels or any other helpful transportational features should you want to relocate it.

    Price at time of publish: 2,299

    Wattage: 2,200-4,400 watts | Solar Charge Time: Three to four hours | Dimensions: 11.02 x 14.11 x 17.83 inches | Weight: 61.3 pounds | Life Span: 10 years

    Best Budget

    Bluetti Portable Power Station

    Bluetti Portable Power Station’s small but mighty profile and reasonable price tag combine to make it our pick for the best solar generator for people on a budget. Because it weighs 21 pounds and has an ergonomic handle, it’s easy to transport or move this device.

    In terms of power, this generator uses a LFP battery that makes it last for approximately 2,500 life cycles. It features a maximum input of 200 watts, and solar panels can charge the machine within three to four hours.

    However, it takes three to four hours to charge by AC wall unit, which is longer than other generators on our list. In a pinch, it can also be charged by a 12-volt car port, although it will take substantially longer at seven to eight hours.

    Other features that elevate this option include a 15-watt wireless charging pad on the top for charging cell phones as well as four AC outlets, two PD ports, two USB-A ports, two DC outputs, and one car port.

    This option is not bluetooth compatible, so it cannot be controlled remotely and it also has a two-year warranty, which is shorter than other options on our list.

    Price at time of publish: 599

    Wattage: 800 | Solar Charge Time: Three to four | Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.5 x 8.7 inches | Weight 21.4 pounds | Life Span: 2,500 life cycles

    Best Splurge

    EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station

    While pricier than other options on our list, EcoFlow’s Delta Pro Portable Power Station has plenty of features that make it our pick for the best solar generator for people who are able to spend some extra money. With a 3,600-watt AC output, it provides more power than many other options on the market, and it can also be paired with another for 7,200 watts total.

    It’s able to power most home appliances, including high-wattage products like dryers and heaters. Additionally, it uses an LFP battery that can last 6,500 cycles, which is more than double the life of more affordable options.

    With five total AC output outlets, two USB-A ports, two USB-C output ports, and two DC5521 output ports, this station has you covered. Using the 240-volt outlets, it can be charged in just under two hours.

    This option also doesn’t skimp on convenience—two back wheels and a luggage style handle help to make it a breeze to move wherever you need it. However, charging it using solar power takes longer than other options on our list, with charge times between three and a half to seven hours for a full charge.

    Price at time of publish: 3,699

    Wattage: 3,600 | Solar Charge Time: Three and a half to seven hours | Dimensions: 11.2 x 16.4 x 25 inches | Weight 99 pounds | Life Span: 6,500 cycles

    Best Portable

    Anker 555 Portable Power Station

    Anker’s 555 Portable Power Station includes a handful of features that makes it the best solar generator for people on the go. For starters, it has a 200-watt solar input, and it’s able to solar charge in just five and a half hours. It can also be fully charged by a USB-C port in just four hours.

    This option features one car outlet, three USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, and 6 AC outlets. At just under 30 pounds, it is light enough to be lifted with ease in and out of a car and it comes with a built-in handle that makes it even easier to bring around with you. We also appreciate that it features an LED light to help illuminate the space surrounding you should you bring it on a camping trip.

    While this generator features LFP batteries, it does have a shorter life than other options available, lasting only 3,000 charge cycles. However, other competitors of the same size only last approximately 500 cycles. On the plus side, it features a five-year warranty to help keep you feeling protected.

    Price at time of publish: 900

    Wattage: 1,000 | Solar Charge Time: 5.5 hours | Dimensions: 7.4 x 11.61 x 13.78 inches | Weight: 29.8 pounds | Life Span: 3,000 cycles

    Best for Camping

    Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station

    • A smaller profile and collapsible handle makes this option a great choice to take with you on the go.

    Weighing in at under 13 pounds and with a collapsible handle, Goal Zero’s Yeti 500X Portable Power Station is our go-to pick for the best solar generator for anyone going camping. While more compact in nature, it still packs a punch with AC, 12V, and 60-watt USB-C ports that enables it to charge all of your devices. Additionally, an anodized aluminum enclosure helps to keep everything safe.

    Like other options on the list, this generator can be run either by using solar panels, a wall outlet, or a car’s 12V outlet. A car charger will take it about four and a half hours to fully charge, while a 60-watt wall charger will take up to 10 hours.

    It also comes with an Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controller, which is a converter that is able to pinpoint when your system is getting the most efficiency, based on factors like Cloud cover and time of day. This helps ensure the most productive and effective solar charge possible. It can power everything from a smartphone to a portable fridge for upwards of 20 hours.

    This option will only last about 500 cycles before dropping to 80% of its capacity. However, since it is intended to be brought out for camping and will be used less frequently, that can offset the shorter lifespan.

    Price at time of publish: 550

    Wattage: 505 | Solar Charge Time: Six to 12 hours | Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.25 x 5.8 inches | Weight 12.9 pounds | Life Span: 500 cycles

    Best for RVs

    Anker PowerHouse 767 Power Station and 760 Expansion Battery Bundle

    If you have recently bought or renovated an RV and are looking for the best solar-powered generator, this is the pick for you. The Anker’s PowerHouse 767 Power Station and 760 Expansion Battery Bundle is a great way to optimize your recreational vehicle. It can put out 2,400-watts and in addition to the four AC ports, it also has three USB-C charging ports, two USB-A ports, and two car outlets.

    When used in an RV, this device can keep a mini fridge running for up to 60 hours, a portable freezer running for 60 hours, and a hair dryer for two hours. It comes with a solar charging cable, an AC charging cable, and a battery-to-host cable.

    While pricier than other options, this choice does feature an LFP battery, and it has a Smart temperature control system that monitors the temperature 100 times per second. These features, in addition to impact-resistant structural design, help create a product that is intended to last over a decade. It also comes with a five-year full-device warranty to keep you protected.

    Though it comes with two batteries, they can’t be charged at the same time. This mild inconvenience does result in a bit of a lengthier charge time.

    Price at time of publish: 2,999

    Wattage: 2,400 | Solar Charge Time: Not listed | Dimensions: 17.44 x 10.6 x 9.4 inches | Weight 45.6 pounds | Life Span: 10 years

    Best Large

    Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro

    • Even with its 3,000-watt output, this option can charge in under two and a half hours by wall outlet.

    With a 3,024-watt-hour capacity and a 3,000-watt output, Jackery’s Solar Generator 3000 Pro offers a substantial amount of energy compared to smaller models. It is also one of the faster charging choices on our list, with just under a two and a half hour charge time for wall outlets. It has up to 25% conversion efficiency with solar panels, meaning that it can be charged in just three to four hours using the sun.

    best, solar, generators, 2021, portable, powered

    Other features that make this option stand out include the Smart app compatibility that allows you to monitor details such as battery level, estimated running time, and input and output wattages.

    As for transportability, it has an aluminum alloy pull rod and double wheels to make pulling it easier. We also appreciate that it comes with a five-year warranty and is also highly durable, with an ability to withstand temperatures of.4°F.

    While it does have a handle and wheels to make it easier to transport with you, this choice weighs over 60 pounds, making it more difficult to lift when you are moving it.

    Price at time of publish: 2,799

    Wattage: 3,000 | Solar Charge Time: Three to four hours | Dimensions: 14.7 x 14.1 x 18.6 inches | Weight: 63.93 pounds | Life Span: 2,000 cycles

    The Bottom Line

    For a solar generator that has a long lifetime, a quick charging battery, and a high wattage, the Geneverse HomePower Two Pro is our pick for the best solar generator. If you’re in the market for something that is more cost effective, the best solar generator for you may be the Bluetti Portable Power Station, which is lightweight and charges quickly.

    What to Know About Solar Generators Before Shopping

    Wattage

    Determining which wattage is correct for you will play a huge part in deciding on the best solar generator for your needs. Generally speaking, if you are only looking to power something like a fridge or to charge a phone, you can get away with a generator that has close to 500 watts, like the Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station.

    Conversely, for people who are looking for something more robust to take on larger jobs, such as powering an entire house, you will need something far more substantial. “House powering generators must have a minimum output of 2,000 kilowatts with a battery of at least 2,000 watt-hour,” McCoy says. “The amount of energy output needed will vary based on house size.”

    Using these guidelines, we recommend the EF EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station for powering a house.

    Solar Charge Time

    If you intend to use solar panels to charge your generator, then you will want to be mindful of the time that it takes the panels to fully charge it. “Solar generators can take anywhere from 1.5 to 48 hours to fully charge depending on solar battery size, portable power station and energy source,” McCoy says.

    best, solar, generators, 2021, portable, powered

    On the lower end of our list, some generators like the Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro can solar charge fully in as quickly as three to four hours. Some generators will take somewhere between six and 12 hours to charge, like the Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station. Considering your needs and how frequently you intend to use your generator will help guide you in deciding whether a shorter charging time is imperative, or if you can handle a longer one.

    Weight

    Determining where you intend to use and keep your solar generator will help you figure out what is the best weight for you. The products on our list range in weight from 12 pounds, like the Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station, to as high as 100 pounds, like the EF EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station.

    If you are looking for a portable generator, then you will want to look into a lighter one. Even with features like wheels, you will still be required to lift your generator in and out of a car, so a more cumbersome one can be tedious to move. However, if you intend to keep it in one place in your home, a heavier one can be a good option as they are durable and powerful.

    Life Span

    Depending on the one that you purchase, solar generators should be able to last you a minimum of two to three years. If you are looking for something that will stay around the longest, our choice for the best solar generator for you is the EF EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station, which has a life cycle of 6,500 charges.

    If you are someone who intends or needs to use it with a lot of regularity, seeking out something with a longer life cycle will be important. “You should regularly maintain and test your generator for readiness,” McCoy says. “Most manufacturers suggest running the generator once a month to keep it functioning properly.”

    Your Questions, Answered

    Can a solar generator power a whole house?

    According to McCoy, solar generators have the potential to power an entire house, but not all generators can do it. He tells us that a minimum output of 2,000 kilowatts as well as a battery of at least 2,000 watt-hour will be required to accomplish this goal.

    Of course, he adds, this is subject to variance by the size of the home. With these guidelines in mind, we recommend something like the Jackery Solar Generator 3000 Pro if you are looking to power your house.

    How much does a solar generator cost?

    McCoy says you can find solar generators that are as low in price as 300 and others that can cost as much as 5,000. Generally speaking, though, they will cost more than 1,000. McCoy notes that the vast differences in price are the result of a handful of factors, including the brand as well as the energy capabilities of the generator.

    expensive ones like the EF EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station can sometimes also include added ports and features, like app compatibility.

    Are solar generators worth the money?

    McCoy tells us that while solar generators are not completely necessary, they are absolutely worth the money. He tells us that people who live in areas that are prone to power outages will benefit from them as a means to still maintain power in the case of power failure.

    In addition to people who face inclement weather, McCoy recommends solar generators for people that are in places where traditional power is scarce, such as campsites.

    Who We Are

    This article was written by Jack Byram, a freelance writer who covers all things home related. For this article, he spoke with Gary McCoy, the store manager at Lowe’s in Charlotte, North Carolina, to glean expert insight into solar generators and what to expect with one. From there he researched numerous solar generators to be able to recommend a wide range of products accounting for details like solar charge time, price, and wattage.

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