A Detailed Explanation of “For how Long Can a Solar Generator Run?”
Before buying a solar generator, you need to know what size will suit your needs. There are so many different options to choose from in the market, that knowing which one is right for you can be quite overwhelming.
Take Bluetti, for example, we already sell about 9 different solar generators, all with different capacities. So, how do you know which size solar generator is right for you? In this article, we will explain How long can a solar generator run?
How long can a solar generator run?
When someone is looking for a solar generator, one of the most crucial points is to know how long solar-powered generators last? For this reason, here in this article, you will have a detailed explanation of “for how long can a solar generator run?”. Let’s find out in this article.
The portable solar energy generators are apparent evidence of the transformation of energy usage to numerous renewable energy fields. You can run lights, and fans, heat the water, or your room for survival with this clean energy during emergencies such as power outages.
Let’s find out how long can a solar generator run, find out the better solar power or generator, the longevity of solar generator last, and its uses in different appliances.
What is the best off-grid generator: A portable solar power system?
Consider your area goes off-grid due to a thunderstorm. Suppose the solar generator battery drains within hours, and there isn’t sufficient sunlight to charge the battery.
In that case, you’ll have rotten foods in the fridge.
A solar generator is merely a rechargeable battery but revolutionary for its-
Lightweight / Maximum portability
Solar power generators are a compact system without requiring any roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.
The multiple input options (to recharge the battery) and multiple output options (AC plug, USB, carport) of solar-powered generators make them a perfect companion for traveling a long distance (in RV or otherwise), camping, boating, or fishing in lakes.
How do I choose a solar generator: What is the most efficient generator?
Look for the solar generator rating. It is a measurement of power (maximum watts) that the solar powered generator can deliver over an ideal time.
The wattage (max) of the inverter plays a significant role in your solar generator as most electronic devices employ AC.
Manufacturers use inverter rating as solar portable generator rating since the inverter rating is the highest limit of how much power the AC appliances can pull.
You do not need a massive inverter but a compatible one with your solar generator battery.
A charge controller of MPPT (maximum power point tracking) specification, enables the solar generator to be portable and more efficient.
|Photovoltaic (PV) conversion||The solar panels convert sunlight (photons) into energy.|
|Energy storage||A charge controller regulates the flow of generated energy from the solar cells to batteries.|
|AC to DC transformation||The battery-stored energy runs across an inverter. It transforms direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC).|
⦁ If the rating (capacity) of a particular solar generator unit is 2000 watts and the capacity of the battery is 100 Ah (12V), it means
⦁ The unit can run (uninterruptedly) an appliance of 2000 watts Or, multiple devices of 2000 watts
⦁ The 100 Ah battery of 12 V can supply 100 amperes for 1 hour, Or, 1 ampere for 100 hours, etc.
These ratings and specifications are just an initial screening to determine the most efficient solar portable generator for your needs. But they don’t make it quite clear whether I require a heavy-duty solar generator or not, do they?
How long does a solar generator last (run time)?
Now that you are familiar with the efficacy of solar generators, let me start the central piece: A detailed explanation of “For how long can a solar generator run?”
Run time: A measurement of how long a portable solar energy generator functions to power electronic appliances by the recharged battery.
Run time (max hours) = The capacity of the solar generator (watt-hours) / Power required for the device (watts)
⦁ Usable watt-hours: Usable watt-hours of a solar power generator is the most important indicator of how long does a solar generator lasts.
Volts x Ah = watt-hours
Your specified electrical equipment may require an uninterrupted supply of power that might deplete battery charge in no time.
But draining 100% of any conventional batteries reduces lifespan and increases the rate of battery damage.
|Usable watt-hours (recommended)|
|Lithium batteries||90 % of battery capacity (watt-hours)|
|Lead-acid batteries||60 % of battery capacity (watt-hours)|
Usable watt-hours for a 100 Ah lead-acid battery of 12 V becomes, = Volts x Ah x 60 % = 12 x 100 x 60/100 = 720
⦁ You can run seven 100-watt bulbs for an hour Or, you can run fourteen 100-watt bulbs for 30 minutes.
CFL (Compact fluorescent lamps) bulbs
⦁ Your solar powered generator can power two 25-watt bulbs for 14.4 hours
⦁ Conversely, the number of CFL bulbs the solar generator can power for 14.4 hours on your 100 Ah, 12V battery = 720 watt-hours / (14.4 hours x 25 watts) = 2 bulbs.
LED (Light-emitting diode) bulbs
⦁ Likewise, your solar generator can power nine 16-watt LED bulbs for 5 hours.
A solar portable generator’s efficiency comes down to your energy requirement and battery capacity (size and type).
⦁ You can’t expect a 50 watt solar generator to backup power at home unless you want to sit idle in the dark!
⦁ A heavy-duty solar generator of at least 4500 usable watt-hours and inverter rating beyond 3000w can deliver adequate emergency backup power.
⦁ A battery backup of such a portable power station can run electrical loads such as TV, fridge, microwave, etc., for several days depending on the appliance’s required power (watts).
How long will a solar generator last, and for how many appliances?
A powerful solar generator for just charging the smartphones now and then would render your heavy-duty solar generator quite useless. You should preferably have a clear concept of
⦁ How many appliances you can run on a solar generator unit for a given time and
⦁ How many hours you can run a solar generator unit for a definitive number of appliances.
⦁ Now, you want to make coffee in your 1200W coffee maker with a 100 Ah, 12V solar powered generator of 720 usable watt-hours.
The run time (minimum) should be 0.6 (720/1200) hours or 36 minutes.
⦁ How many cups of tea can you heat for (2 minutes each) in your microwave of 1500W? (720/1500) x (60/2) = 14.4 or 14 cups
How can a solar generator run an air conditioner for how long?
One of the biggest energy consumers in households is an air conditioner unit.
|Three solar panels of 200 watts||A battery of 1200 watts||Charging time 2 hours||A room of 250 sq. ft.||6,000 BTU air conditioner|
⦁ Your solar PV panels get one-fourth of the day (6 hours) to power themselves.
You’ve three 200 watt solar panels (they’ll make 600 watts in an hour and a total of 3600 watts in 6 hours in a day; 600×6=3600).
⦁ The solar panels will charge the battery in 2 hours (panels will produce 1200 watts; 600×2=1200), which will run during the night.
The rest of 3600 watts (3600-1200=2400 watts) will run items during the day.
⦁ You need to know how many watts (power) does your BTU (British thermal unit) air conditioner uses.
A 6,000 BTU (for a room size of 250 square ft) AC uses 500 – 750 watts of power.
⦁ But, if you’ve only one 200 watt solar panel, it’ll make 1,200 watts in 6 hours.
That means the battery will not have enough power for usage during the night as the air conditioner might run during the day.
⦁ Again, an air conditioner requires 2x the continuous power for the start-up.
If the device operates at 500w, it will need 1000 watts to start the unit. So, your inverter rating must be 1000 watts, to the least.
⦁ So, a solar generator of the above specifications can power a 6,000 BTU air conditioner (window unit) for 30 minutes (approximately) during the night.
I hope this article has given every single piece of information about How long can a solar generator run? It depends on your chosen electrical appliances’ energy consumption and the usable watt-hours that your solar generator unit can provide.
The calculation becomes crucial if you need to run lights fans or ventilators throughout the night with a solar energy generator.
You do not need to refuel your solar generator, and it is maintenance-free among many other countless such properties.
The watt-rating of electrical load times the number of that unit for each appliance will give the total power (watts) required.
In this article, a detailed explanation of “for how long can a solar generator run?” was given.
In short, dividing the usable watt-hours of the solar power generator by the watts required will give you an idea of how long can a solar generator run.
⦁ Battery inverter rating
An efficient solar generator battery rating (usable watt-hours) should be 1.5-2 times the inverter raring.
Low inverter rating confines the output of the solar generator.
Inverters of higher rating give the solar generator unit uninterrupted powering (AC) ability.
⦁ Battery charge controller type
You can drain lithium batteries to 10 % of the rated capacity.
The solar generator’s MPPT charge controller increases power output and thus the recharging speed of the battery.
Generator Sizing Guide For Off-Grid Solar Systems
Most off-grid solar systems are paired with a generator. Without utility power as a fallback, off-grid setups need a backup plan in case their solar system can’t produce enough to meet the property’s needs.
Gas generators are used in off-grid systems as a backup charging source to recharge the battery bank when solar can’t keep up with demand. They are also used for backup power in case equipment fails and the inverter system needs to be bypassed.
Here’s our advice on how to pick a generator for your off-grid solar system.
As a general rule, the generator should be around 2 times the size of the inverter’s continuous output. For example, a 4,000-watt inverter should be paired with an 8,000-watt generator.
This is because the generator needs to charge batteries while still powering the loads (appliances using energy). If the loads total 4,000 watts, and the charger is 60 amps at 48 volts, that totals around 7kW of continuous power:
60a x 48v = 2,880 watts 4,000 watts = 6,880 watts
8kW would make sense as a minimum generator size to power the loads and have enough power to charge the battery bank as well.
It’s a good idea to round up slightly to give some headroom for the generator, especially at higher elevations where your generator is going to lose some of its power. Engines can lose around 3% of their power for every 1,000’ increase in altitude. Make sure you account for this if your system will be installed at a high elevation.
Can I Use a Larger Generator?
A larger generator can be beneficial if you have large loads like an air conditioner or a welder that will only be used when the generator is running.
We frequently sell 12kW and 14kW Kohler generators with our off-grid systems using a 4000w inverter. A larger generator is going to burn more fuel, but otherwise will work fine.
Can I Use a Smaller Generator?
Smaller generators will still work, but it typically requires adjusting the settings to limit the battery charger’s output. Most battery chargers allow you to adjust the AC input amperage and charge rate.
You will need to match the generator’s voltage with the inverter. For example, 120Vac generators should be paired with 120Vac inverter/chargers, while 120/240Vac generators need an inverter that outputs 120/240Vac.
In the rare case that you are using a three-phase generator or inverter, the same rules apply: the generator’s voltage would need to match the inverter.
There is one exception we are aware of. Magnum PAE inverters are 120/240Vac but can handle a 120Vac input, provided you turn down the charge rate to 50% or lower, and adjust the AC input amps to match the size of the generator. This is useful if you need an inverter that can output 120/240Vac but are working with a smaller generator.
Generator Fuel Type (Natural Gas, Propane, Diesel)
Most standby home generators work on natural gas, propane or diesel. Diesel generators tend to be much more fuel efficient and longer lasting, but the initial cost can be 2-3 times more than a natural gas or propane alternative.
The Kohler 12kW 14kW generators we sell can work with either natural gas or propane. Off-grid customers typically use propane instead of natural gas, but these models can be configured to work with either fuel type.
Most generators don’t have a warranty that covers off-grid or prime power applications. Check the generator warranty closely to be sure it can be used off the grid.
Kohler’s 12RES and 14RESA generators are both warrantied for 18 months / 1000 hours of off-grid use (whichever comes first).
If you need more power, dual 14RESA generators can be combined in parallel with the Kohler Powersync module for 28 kW of output.
Off-grid generators paired with solar power systems need 2-wire start capability to allow the automatic generator start (AGS) function to work. When your batteries drop below a certain voltage, the AGS kicks in to turn on the generator and recharge your battery bank.
Note that 2-wire start is different than electric start. Some generators will have a button for electric start/stop, but they can’t be controlled by a 2-wire signal, which means the inverter can’t communicate with the generator to trigger the AGS mechanism.
The Kohler 12RES and 14RESA are both capable of two-wire start.
1800 RPM vs. 3600 RPM
Most generators operate at one of two engine speeds: 1800 or 3600 RPM.
The difference is based on engine design and the alternator being used. 1800 RPM generators are generally considered superior because they are more fuel-efficient, but they cost quite a bit more up front. 3600 RPM generators tend to be cheaper but less efficient.
The Kohler 12kW and 14kW generators we sell are 3600 RPM. They are very durable, reliable and more cost-effective for typical off-grid applications. Kohler doesn’t make any 1800 RPM generators smaller than 24kW, although there may be options from other manufacturers. Be sure to do your research and read reviews to learn about the company and make sure you are getting a quality product.
When searching for a generator to support your off-grid solar system, keep a few things in mind:
- Generator output should be 2x your inverter’s output
- Match generator voltage to inverter voltage
- Generator must be warrantied for off-grid use
- 2-wire start is mandatory to work automatically with solar system
- 3600 RPM generators are more cost-effective, while 1800 RPM generators cost more up front but last longer and are more efficient
For more help moving off the grid, check out our Solar Battery Guide, which explains how to size and select a battery bank to adequately support your energy needs off the grid.
New Solar Generator Takes Portable Power To The Next Level
by Patrick Buchanan
The 1500 will provides clean, silent power to keep you camping longer – Photo: Jackery
Go Off-Grid Longer, Easier with New Jackery Solar Generator
In a review of the Jackery Explorer 1000, we noted how powerful this easy-to-use portable power station was. In another piece, we discussed 9 benefits of a Jackery portable power station. That was with the Explorer 1000.
Now, big brother is home and he wants you to know it. We got our hands on the Jackery Solar Generator 1500, boasting a full 1800 watts of power with a surge wattage of 3600 watts.
Unboxing the Jackery 1500
Unboxing the Jackery 1500 is almost Apple-esque. Foam padding surrounding the orange and black 33 lb solar generator is stout and precision cut. Solar panel Y-adapters are neatly boxed in attractive, branded boxes. There’s no impossible-to-remove shrink wrapping here. The power adapter and cables are neatly enclosed in the included neoprene zipper pack.
The 100-watt SolarSaga Solar panels are individually boxed. Here again, you won’t have any frustrating shrink wrap to cut through. The sturdy panels charge the solar generator. And also provide power in their own right. It features a standard USB-A jack and USB-C port to power or charge devices. You can charge directly from the panel itself.
Each SolarSaga panel can charge two devices and feed power to the solar generator – Photo: Jackery
What does 1500 watts of power mean?
What does 1500 watts of power mean to the average camper? Say you are powering a portable, powered cooler. They use about 60 watts of power. This is the same as a typical mini-fridge. You can run that cooler for 21 hours on a single charge of the Jackery Solar Generator 1500.
A 32-inch TV is not much more than that at roughly 70 watts. You can certainly count on reserve power to watch the big game if you need to. Often it’s the spike in power that can really kill the house batteries when dry camping or boondocking. You can save on those spikes. Power devices like coffee makers, toasters, blenders, and microwave, with the Solar Generator 1500.
This means you can start your day with coffee and a great breakfast before you head out. With that much power to spare, you’ll have plenty of reserve. Charge your phone, portable GPS, flashlight, and other goodies. For bigger adventures, just load the Jackery onto your ATV. Hit the trails, take all of that portable power with you.
How do you charge the solar generator?
What if you opt to leave your solar generator back at camp? You can charge it with the shore power provided by the campground. It’s done through the A/C or D/C adapter. Or by using the efficient SolarSaga solar panels. The Jackery 1500 will take up to four panels. Each will get you from 0 to 80% charged in just 4 hours.
Each SolarSaga 100-watt panel folds open to maximize exposure to the sun. On the back side, you’ll find those USB ports. The charging cable, and a unique and simple kickstand arrangement allows you to tilt those panels toward the sun. Panels close back up again to less than 1.5-inch thickness. The Smart magnetic handle system makes storage a breeze.
The 1500 features an easy-to-read display – Photo: Jackery
It’s all about the power
At the end of the day, it’s still about the power. The updated display on the Solar Generator 1500 is now in color, and easy to read. A simple touch of the Display button shows you everything. Input wattage, Output wattage, and battery life.
In seconds you can easily determine how much power is coming in through the solar panels. With other inputs, you can how much power is being used by your connected devices. It’s easy to see how much battery power is left. The Tesla-controlled lithium-ion batteries are designed to last 8 years.
Explorer 1500 is equipped with 3 – AC Pure Sine Wave AC outlets. There’s 1 – PD 60W USB-C Port. 1 – Quick Charge USB 3.0 Port. And 1 – USB-A Port. Also, 1 – 12V car port. It will power up to 85% of your appliances. Including home devices, lights, power tools, microwaves, refrigerators, and other larger power demands. – Jackery website
The attention to detail we saw in the packaging is equally evident in the construction of the solar generator itself. There are no edges or knobs to get broken or snapped off. It’s sturdy, even as you move your Jackery 1500 in and out of your home, car, truck, boat, or RV. It has smooth attractive surfaces, and clear, concise labeling. The well-thought-out control positioning is evident. There is even a built-in light.
The rubber feet are large, deeply embedded, and sturdy. They won’t get knocked off the first time you drag or move the solar generator. There’s stainless steel, recessed, Allen head bolts. These attest to the thought and quality that went into construction. Jackery believes in their quality too. The Jackery company has a two-year warranty for the solar generator. That’s for the solar panels, too.
A Digital Nomad’s Dream
Part of the allure of the modern digital nomad movement is to get outside and get in nature. To do the often mundane task of daily work. Tallying spreadsheets is far more tolerable when sitting in a forest. Or working next to a stream or scenic overlook.
Dragging extension cords and power strips with you so you can enjoy that time is less tolerable. With the Jackery Solar Generator 1500, you have enough power and ports to plug in your needed devices. And that’s without having to drag along those power strips and extension cords.
Podcasters that typically have a laptop, phone, camera, microphone, and even a light (if doing video) will appreciate the condensed, easy-to-carry power without all the additional entanglements.
Stay off-grid longer in your camper van
For the vanlifer campervan crowd, the Jackery Solar Generator 1500 is a lifesaver. Whether you bought your Class B van fully loaded or it’s a DIY project of your own design, vans never seem to have all the power you need.
Enjoy a hot meal or even using your hairdryer after that natural shower under that cool waterfall. Stay off-the-grid longer with the solar generator and solar panels.
The 1500 will accept up to four solar panels for charging – Photo: Jackery
Break those late night generator rules!
So you’ve had a great day of trail hiking and beachcombing. The kids are asleep but a little popcorn and a movie would be a nice end to the day. Unfortunately, you don’t have enough power without running the gas or diesel generator, and it’s after generator hours.
The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 doesn’t make a sound and will provide you with plenty of power to cook that bag of popcorn, power your phone or jetpack for streaming, as well as the TV so you can enjoy that movie before doing it all again the next day.
Power a cooler and more with the Jackery 1500 – Photo: Jackery
The Solar Generator that’s not just for RVing and camping
The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 is a great resource to have on hand in the event of any type of power outage. Having emergency power for CPAP machines or other medical devices is critical. Keeping your phone charged to keep up with family and emergency notifications is no longer optional, and you need power to do that. A good solar generator could power a cell phone for days.
Visit Jackery.com for more information.
All around RV industry enthusiast who has been RVing for 8 years and enjoys trips with his wife and dogs in their diesel pusher.
Portable Solar Generator Kit
Portable Solar Generator Kit – Struggling to understand how solar power works and what exactly it is you need? Not sure which parts and pieces are needed to make it all work together? Look no further. Below you’ll find a wide range of complete solar generator kits that include ALL of the cables, connectors, chargers, parts, and pieces you need to get up and running. Paired with high-quality, budget-friendly solar panels.
Portable Solar Generator Kit
Portable Solar Generator Kit – Each type of solar generator kit is organized below using an easy-to-follow naming system. A solar generator kit is an all-in-one solar power system designed for DIY installation. It reduces the cost of solar electricity by half, making it competitive with conventional electricity. It can produce 3000 kWh of electricity annually to power an electric car for 10,000 miles.
The solar generator kit can work with hybrid vehicle technology to help consumers save money and the environment. The Kit was developed by a multinational solar power corporation or a big player in the solar industry which has been researched many times.
Up To 10,000 Watts Solar Generator Kits
Looking for a solar kit that can deliver 12,000 watts of power at any one time? Browse our collection of best-selling solar kits that will meet those needs perfectly. Still not sure which kit makes the most sense? Feel free to reach out today!
a. Complete Hybrid Solar Kit – Sol-Ark 12K 120/240V Output 18.4kwh GRIZ Powerwall 4,380 Watts of Solar | 10-Year Warranty [WHK-2]
The WHK-2 solar kit was specifically designed to give you the grid independence and complete freedom from power reliance that our customers are looking for. Whether you are looking to save money by reducing or eliminating your monthly electricity bills or you’re trying to be completely independent living off the grid or in for emergencies and blackouts, our WHK-2 solar kit has everything you need to get up and running with solar power.
WHK-2 can work totally ON or totally OFF the grid. You can tie into your current grid power at your home OR set it up 200 acres out in the middle of nowhere and it will work GREAT. You’ll enjoy total peace of mind with WHK-2 and be covered by 10-Year Warranties and Lifetime Customer Support.
b. Complete Hybrid Solar Kit – Sol-Ark 12K 120/240V Output [19kWh KONG Elite Powerwall] 6,570 Watts of Solar | 10-Year Warranty [WHK-3]
The WHK-3 complete hybrid solar kit was specifically designed to give you the grid independence and freedom that comes when you take power generation and storage into your own hands.
Whether you are needing power on a remote property, need to backup your home from emergency power outages, or simply want to try and save some money by reducing or eliminating your monthly electric bill – The WHK-3 solar kit has everything you need to get up and running with off-grid solar power.
c. Complete Off-Grid Solar Kit – 13,000W 120/240V Output / 48VDC [19Kwh-24KwH Lithium Power Wall Battery Bank] 6,570 Watts of Solar Panels | [HBK-7]
Looking for a complete off-grid solar kit that’s simple to set up install, comes with lithium batteries, and has the ability to hook up to solar, wind, fuel/backup generator, and/or AC charging power? Look no further! Our HBK all-in-one solar kits were designed with all of this in mind – Simplicity. Value. Reliability.
Whether you’re looking to run your RV, off-grid home/cabin, or for an emergency backup solar system at your home, HBK-7 comes with everything you need to get off the grid in hours!
3,000 – 5,000 Watts Solar Generator Kits
Looking for a Portable Solar Generator Kit that can deliver anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 watts of power at any one time? Browse our collection of best-selling solar kits that will meet those needs perfectly. Still not sure which kit makes the most sense? Feel free to reach out today!
a. Complete Off-Grid Solar Kit – 4,000W 120/240V Output / 12VDC 600 Watts Solar | Off-Grid, Mobile, Backup
This is the complete off-grid solar power kit you’ve been looking for! OGK-8 will power just about anything you need in an off-grid situation. With a 4,000W split phase (120/240V) inverter, your OGK-8 solar kit is powerful enough to run lights, fridges, small workshops, a well-pump, and more!
Easily expandable in the future, you can add more batteries and more solar panels as you need.
You might have already noticed this, but most off-grid solar kits available today only include a 120V output inverter which is NOT able to run things like a 240V well-pump, dryer, air conditioner, and more…
When you buy this solar kit, which includes built-in 120V and 240V output, you’ll be in a much better position when it comes to long-term versatility and reliability. This is the smallest off-grid solar kit that CAN handle 240V output for powering things like a well-pump.
b. EcoFlow DELTA PRO 3,600wH / 3,600W [Hex Kit] 6 x 200W 12V Mono Solar Panels | Complete Solar Kit
The DELTA PRO is the most powerful solar generator EcoFlow has ever released! This highly anticipated home battery system was designed to offer users full power security and off-grid independence, no matter where they are. Not only does it contain an enormous 3,600Wh lithium battery, it is expandable, meaning it can seamlessly connect to multiple 3,600Wh expansion batteries for a mind-boggling total battery capacity of 25kWh!
This means the DELTA PRO can almost double the power storage capabilities of a Tesla Powerwall 2! Not only can the DELTA PRO store an incredible amount of power, but it also offers some of the most advanced features of any solar generator on the market today!
c. EcoFlow DELTA [PRO] 3,600wH / 3,600W [NOMAD Kit] 200W 12V Folding Solar Panels | Complete Solar Kit
Whether you are looking for a backup power supply for emergency situations and prolonged blackouts, or you need portable power for your RV or off-grid cabin, the EcoFlow DELTA PRO has everything you need! While the DELTA PRO’s built-in 3,600Wh battery is impressive, it is the ability to expand the capacity up to 25kWh that really makes this unit turn heads!
Compatibility with the EcoFlow Smart Home Panel also means you can wire your home circuit panel directly to the DETLA PRO, so you and your family will have uninterrupted power throughout your home during blackouts and natural disasters!
Below 5,000 Watts Solar Generator Kits
Looking for a solar kit that can deliver anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 watts of power at any one time? Browse our collection of best-selling solar kits that will meet those needs perfectly. Still not sure which kit makes the most sense? Feel free to reach out today!
a. Bluetti AC200P [Quad Kit] 2,000wH / 2,000W Solar Generator 4 x 100W 12V Mono Solar Panels | Complete Solar Kit
The Bluetti AC200P solar generator was launched in mid-2020 with tons of anticipation, and it has lived up to all the hype! As one of the most proven names in the portable, solar power space, Bluetti has done it again with one of the most high-quality, powerful solar generators ever.
Quickly becoming the go-to solar generator on the market – you can use your AC200P solar generator inside your home or RV at the same time that it’s charging from the sun — to power a fridge, freezer, medical devices more. It’s fume-free SAFE for indoor use. Comes charged and ready to use, and never needs gas, ever.
b. EcoFlow Delta 1800 [Base Camp Solar Kit] 4 x 100W Solar Panels EMP Bag / LED Lights | Complete Solar Kit
Never worry about blackouts, power outages, or grid failure again. The EcoFlow Delta Base Camp kit is the perfect emergency backup power kit. Crushing the competition when it comes to overall battery size, the number of panels, and the overall powerfulness of the system. This kit can be set up and run in LESS than 30 minutes.
You can use the Delta 1800 inside your home — to power a fridge, freezer, lights, TV, electronics, medical devices more. It’s fume-free SAFE for indoor use. Comes charged and ready to use, and never needs gas, ever. Now comes with TONS of power, four solar panels, and ALL of the accessories needed for setup PLUS free emergency lights and setup guide.
The all-new Delta 1800 gives you the ability to use it at the same time that you are charging it from the sun! This means the Delta 1800 base camp kit will act as your lifeline whether you’ve been hit with a sudden blackout, storms, power failures, or if and when the electric grid crumbles.
c. Complete Off-Grid Solar Kit – MPP LV2424 2,400W / 120V / 24VDC [2.56Kwh – 5.12Kwh Battery Bank] 800 Watts Solar | Off-Grid, Mobile, Backup [HBK-2]
Looking for a complete off-grid solar kit that’s simple to set up install, comes with lithium batteries, and has the ability to hook up to solar, wind, fuel/backup generator, and/or utility power? Look no further! Our HBK-2 all-in-one, the off-grid solar kit was designed with all of this in mind – Simplicity. Value. Reliability.
Whether you’re looking for emergency backup power, remote power for a small weekend property, or casual power needs, the HBK-2 solar kit comes with everything you need to get off the grid in just hours!
EcoFlow Solar Generator
EcoFlow solar generator bundles combine industry-leading portable power stations with solar panels to give you clean energy and reduce your dependence on the grid. EcoFlow DELTA solar generator bundles are ideal for off-grid power applications. Depending on which portable power station you chose, you can pair up with different variations of solar panels to power your home and lower your carbon footprint.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.