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Best Solar Panels For Goal Zero Yeti 1500X/3000X/6000X. Yeti 6000x solar generator

Best Solar Panels For Goal Zero Yeti 1500X/3000X/6000X. Yeti 6000x solar generator

    Solar Panels Compatible With Goal Zero Yeti 1500X, 3000X 6000X

    The three Goal Zero largest power stations, also known as solar generators, are currently the Yeti 1500X, Yeti 3000X, and Yeti 6000X.

    A lot of people buy these massive power stations to have as backup power in case of an emergency, but they’re also used by campers that go boondocking (dry camping) off-grid.

    I have one of the smaller Yeti power stations, the Yeti 1000. I plug my whole travel trailer into it with a 15A to 30A adapter, and it powers everything except for my air conditioner.

    To recharge my Yeti, I use 400 watts of solar panels. By having that many solar panels, I can use a lot of electricity during the day while the battery is also charging.

    In this post, I am going to share my opinion on the best solar panels compatible with the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X, 3000X, and 6000X. While Goal Zero makes its own panels, there are also several ways to connect third-party panels, and I’ll tell you how it’s all done.

    Before we get started, I need to say that I do not take any responsibility for any damage done to any solar panels or power stations.

    You are responsible for making sure that your panels work, that the connection you make is correct, and that you don’t overload the charge controller in your Yeti battery.

    I have been using third-party panels with my Yeti since I bought it, but you can damage them if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    If you’re not sure, you can always leave a comment and tell me your setup and I’ll confirm whether you’re good to go or not based on the panels and the connections.

    Let’s start by taking a look at the Yeti 1500X, 3000X, and 6000W to see what they can handle in terms of input.

    Yeti 1500X, 3000X 6000X Input Specifications

    While there are some differences between these three Yeti models, the charge controllers and input ports are the same.

    All three can handle solar panels rated between 14-50 volts. There are 8mm ports and an Anderson Powerpole port, where the Anderson ports are a little more capable.

    By the way, recently Goal Zero started calling the Anderson port an HPP (High Power Port).

    Here is what each can handle:

    8mm – 14-50V, up to 10A (120W max)

    Anderson Powerpole (or HPP, High Power Port) – 14-50V, up to 50A (600W max)

    For this reason, you should always connect your panels to the Anderson port unless you have less than 200W total solar panels.

    If you’ve reached 50A with the Anderson port, be aware that the 8mm port won’t be active unless it senses a voltage higher than from the Anderson port, according to Goal Zero.

    Solar Panels Compatible With Yeti 1500X, 3000X 6000X

    All of these solar panels are compatible with the large Yeti power stations. Some of them can be connected in either parallel or series, while some can’t.

    If the solar panel has a checkmark next to “Requires Additional Adapter”, you’re going to need an adapter, and I’ll show you what options you have down below.

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

    The Adapter Required For Solar Panels With MC4 Connectors

    Since a lot of the panels above have MC4 connectors, we’re going to need an adapter to connect it to the Yeti. We know by looking at the inputs that we have two options, the 8mm and the Anderson Powerpole.

    I recommend using the Anderson port (High Power Port) unless you have a reason not to.

    The reason I recommend using the Anderson input is due to the limitations of the 8mm port. It can only handle 10A (120W), while the Anderson can handle 50A (600W).

    The adapter above is for solar panels with a positive MC4 male connector and a negative MC4 female connector. All of the panels with MC4 connectors above are wired that way and compatible. If you’ve purchased a different solar panel, you can check the polarity with a multimeter if you can’t tell by looking at the wires.

    One thing to note about the adapter is that you’re going to have to change the orientation of the Anderson connectors to fit the Yeti.

    That’s done by sliding down the sleeve protecting the connectors, sliding the connectors off of each other, turning them to the right orientation, then sliding them back on, and putting the sleeve back on. Make sure you pull by the connectors and not the wire.

    If you would rather use the 8mm input, this is the adapter you need. Just like with the Anderson adapter, this is for solar panels that have a positive MC4 male connector and a negative MC4 female connector. All of the panels in the table above with MC4 connectors are wired that way and compatible.

    The 8mm adapter does not require any reassembling.

    To connect either of the adapters, take the positive and connect it to the positive, then the negative to the negative. When the connection to the solar panel is made, you can connect it to the Yeti power station.

    How To Combine Several Panels

    There are several ways to combine panels to increase the charging speed. If you’re going to combine several panels, you need to make sure that you use wire and adapters that are thick enough to handle the total amperage.

    If the panels have MC4 connectors you can either use a parallel, a series, or a series-parallel connection.

    If the panels have an 8mm connector, you can use a Goal Zero 8mm combiner and plug them into the Anderson port. This creates a parallel connection.

    If the panels have an Anderson connector (High Power Port), you can use a Goal Zero Anderson combiner and plug them into the Anderson port. This creates a parallel connection.

    Parallel Connection

    A parallel connection will increase the amperage, but keep the voltage the same. This is done with an MC4 Y branch. These come in different sizes, depending on how many panels you want to connect in parallel.

    When doing a parallel connection, you take the positive wires from each panel and add them together.

    Then do the same with the negative wires which are kept separate from the positives.

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    A 100W panel outputs around 6 amps, so two will output 12 amps, three 18 amps, and so on.

    Since the maximum when using the Anderson input is 50A, in theory, you can connect up to 8 panels (48A). But we don’t have a 1-to-8 MC4 Y branch, so if you want to reach the maximum input, I recommend doing a Series-Parallel connection that I’ll go through down below.

    For up to four panels, a parallel connection with the 1-to-4 MC4 Y branch is a great solution

    Series Connection

    A series connection keeps the amperage the same, but it increases the voltage. So if a 100W panel outputs 6A at 18V connected to another panel like it in series they would output 6A at 36V together.

    To do a series connection, you take the positive from the first panel and connect it to the negative on the second. So what you end up with is a positive wire from one panel, and a negative from the second.

    As we saw above when looking at the specs of the new larger Yeti power stations can handle up to 50V, which means that they finally support a series connection.

    It only supports two 12V 100W panels wired in series since they would output 36V. Three 12V 100W panels would output 54V, which is too much.

    Check the VMP rating of a panel to figure out how many you can combine in series before you go above 50V.

    Parallel-Series Connection

    A series-parallel connection combines the two above to increase both the amperage and voltage. We still need to stay below the limits of what a charge controller can handle, but you can use both to increase the number of panels you can connect.

    In this case, with a charge controller that can handle up to 50A and 50V, you can do a parallel-series connection for large setups.

    How Do You Decide?

    So how should you combine your panels? Well, if you have two, either parallel or series works. Most people recommend doing a series connection when you have an MPPT charge controller, but you can choose.

    If you have three, you should do a parallel connection. If you have four or more panels you can do a series-parallel connection.

    Extension Cables

    I recommend using MC4 extension cables for semi-permanent or permanent installations.

    The Windynation MC4 extension cables are great and reliable. They come in different lengths and gauges.

    The more panels you have, the more important a lower gauge will be not only to limit the voltage drop but most importantly to make sure the wire can handle the amperage.

    For non-permanent installations, you can use Goal Zero 8mm extension cables. I don’t recommend using these if you have more than 200W of solar, since they’re 16 gauge and you’ll notice the voltage drop.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    I Want To Add Solar ( Than 600W) To My Yeti 1500X/3000X/6000X, What Can I Do?

    If you’ve maxed the input of what the charge controllers can handle on these, you can add another Goal Zero MPPT charge controller to allow another 360W.

    This is a so-called expansion module that can be installed on the Yeti. All you have to do is remove the plastic panel on the upper right corner and connect two cables.

    The MPPT charge controller has two 8mm ports and one Anderson Powerpole port.

    Note that this charge controller can only handle up to 22V, so you’re not going to be able to connect solar panels paired in series. Again, you need to connect the panels in parallel if you want to use the external MPPT expansion module.

    It’s fine to connect several panels in parallel.

    Can I Monitor How My Panels Are Doing In Addition To Checking The Yeti Display?

    I use a No products found. to monitor volts, amps, and watts. It’s easy to connect between the panels and the Yeti, and will give you a more accurate number than the Yeti screen.

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    How Do I Connect Two Or Goal Zero Boulder Panels?

    If you have Boulder 100 panels with an 8mm connector, you can connect up to four with the Goal Zero 8mm combiner.

    If you have Boulder 200 panels with an Anderson Powerpole (or High Power Port as Goal Zero calls it), you can connect up to four with the Goal Zero Anderson combiner.

    How Long Does It Take to Recharge With Solar?

    A 100W solar panel will generate around 70-80W in clear sunshine during the peak sun hours of the day. Depending on your location the United States, that can range from 3-7 hours per day.

    The Yeti Yeti 1500X has a 1516Wh battery capacity, 3000X has a 3032 watt-hour battery capacity, and the Yeti 6000X has a 6071 watt-hour battery capacity.

    With a 100W panel, that means that it will take over 21 hours to recharge the Yeti 1500X, 41 hours to recharge the 3000X and over 81 hours if you have a 6000X.

    With four 100W panels, the Yeti 1500X can be charged in less than six hours, Yeti 3000X can be charged in 10-12 hours. The Yeti 6000X would need 20-24 hours.

    Take these numbers with a grain of salt, since it depends on a lot of factors. Where you’re located, the weather, whether the panels are tilted or flat, temperatures, battery level, etc.

    Can I Use A Solar Panel With A Charge Controller Built-In?

    No, since the Yeti power stations have charge controllers built-in, you shouldn’t try to connect a panel that already has a charge controller.

    If possible, bypass the controller before attempting to connect the panel.

    If you would like a solar panel that can charge both your 12V camper batteries and your Yeti, I recommend the Acopower 100W suitcase which has a built-in bypass. When charging your camper batteries, you’ll go through the charge controller, and when charging the Yeti you’ll connect them to the MC4 Y branch which bypasses the controller. If your RV or camper has a Furrion solar port, you can use Acopower’s Furrion adapter to connect the panel to the quick-connect port on.

    If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the article, please leave a comment down below.

    10 thoughts on “Best Solar Panels For Goal Zero Yeti 1500X/3000X/6000X”

    I would really like to know how many boulder 200 watt solar panels can be connected in tandem on a yeti 3000x. I just purchased a 3rd thru Amazon, and if I can’t use it, I want to cancel the sale. Central ac isn’t working, so I will have to rely on a portable ac, and it takes too long to charge with the one 200 bc panel. I’m counting on this setup to get me thru any power outages as well. We also have one tank, that I think I finally figured out how to charge (this is why I’m sticking to Goal Zero products). Also just ordered the multi-panel connector that my tech friend said I would need. My husband knew how to use this stuff, but he is now in long-term care, so I’m sorta winging it to survive the summer in central CA. I am very grateful for any advice you can share. Thank You! Reply

    Hi, With the High Power Port combiner you mention you can connect four Boulder 200 together, so you can definitely use a third, even a fourth panel. The High Power port on your Yeti 3000X can charge the batteries at up to 600W, and three 200W panels should generate around 500-530 watts. Best of luck to you, let me know if you have any more questions. Reply

    So what is the best (based on: speed to recharge, cost and reliability, in that order of importance) solar set-up for my 6000x in my van/camper, in your opinion? I appreciate the thoroughness of your article and the clarity of explanation. Thanks! Separately, how do you feel about the car charging addition for the 6000x, and do you think it changes the ideal solar set-up? FYI, van has mini fridge, portable AC / heat (vented, moveable), convection air fryer / toaster oven combo, hot water on demand, and basic lights and outlets as its uses. Thanks! Reply

    If you’re going to mount the panels, I would get as many Renogy 175W (click to view on Amazon) as possible. Depending on how many panels you get, you’ll need an MC4 Y branch for either 2, 3, or 4 panels. There is also a flexible 175W version. Do you mean the regular car charger? I think the Yeti 6000X can only handle input from one port at once, unless you buy the optional MPPT module or Yeti Link, therefore I wouldn’t get it right away. If you mean the Yeti Link integration kit it’s a different story, and if you can I would definitely get that in addition to solar panels. That way you should never run out of power. Reply

    Thank you! I didn’t mean the link, and I have already ordered it. As a follow up, What’s the maximum number of those panels you would suggest? Reply

    Please note that I am not an electrician or a professional, so to be safe I would talk to Renogy and Goal Zero before doing this. I would get four 175W panels, then connect them in series-parallel. The reason I wouldn’t connect them all in parallel is that I haven’t found an MC4 Y Branch that can handle more than 30A, and four 175W panels will exceed that. A series-parallel connection is when you make two pairs of series, then combine them in parallel. You’ll start by connecting the positive MC4 male connector from one panel to the negative MC4 female connector on the second panel. The two remaining positive and negative, one from each panel, will then connect to the MC4 Y branch (click to view on Amazon). I would also connect a 15A inline fuse (click to view on Amazon) between the positive wire and MC4 y branch. It would require two fuses, one for each string (solar pair wired in series). Then you do the same thing with the other two panels, before connecting the MC4 Y branch to the MC4 to Anderson adapter or extension cables. Reply

    How many boulder 100 briefcases could I connect to the 6000x? I want to stack them in my apartment window to keep them from being stolen outside? I am buying property soon and these will be mounted permanently outside someday. Also, will the 6000x run a small portable AC? Thank you for all your insight and running this site for us. Reply

    Hi, With a Goal Zero 8mm to High Power port combiner (click to view on Amazon) you can connect four Boulder 100 panels to the Yeti 6000X. EDIT: Apparently the optional MPPT solar charge controller is not compatible with the X lineup. I haven’t tested it myself, but I would expect it to run a small AC, like a 8,000 BTU model, for about 12-16 hours depending on temperatures and settings. Reply

    Hi, I’ve got a Yeti 6000x and a pair of Renogy 100W panels (20.3V 4.93A). The 8mm port in the Yeti 6000x says it handles 14-50V, 10A (150W Max) Utilizing the 8mm port on the Yeti 600x, I was thinking of wiring the 2 Renogy panels in series to get the 20.3V and stay under the 10A but does that have an effect of the panels being (2) 100 Watt panels = 200 watts and it being able to only handle 150W max? I’d like to keep shore power plug wired through the HPP in the 6000x and not have to unplug the HPP connector for panels and connect in the shore power in the HPP every time I decide to hook up for shore power. Can’t think of an alternative where I could run shore power and panels both to HPP and stay under the desired amperage. Thanks! Reply

    Hi, That should work, what’s going to happen is that the charge controller will limit the current if the maximum actually is 150W. Sounds like a good solution to me. Reply

    The 5 Best Solar Generators: 2023 Buyer’s Guide

    Alora Bopray is a digital content producer for the home warranty, HVAC, and plumbing categories at Today’s Homeowner. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of St. Scholastica and her master’s degree from the University of Denver. Before becoming a writer for Today’s Homeowner, Alora wrote as a freelance writer for dozens of home improvement clients and informed homeowners about the solar industry as a writer for EcoWatch. When she’s not writing, Alora can be found planning her next DIY home improvement project or plotting her next novel.

    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

    April 26, 2023 December 6, 2022

    We analyzed 50 Solar Generators across more than 1000 unique data points to bring you our recommendations for the best Solar Generators on the market to suit a variety of uses.

    As solar technology improves and our understanding of the climate crisis deepens – especially in the face of steep price hikes to gas and oil – more and more of us are turning to alternative renewable energy sources to meet our needs. Solar generators, whether intended to be portable or stored at home, provide all-in-one solutions for both storing and using powerful solar electricity.

    However, it can be near-impossible to separate sales jargon from genuine user reviews in a burgeoning solar market. At Today’s Homeowner, we only deal in clear and concise information gleaned from our expert research and personal experience to give you a straightforward, no-nonsense breakdown of the best solar generators available to you for various purposes and to suit a range of budgets in 2023.

    Who we are

    Today’s Homeowner is an educational website focusing on home improvement, with a FOCUS on DIY solar and wind energy solutions for the home, business, and individual. We are a proud member of and contributor to the broader renewable energy community, and our team is made up of clean energy enthusiasts. We spend most of our time scouring reviews, forums, and online stores to find the best products and the most reliable information with which to inform our readers.

    From our own personal experience, we know that renewable energy – and in this case, solar generators – often requires significant initial investment before the long-term pay-off can be enjoyed. We know that what a manufacturer says about its product isn’t necessarily representative of the real-life experience of that product’s users, and we know that not all solar generators put out the advertised continuous inverter wattage, hold the advertised battery capacity, or last for the battery life cycles they are supposed to.

    Here, we have collated a list of our favorite solar generators available on the global market today.

    How we chose these solar generators

    We haven’t just picked five random solar generators, nor have we been paid to advertise these specific units. Instead, we’ve carefully and meticulously selected the products on this list based on a few key metrics and with a variety of potential solar enthusiasts in mind.

    First, we compiled a product tracker to chart the specifications, reviews, and real-life output of over 50 different solar generators across 30 parameters, from price to protection systems, voltage, battery capacity, number of ports, and more—all in all, that equates to a comprehensive product tracker covering over 1,000 unique data points. The full table can be found at the end of the article.

    Next, we identified the 3 key parameters which matter most when choosing the right solar generator for you. They are battery capacity, weight, and price. Whilst other metrics are, of course, also important to factor into your final decision, it’s these three parameters that affect the portability, affordability, and versatility of any solar generator. Thus, it’s these three parameters that dictate how suitable a given generator is for your purposes.

    Here’s a look at how our research helped us to chart which were the optimal solar generators available to buy across our three primary concerns:

    Editor’s Picks

    Having researched the market, here are our top picks for solar power gate openers, at a glance.

    Best for Budget and Solo Adventurers: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160

    Best for Off-Grid Living: Hysolis MPS3K

    Now that you know who we are, why we’ve written this solar generator product review for you, and how we came to pick our top 5 solar generators of 2023, let’s dive straight into the product reviews themselves. With each solar generator, we’ll lay out all of the essential information you need to know, and then examine the product in greater depth, with a range of specific use-cases in mind, and stemming from our own personal research.

    Bluetti EP500 – The generator of the future

    The Bluetti EP500 is at the forefront of domestic-scale solar generation and storage, with some of the most impressive specs we’ve seen to date. If used for a full battery cycle every day, this solar generator has an estimated lifespan of a little over 16 years. Best suited to the homeowner with a large-sized solar array, the sheer bulk of this thing prohibits it from use as a portable generator, though its wheels do allow for mobility around the home.

    Pros Cons

    • Competitive price point for its impressive battery capacity
    • Extremely long lifespan (16 years)
    • Modern functionality includes wireless charging pads and numerous, varied outlet ports
    • Fast-charging (4.75 hours with solar input alone)
    • Quiet and efficient, with built-in true UPS relay
    • Remote control smartphone app for improved ease of use
    • The heaviest of all the solar generators on today’s market, confining it to home use only
    • Maneuverability questionable, despite the 5 attached wheels, especially up and down stairs
    • Quality of Bluetti customer support can be inconsistent

    At the time of writing, Bluetti’s EP500 is fresh off the production line, hitting stores for the very first time. As such, it’s hard to say just how accurately the final product is living up to the hype. Having said that, it’s hard not to be impressed by the specs on this monster. Building on a long history of quality machines, Bluetti have sought to push the boundaries of contemporary solar generator design with the EP500.

    It also retains some of the much-beloved features of other Bluetti generators, such as the inverter from the AC200P series which kicks out 2,000W of continuous power (enough to power a range of small to medium-sized household appliances and gadgets at once), with a surge capacity of 4,800W. We like the innovative battery, too, which is a LiFePO4 (Lithium-Iron-Phosphate) unit designed to retain a full charge for several months with minimal loss. Additionally, the technology to pair two EP500s together to double their potential output is also in production.

    What all of this means for you is that the Bluetti EP500, once available, will serve as a super-reliable home backup power generator for use in sudden, unexpected emergencies, whilst at the same time doing a fantastic job on a more daily basis as an additional source of power for most average household appliances. On the downside, it’s just so heavy that we feel its applications are somewhat limited. We don’t think, for example, that most buyers would be able to lift this generator upstairs or push it along carpeted flooring without significant help. And it most certainly is not suitable for transportation outside the home.

    The price may be high, but we think it’s worth it, especially if you already have a large solar array installed and intend to use it regularly; though only at home, and only on the ground floor.

    EcoFlow RIVER Max – The generator for mobile adventures

    We were hoping to find a nice mid-market solar generator option for those who want a quality piece of kit but who are working with a relatively tight budget, and in EcoFlow’s RIVER Max we think we found it. Perfectly suited to camping, hiking, and road trips due to its durability and light weight, we would however recommend against purchasing the RIVER Max as a home-based backup generator, as it doesn’t hold a charge for long.

    Pros Cons

    • Provides an above-average /Wh ratio (0.87) making it good value for money
    • Being super-lightweight makes the RIVER Max ideal for taking with you on the go
    • Top-rated customer service from EcoFlow
    • Detachable additional 2.5kg Li-ion battery for even lighter travel
    • Multitude of outputs for simultaneous charging of different devices
    • Remote control smartphone app for improved ease of use
    • Relatively slow-charging (up to 10 hours with a 160W solar panel)
    • Users complain of poor power retention (only holds a charge for up to 5 days)
    • Relatively short lifespan reduces number of viable applications
    • ‘X-Boost’ feature does not boost functionality as advertised, but merely prevents shutdown

    Let’s get one thing straight, the EcoFlow RIVER Max is of no use to you if you’re looking for a home-centered backup generator. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that even as an additional source of power around the home, you’d be better looking elsewhere. Home solar generators tend to be in fairly constant use, which would render the RIVER Max (with a battery life of around 500 cycles) obsolete within a year and a half. over, the RIVER Max can’t hold a charge for very long (despite claims made by the manufacturer). As such, it’s not going to be of any use as a backup generator in a blackout.

    Where the EcoFlow RIVER Max does shine, however, is in its use as a lightweight, portable, and highly-functional solar generator for up to week-long camping, hiking, and road trips. Fully charged, the RIVER Max can quite comfortably look after your smartphones, laptops, GoPros, drones, speakers, camping lights, and other gadgets, with the capacity to charge up to 9 devices at once. Here, 500 life cycles mean 500 adventures with your solar generator in tow which, depending on how often you venture out, could give it a lifespan of a decade or more.

    For a decent battery capacity and an inverter with continuous 600W output and 1,200W surge capacity, the price point on the EcoFlow RIVER Max is definitely impressive and would be our number one choice for portable purposes only. It’s also reputedly very durable – one customer remarking how his RIVER Max survived a fall from the roof of his car whilst traveling along a highway at speed.

    Find the EcoFlow RIVER Max on:

    Hysolis MPS3K – The generator for off-grid living

    If you’re here, as we know many of you are, looking for the best solar generator for off-grid living – be that in an RV or motorhome, on a boat, or in an off-grid home on private property – then look no further. Hysolis are a truly trustworthy and reputable brand, and the MPS3K of theirs is a no-thrills, heavy-duty workhorse with exactly the right kind of battery capacity, life cycle, and surprisingly-impressive inverter to work perfectly in both sedentary and nomadic settings.

    Pros Cons

    • Huge battery capacity at a very respectable /Wh cost of 0.86
    • Exceptionally easy-to-use with minimal fuss from the outset
    • Dependable UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) in-built
    • 3,000W continuous inverter with incredible 6,000W surge capacity lends itself to powering large home and vehicle appliances on a daily basis or in an emergency situation
    • Small, but heavy unit – whilst portable, it will require help to move
    • Few handy extras like a smartphone app or wireless charging pads

    Here’s why we chose to include this (let’s face it, kind of ugly) solar generator on our list of the very best top 5 generators on the market: it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. At first appearance, the MPS3K from Hysolis is bulky, heavy, and unattractive, but that’s because the manufacturers have put their time and money, not into aesthetics, but into performance.

    Note that, despite the fact the MPS3K has a Lithium-Ion battery (rather than the slower-draining LiFePO4 of the Bluetti EP500), its battery capacity is almost equal to that of the first entry on this list, despite being markedly cheaper and lighter. Similarly, it has an impressive life cycle and would last you at least 5.5 years if charged and drained every single day. What’s perhaps most impressive, however – and the aspect which we think makes the Hysolis MPS3K perfect for off-grid living – is the inverter inside it. This thing is more powerful than any other solar generator inverter on the market. It has a continuous output of a staggering 3,000W and can surge up to 6,000W. Thus, whether you’re running your off-grid refrigerator-freezer, your TV, your power tools, your lighting, or a small mix of everything, the MPS3K is – for its price – the best your money can buy.

    Naturally, there are a few downsides to all these positives, the major one being the weight. Though small, the MPS3K is super heavy (121lbs or 55kg). Thus, whilst still just light enough to be portable on an RV, boat, or around your off-grid complex, it is of no use in scenarios such as camping or on a casual road trip. Equally, there are no techy extras to whet your appetite. It’s a simple machine that does the job it’s built for well. But then, that’s kind of what we love about it.

    Find the Hysolis MPS3K on:

    Goal Zero Yeti 6000X – The most powerful generator of them all

    We’d be loath to write a list of the best solar generators in 2023 without including the most powerful solar generator of them all: the Yeti 6000X from Goal Zero. With a battery capacity of 6,071Wh and an inverter with a continuous output of 2,000W (3,500W surge), the Yeti 6000X is what we’d turn to if looking for a full-blown green energy backup generator for our home.

    Pros Cons

    • Most powerful solar generator on the market
    • Below average /Wh ratio at 0.89 (better than most high-capacity generators, including the EP500)
    • Light enough to be portable, with a handy luggage-style pulley handle and wheels
    • Holds a charge for 3-6 months, making it super-reliable, and thus ideal as a backup home, RV, or off-grid generator
    • Only has 2 AC output ports, which is half the number you’d want on a unit this size
    • Relatively short battery lifespan makes it best-suited to use as a backup rather than a daily generator
    • Low battery voltage (just 10.9V compared to the 53.1V of the Bluetti EP500)
    • Few handy extras like a smartphone app or wireless charging pads

    What is perhaps most surprising about the enormously powerful Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is that it’s actually lighter than many other units of far lesser power. That’s not to say it isn’t still bulky, however. At 106lbs it’s no spring chicken. Thankfully, though, it comes with a carrycase-type handle and wheels, which means that lifting it won’t often be a necessity. Though not suited for camping trips, it could certainly be taken with you on road trips, or incorporated into an off-grid mobile (or stationary) lifestyle.

    6,000W capacity battery and a decent (though, to be honest, weaker than we’d like) inverter, a large number of small and medium appliances can be run with the Yeti 6000X, including a not-insubstantial number of larger appliances too. Where the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X works best is as a backup generator, since it will hold a charge for almost a half year before requiring recharging (which is an especially good thing considering it takes about 11 hours to fully charge with solar panels). In such a role, its short lifespan (500 cycles) becomes a negligible issue.

    A few downsides to consider: It only has two AC outputs and has a surprisingly low voltage (10.9V) for its size. It also doesn’t come with any fancy extras (though, as we stated in the previous review, this doesn’t have to be a negative). On the upside, the Yeti 6000X is competitively priced, especially considering its rank as the most powerful generator around. All in all, it’s our top-rated product on this list (provided it’s only used as advised).

    Find the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X on:

    Jackery Explorer 160 – The personal generator for solo-adventures

    Don’t be put off by the low price point or the meager 167Wh battery capacity. For the price you pay, the Jackery Explorer 160 is an absolute powerhouse, and both our highest recommended budget option, as well as our highest recommended personal camping and road trip option. It’s got respectable battery voltage, an in-built inverter (which to have at all at this price is commendable), and 500 life cycles: especially impressive when you consider the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X above has the same lifespan.

    Pros Cons

    • The most affordable portable solar generator around
    • So lightweight you’ll barely feel the addition to your camping gear
    • 3 AC outlets, even though it’s so tiny
    • Fast-charging (around 4.5 hours to full charge with solar)
    • One of the highest-rated solar generators according to global customer reviews
    • Surprisingly long lifespan for cost and size
    • Few handy extras like a smartphone app or wireless charging pads
    • Too small and weak to power anything above camping essentials such as gadgets, lights, and perhaps some small cookers, etc.

    Forget about using the Jackery Explorer 160 at home, as a backup power generator, or as a permanent off-grid solution; it simply wasn’t designed to cope with the associated demands. Even in your RV, motorhome, or boat, the 100W continuous inverter power (150W surge capacity) from a 167Wh battery isn’t going to cut it. But when taken out into the field on a camping, hiking, or road trip, that’s where this little monster really shows off.

    As you might expect, given its name – Explorer – the Jackery 160 is built to be taken on adventures. Fast-charging (needing just 4.5 hours solar power to reach full charge), it will then hold its charge for long enough to cover the duration of most long-weekend trips. During that time, you’ll find that its 3 AC outputs and multiple USB ports will keep your smartphone, speakers, camping lights, and camping stove topped up. Paired with a portable solar panel for charging on the go, the Jackery Explorer 160 becomes quite the unstoppable force.

    Now, don’t get us wrong, there are limitations to a solar generator this small. However, we just don’t think you can argue with the price here. There are lots of other solar generators boasting a 100-200 price range, and yet the vast majority of them tend to malfunction, put out less power than advertised, or come with some questionable user reviews. Not so the Jackery Explorer 160. This is one of the most beloved portable solar generators in the entire world, simply because it does what it says it will.

    Provided you are using the Explorer 160 for your own, small personal devices and appliances, and only for relatively short trips out into the backcountry, you’ll find that you’ve struck serious gold. If you need to power larger appliances, though, or wish to share your portable power source with friends, we’d recommend you look at the EcoFlow RIVER Max, instead.

    Find the Jackery Explorer 160 on:


    Our top 5 best solar generators available to buy in 2023 cover a range of needs, from the full-blown daily home generator and reliable backup generator to the off-grid power supply, portable powerhouse, and.size personal gadget-charger. Though there are other great brands and fantastic products out there, based on our research into solar chargers – framed against our priority for weight, price, and battery capacity – we strongly believe that the best 5 solar generators in 2023 are: Jackery Explorer 160, Hysolis MPS3K, Goal Zero Yeti 6000X, EcoFlow RIVER Max and, of course, the Bluetti EP500.

    Other Solar Product Reviews

    Disclosure: HouseMethod participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program is designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

    Alora Bopray is a digital content producer for the home warranty, HVAC, and plumbing categories at Today’s Homeowner. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of St. Scholastica and her master’s degree from the University of Denver. Before becoming a writer for Today’s Homeowner, Alora wrote as a freelance writer for dozens of home improvement clients and informed homeowners about the solar industry as a writer for EcoWatch. When she’s not writing, Alora can be found planning her next DIY home improvement project or plotting her next novel.

    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

    The Best Solar Generator for Off-Grid Living: Top 7 Choices

    Whether you’re a hardcore camper or survivalist or simply like the idea of living off the grid, having a solar generator is extremely important. The best solar generator for off-grid living will offer you the chance to live emission-free and save tons of money on gas and fuel for refilling a traditional generator.

    Regardless of your motivations, solar generators could be extremely beneficial to your off-grid lifestyle. So, without further ado, let’s dive into how to find the best solar generator for off-grid living and how to go about choosing one.

    What Is a Solar Generator, and How Do They Work?

    Solar generators use solar panels to harness energy from the sun to convert it into electricity. Each generator can attach to solar panels that harness the energy, then transfer it to the generator. The generator then stores this energy until it’s at total capacity and is ready for use.

    Solar generators are mostly designed to power small devices such as laptops and phone chargers or lights. However, advancements are being made in solar technology, and generators are being designed bigger and better than ever. While solar generators are still recommended as a backup or supplemental source of power, there are a few that can power your desire for off-grid living.

    How to Choose the Best Solar Generator for Off-Grid Living

    When choosing the best solar generator for off-grid living, the main things to keep in mind are your goals and how big of a generator you need. Each of the below considerations affects your generator’s capabilities and what you can use it for.

    Storing Power

    A generator’s power storing ability is measured in watt-hours. Most solar generators have storing capabilities of less than 100 or 500 watt-hours, which is only enough to power a light bulb or charging device.

    However, a heavy-duty generator, the best solar generator for off-grid living, will have power storage capacities of several thousand-kilowatt hours. However, this doesn’t mean that you can power your home for several thousand hours straight. To figure that out, you have to add up the wattage amounts of each of the appliances and devices you want to power.

    For example, if you want to power a refrigerator that uses 500 watts and your generator has a capacity of 2,000 kilowatt-hours, you could power your 500-watt refrigerator for four hours. Simply take the wattage of what you’re powering and divide it by the storing capacity.

    Charging Capability

    Along with power storing abilities, the best solar generator for off-grid living should be able to recharge quickly is extremely important. The size and amount of solar panels you have will largely determine how quickly your generator recharges after using its stored power. If you hope to continually run appliances or have permanent power, charging capability and speed is vital.

    You’ll also want a generator that you can charge via other means, such as a 12-volt battery. If the sun isn’t shining and you need your solar generator to recharge, batteries, outlets, and other power sources are necessary.

    Output Capability

    Output capability refers to how many different devices the generator can power at once and how many different sources of power it has. Sources of power refer to the types of outlets, plugs, and ports on the generator itself. The best solar generator for off-grid living should have many different styles and sizes of ports and a maximum output that’s higher than its maximum input.


    You also want a solar generator that’s portable and easy to move from place to place. This is especially important for off-grid living, including camping, boondocking, and any other living situation you can think of. The typical best solar generator for off-grid living will range in size from 10 to 100 pounds, but don’t forget about any cords, batteries, or solar panels you have to transport.


    Finally, you don’t want a solar generator that works well enough but will need to be replaced often. For true off-grid living, you should have a solar generator to match. Conditions might get rough and dirty, and having the best solar generator for off-grid living means having one that can withstand bumps and bruises and last a long time.

    Overall Best Solar Generator for Off-Grid Living

    Jackery Explorer 1500

    The Jackery Explorer 1500 offers excellent output capability, portability, durability, and comes in a tiny package. Each of these things are important to consider when purchasing the best solar generator for off-grid living. While it might not be as good in each area as other generators, it does the best job of combining each aspect and taking our top overall spot.

    ‘Solar generators’ provide flexible backup power for less

    Bells and whistles are great, but sometimes the basic model is all that’s needed for energy storage.

    When solar customers and power-concerned homeowners aren’t interested in or able to take advantage of load-shifting and demand arbitrage opportunities managed by energy storage systems, there are simpler products available today just for emergency backup. No longer do contractors have to suggest a gas generator or a bank of lead-acid batteries; many companies offer portable and powerful lithium-ion systems that can support customers looking for peace of mind during a blackout.

    This category of energy storage is often referred to as “solar generators” and has been mostly marketed to adventurers on the go — those camping, traveling, tailgating and working off-grid. These battery systems have lower capacities than stationary residential systems like the Tesla Powerwall and LG RESU, but they are expandable for specific power needs. They can be charged by portable solar panels or through the grid. Depending on the source of charging electricity, solar generators can be very clean. And best of all, they can be used to back up appliances and loads in the home at a fraction of the price of a stationary system.

    Here are a few portable energy storage systems and solar generators that are increasingly being looked at for emergency backup in the home.

    Goal Zero Yeti

    Likely the most popular portable lithium battery system comes from Goal Zero. The company’s Yeti 6000X Portable Power Station has an initial capacity of 6.071 kWh and uses NMC batteries with a 500-cycle lifespan at 80% depth of discharge (DoD). Yeti 6000X has 2 kW of continuous power and 3.5 kW of surge power. The station has seven output ports, but it can also be connected to a home’s electrical panel to support four essential circuits.

    While Yeti 6000X is the company’s most powerful starting unit, Goal Zero offers many setups to accommodate various power needs. Customers just need one Goal Zero power station as a base, and then storage capacity can be expanded through cheaper lead-acid battery add-ons. Because of their size and weight, the lead-acid batteries are stationary, while the lithium power station is portable. The Yeti Tank Expansion Batteries come in a pair for 2.4 kWh of additional power capacity.

    Not an especially common setup, Goal Zero can combine lithium and lead-acid battery technologies through its Yeti Link Expansion Module — essentially, a sophisticated battery management system.

    “Our expansion tank is a deep cycle, lead-acid battery. This allows you to use the electronics in the Yeti [lithium-based system] but expand the battery,” said Bill Harmon, GM at Goal Zero. “You can add as many [lead-acid batteries] as you want. The customer can just plug them in. Suddenly, you have the portability of the lithium battery and the inexpensive lead-acid batteries sitting at home.”

    Harmon told Solar Power World that Goal Zero has recently seen “almost an even split” between customers buying Yeti systems for home backup vs. outdoor recreation, but more than 70% indicate they intend to use the systems for both purposes.

    “Our system is for all the people in the country who don’t have 15,000 to spend on an energy storage installation. And then when I’m done, all I have is something permanently installed in my home,” Harmon said. “Yeti is for those who are sensitive to what they’re spending money on.”

    The Yeti 6000X is advertised online at under 6,000 with each two-battery lead-acid expansion priced under 1,300.

    Renogy Lycan 5000

    Renogy, an energy product provider for the DIY crowd, released the Lycan 5000 Power Box in 2021, a 4.8-kWh lithium battery system specifically designed for emergencies, power outages and off-grid homes. Lycan can be expanded up to 19.2 kWh, and the LFP batteries have a 4,500-cycle lifespan at 80% DoD. With the help of a licensed electrician, Lycan can be connected to a building’s main electrical panel.

    Renogy reps told Solar Power World that while Lycan is a portable unit (it’s attached to wheels and is rated for outdoor use), most customers are just using it for emergency backup.

    “Most customers use Lycan as their source of power generator via solar,” the rep said. “When used in home situations, customers install a sub-panel to divert part of their home’s appliances to be supported by Lycan instead of the grid.”

    The 4.8-kWh unit has a continuous power output of 3.5 kW and a peak power output of up to 7 kW, with AC outlets directly on the system. It is equipped with circuit breakers and surge protection devices.

    One additional benefit of the Lycan: It does not require a permit to install if it is used for a fully off-grid situation.

    The system is advertised online at under 5,200.

    Bluetti EP500

    Bluetti, an off-grid power solutions company, has a line of solar generators and its own portable home battery backup system. The Bluetti EP500 Solar Power Station is a 5.1-kWh system on wheels, and its LFP batteries have a 3,500-cycle lifespan at 80% DoD. Two units can be connected for up to 10.2 kWh of capacity. One EP500 has a 2-kW continuous power output rating with a peak of 4.8 kW.

    best, solar, panels, goal, yeti, 1500x

    A licensed electrician can connect the EP500 to a building’s main electrical box through the Bluetti Sub Panel.

    A portion of the user’s manual does show how roof-mounted solar panels can charge the station, as long as they do not use microinverters. EP500 comes with its own sine inverter, so that panel-level inversion would not work with the system.

    The system is advertised online at under 4,600.

    Growatt Infinity 1500

    Growatt, a company largely known for its residential inverter line, also has a portable power system that boasts 12 outlets. The Infinity 1500 has an initial capacity of 1.554 kWh but can be expanded up to three units for 4.662 kWh of total storage power. The NMC batteries have an 800-cycle lifespan at 60% DoD. Infinity 1500 is rated at 2-kW of continuous power output with a 4-kW surge.

    In addition to grid and solar charging capabilities, Growatt has the option for the Infinity 1500 to be charged through an EV charging station.

    Infinity 1500 is currently only available in the United States, but Growatt has not yet begun shipping the product. No pricing information is listed at this time.

    Ford F-150 Lightning

    Maybe one of the more interesting “portable” lithium battery systems that recently hit the market is the 131-kWh battery in the new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning truck. By using a bidirectional charger, the truck’s big battery could provide three full days of emergency backup, based on average home consumption.

    The F-150 Lightning hit the road over the summer, with solar installer Sunrun working as the preferred installer of its home charging solutions. California utility PGE is testing Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power bidirectional charging capabilities as on-demand power sources for homes.

    Sunrun public relations senior manager Wyatt Semanek said it’s still too early to know if customers are buying the Ford F-150 Lightning for emergency backup, but he did say that initial order data does suggest that consumers are eager to use the bidirectional charger in their homes.

    “The size — roughly 10 Powerwalls — and capability of the battery, plus the utility of a truck, makes it a very attractive backup alternative,” Semanek said.

    With the successful operation of Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power system, it could more quickly open the door to other bidirectional charging efforts from companies like Wallbox and Emporia, and lead to more EVs being used as standby backup power.

    About The Author

    Kelly Pickerel

    Kelly Pickerel has over a decade of experience reporting on the U.S. solar industry and is currently editor in chief of Solar Power World.

    Комментарии и мнения владельцев

    Performance of Renogy Lycan 5000 in your article is very great, Jim Carr provide feedback from Amazon:Very pleased with the quality and performance of this product. For a battery it stores an impressive amount of power that lets you charge electronics, run modest appliances, and keep some lights on during a power failure. And if you live outside of major cities in the northeast you know that’s becoming more of a problem. Not sure yet if this will run my gas furnace blower, but it keeps on the pilot and runs the blower in my gas fireplace insert. This is a good backup if you live in an apartment, condo or townhouse and can’t have a generator.

    Again, here is a sign that TESLA may be the first name off someone’s tongue, there are many others with a FOCUS on portability and function. Yeah, TESLA has a way to go to compete with these guys.

    You might also highlight EcoFlow. Their DeltaPro delivers up to 3600 W with 3600 Wh. They can be combined for 240V support and they have a Smart Home Panel to provide seamless backup as well as time shifting for loads. I have two DeltaPros and at this very minute they are providing backup for my home through a planned power outage

    Lots of great points Kelly but I would like to add that these are mainly consumer or residential grade solar generators. There are companies like ours, New Use Energy, and others that are developing professional grade solar generators and solar UPS’s. A lot of the use cases beyond home conveniences, are in disaster or humanitarian relief, construction, telecoms, events etc that are being addressed by weatherized tough solar generators. They also need to work with real solar arrays for fast solar recharging. Our company’s equipment is being used in front line hospitals in Ukraine for example, running full surgery rooms. Often after disasters there are many left living in temporary shelters where they need power from that generator for 6-12 months. Let me know if you want to know more about where solar generators go beyond camping and temporary home power.

    I thank you know what you’re talking about and I would love to know more. When I was about 17 years old,I worked for a battery company Red Diamond Battery Co. I worked on a acid Iine and one of my jobs was filling the batteries with acid cleaning the batteries and charging them on a heavy wooden cart. You would put about 20 per top and 20 on bottom, then we would hook the first positive to the negative on the second and so on until it completes the circle until there is one positive on the front and one single negative,And put the single positive hooked to the charger system and the the negative to the Negative and If I remember right the next day we would pack and ship makes me wonder how many volts were in the first two. When they were hooked together.

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