Can A Solar Generator be Used While Charging?
As we continue the search for sustainable and green power solutions, portable generators keep growing in popularity and demand.
You might be wondering why one would use a solar generator as its charging, and how to do it safely. We will also explain what you can expect when you use a solar generator while it’s charging.
Navigating the technical ins and outs of solar energy can be a challenge, which is why you should leave it up to us. We want to tell you if you can use your solar generator while it’s charging.
Lastly, we will give you a low-down on appliances and devices that can run off your solar generator.
Can You Use a Solar Generator While it is Charging?
Yes, it’s safe to use most solar generators while they’re charging, but there are a few important things to be aware of.
Before you run your solar generator as it’s charging, you need to check your generator’s user manual. Most generators are safe to use while charging, but there are always going to be exceptions to that rule.
Some generator manuals strictly prohibit using the generator in this way, while others might allow it with a few conditions attached. So look carefully at your manual to make sure you aren’t doing anything that would void the warranty.
Of course, using a solar generator as its charging will cause a greater demand for power from the generator. If you are using solar panels to charge your solar generator, the only issue you might run into is a low power supply on cloudy days with little sun.
If you charge your solar generator with AC or DC power from power outlets, you need to be more careful. Make sure to avoid faulty outlets as this could cause overheating and damage to the generator.
Why Would You Need to Use a Solar Generator While it’s Charging?
Portable solar generators and emergency backup solar systems are convenient, compact, and mobile devices. They are meant to be used on the move.
Convenience is a big reason why you might need to use your generator while it’s charging.
Other portable devices like mobile power banks, and mobile phones themselves, can be used while charging. So, one might expect the same convenience from a portable solar generator.
Emergencies are another reason you might need to use your generator while it’s charging.
There might be sudden power outages, you might have forgotten to charge it, or you might need to make an emergency phone call.
Let’s suppose your cell phone battery is low during an emergency. What are you going to do? You’re probably going to plug your phone into the charging generator, of course.
Demand May Exceed Supply
Solar generators can be used while charging, but there must be sufficient power. You might run into problems when the power demand exceeds what your generator can supply.
To make sure the charge keeps up with the power demand, make sure to power only appliances that the generator can handle.
Use devices that don’t exceed what power the generator has left in its capacitors. Charging phones and running lights may not take as much power.
If you try to run power-hungry appliances like fridges, microwaves, and space heaters for long periods or simultaneously, the generator will not keep up if its energy is severely depleted.
Charging Takes Longer
If you use a generator while it’s charging, it will take longer to charge. As you use the generator you are depleting its energy. This means it will require more solar power to fully charge the device.
Larger solar generators that are charged with solar panels already take a while to charge. If you use the generator while it’s charging, expect an even slower charge.
Of course, this is no problem if you only want to use the generator in an emergency or for a short while. So yes, you can use a generator as it’s charging, but it will take much longer to fully charge.
In general, portable solar generators can build up quite a lot of heat when they are being used. so when they are charging. This puts your generator at risk of overheating
Using a solar generator while its charging is safe and it might not cause problems, but overheating is a possibility that owners should be aware of.
Overheating can not only be dangerous, but it can also cause long-term damage to your solar generator. This might make the solar generator lifespan shorter.
What Can a 100-Watt Solar Generator Run?
A 100-watt solar panel is a compact and convenient solar solution, especially for those who are off-grid and on the go. So, what can you power with a single 100-watt solar panel?
These solar panels are perfect for powering small devices like lighting, lamps, ceiling fans, and Wi-Fi routers. You can charge cell phones, laptops, and tablets too.
What Can a 300-Watt Solar Generator Run?
300-watt solar generators up the ante from 100-watt solar setups. In general, solar panels with a 300 watts power rating are quite common. So what can a 300-watt solar generator run ?
You can run a long list of appliances with 300 watts. This includes small devices like lights, lamps, ceiling fans, Wi-Fi routers, and chargers for cell phones, laptops, and tablets.
You can also run some more power-hungry appliances like stereos, television and video game setups, and microwaves. 300 watts would also be sufficient for running smaller fridges.
If you want to run larger appliances like these, you best pair your solar setup with a 12V 120Ah battery.
Can a Solar Generator Power a Well Pump?
Can a solar generator power a well pump ? Yes, some well pumps are designed to be powered by solar power. But you would need a proper solar setup with sufficient power output.
Well pumps can be paired with inverters to use AC power. They can also use DC power so that they can be used in off-grid systems.
How much solar power you need depends entirely on the well pump and its power usage. But roughly, a 1/3 well pump needs around 3,000 watts.
Pumps can use as little as 750 watts to run, but it requires more than twice that to start up. This means you need ten 300 watt solar panels.
Can a Solar Generator Power a Space Heater?
Space heaters come in handy for use in off-grid spaces. These appliances may seem small, but they can really burn power.
A solar generator can power a space heater. but your power output needs to be sufficient.
1,500-watt space heaters need three 500 watt panels to run, but it’s best to up the power output a bit over the demand.
For example, two 300-watt solar panels are perfect for powering a 500-watt space heater.
So, can you use your solar generator while it’s charging? Absolutely. This is convenient and helpful in emergencies.
Just remember to check your generator’s user manual to make sure it’s safe. Run appliances with a power demand that will not exceed the energy the generator has left.
You should also keep in mind that using a generator as its charging will slow down the charging process significantly.
Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking:
DURACELL DRSP200WBC 200 Watt Portable Solar Panel User Guide
Home » Duracell » DURACELL DRSP200WBC 200 Watt Portable Solar Panel User Guide
100 Watt / 200 Watt Portable Solar PanelUser Guide
A. Portable solar panelB. Carry handleC. Latches
D. Folding legsE. Weatherproof MC4 connectors
F. 3 foot / 1 meter MC4 to Anderson cable (connects to your gasless generator)G. Zippered carry case
BEFORE YOU START: See the “Safety Information” section for important precautions. The user should conform to all safety precautions in the guide when using solar panels. Before using a solar photovoltaic system (including cable, power station, or other electric equipment), the user should be familiar with the mechanical and electrical requirements for photovoltaic systems. Keep this guide in a safe place for future reference.Operation and UseThe DURACELL® Portable Solar Panel converts solar energy to DC current for charging gasless generators that run popular household items and electronics. The solar panel connects directly to your DURACELL® Gasless Generator for simple, plug-and-play ease of use (also connects to additional rechargeable products that use an MC4 and/or Anderson cable connection for recharging the internal battery). NOTE: The steps below show the basic sequence to charge your gasless generator. You may also keep your DURACELL® Portable Solar Panel connected to your gasless generator while the generator is being used to charge and operate your household items. Solar input power will offset the discharge power.
Getting Started, continued: Final Steps
Connecting Additional Solar Panels
Two or more solar panels (additional panels sold separately) can be chained together using the MC4 connectors to increase the wattage (parallel connection) or to increase the charge voltage (series connection). You may need additional connectors to complete the connection. IMPORTANT: CHECK VOLTAGE/POWER RATINGSPlease check the voltage and power ratings of the solar controller to determine the most efficient connection method (shown below). Please call our customer service number at (800) 300-1857 for support or questions. WARNING: RISK OF INJURYPanel interconnection cables pass direct current (DC) and are sources of voltage when the panel is under load and when it is exposed to light. Direct current can arc across gaps and may cause injury or death if improper connection or disconnection is made; or if contact is made with module leads that are frayed or torn. Do not connect or disconnect modules when a current source is energizing the conductors. Modules may contain high voltage when interconnected with other modules.
This section contains important safety information. Before using the product, READ ALL instructions and cautionary markings on or provided with the product, and all appropriate sections of this guide.The product contains no user-serviceable parts. SAVE THESE INSTRUCTIONS.
- Permanent installation should be performed only by qualified personnel.
- There is a risk of electric shock if the front glass is broken, the backing is torn, the junction box is broken or wires are frayed.
- Do not deploy or handle the panels when they are wet or during periods of high winds.
- Do not allow water to pool in or near panel frames.
- Do not stand on, drop, scratch, or allow objects to fall on panels as doing so may damage the panels and void the warranty.
- Do not place anything on the modules, even for a moment, because the resulting residue may damage or stain the glass surface.
- Unconnected connectors must always be protected from dust, humidity, or foreign particles.
In order to keep your DURACELL® Portable Solar Panel operating efficiently, periodically clean and maintain your panel using the simple steps below. Keeping the panels clean allows optimal sun exposure for efficient charging of your gasless generator.WARNING: DAMAGE TO SOLAR PANELDo not clean the panel when the surface is hot to avoid cracking the glass surface. Do not use a pressure washer to clean the panel. Failure to observe these warnings may result in damage to the panel and void your warranty.
- Clean the surface of the solar panel when necessary. Always use a soft sponge or cloth for cleaning. A mild, non-abrasive cleaning detergent may be used to remove stubborn dirt.
- Clean your solar panel more frequently during drier months, as it may become covered in the dust more quickly.
- Regularly inspect and clean your panel frequently if the panel is left outdoors in dusty, windy, or dirty conditions.
- Periodically inspect additional components such as folding support legs, frames, cables, and closures for dirt, grit, oil, and other contaminants; clean as needed.
Support and Warranty
Contacting Customer SupportIf you experience any problems or have any questions regarding your DURACELL® product, free technical support is available. Call from a phone where you have access to your DURACELL ® product.Be prepared to provide the following information:
- Name, address, and telephone number
- Name of the DURACELL® product
- Make and model any items or devices that you are using with the DURACELL® product
- Symptoms of the problem(s) and what led to them
Technical Support is available by telephone:U.S. and Canada (800) 300-1857Outside of the US/Canada: (805) 437-7765Written inquiries should be directed to Battery-Biz IncDURACELL® Product Inquiry 1380 Flynn Road, Camarillo, CA 93012, USARecycling InformationBattery-Biz is committed to environmental responsibility and recommends that electronic devices be disposed of properly. Please contact your local city offices for information on recycling and disposal programs for e-waste.For instructions on how to recycle this product visit http://www.call2recycle.org.
Three Year WarrantyLimited WarrantyThe DURACELL ® product carries a limited warranty against defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service for three years from the original date of purchase. The manufacturer or distributor, at its option, shall repair or replace the defective unit covered by this warranty. Please retain the dated sales receipt as evidence of the date of purchase as it will be required for any warranty service. In order to keep the warranty in effect, the product must have been handled and used as described in the instructions accompanying this warranty. This warranty does not cover any damage due to accident, misuse, abuse, or negligence.Disclaimer Of WarrantyThe limited warranty described herein is your sole remedy. To the extent permitted by law, the manufacturer and distributor disclaim all other implied or express warranties including all warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for any particular purpose.Limitation Of LiabilityExcept to the extent of repairing or replacing this product as expressly stated in the limited warranty described herein, the manufacturer and distributor shall not be liable for any damages, whether direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, exemplary, or otherwise, including lost revenues, lost profits, loss of use of software, loss or recovery of data, rental of replacement equipment, downtime, damage to property, and third-party claims, arising out of any theory of recovery, including statutory, contract or tort. Notwithstanding the term of any limited or implied warranty, or in the event that any limited warranty fails of its essential purpose, in no event will the manufacturer’s and distributors’ entire liability exceed the purchase price of this product. Some states and provinces do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. This limited warranty gives you specific legal rights. You may have other rights which vary from state to state and province to province.
For complete warranty coverage, please register your Duracell product within fourteen days of purchase.Visit DuracellPower.com/Register or scan the QR code below to register. Additional Language ManualsManuales en idiomas adicionales Manuels dans d’autres langues
Spanish and French language user manuals are available at duracellpower.comLos manuales de usuario en español están disponibles en duracellpower.comLes manuels d’utilisation en français sont disponibles sur duracellpower.com
Duracell is a registered trademark of Duracell U.S. Operations, Inc., used under license. All rights reserved.All logos and trademarks are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
Duracell PowerSource 1440W Portable Power Station. DR660PSS
Clean, safe, quiet power you can depend on during emergencies or outdoor adventures.
4X 1800W AC OUTLETS 660Wh CAPACITYRun power tools, home appliances, even a full-size refrigerator for 5 hours.
MULTIPLE PORT OPTIONS4 AC outlets, 2 USB ports and a 12V DC can power a wide range of devices.
UNINTERRUPTED POWER SUPPLY (UPS)Ideal for critical devices during a power outage because it can instantly transition from AC to its internal battery.
RECHARGE BY SOLAR AND CARCompatible with most solar panels and can also connect to your vehicle via daisy chain terminals when solar or AC power is not available.
AFFORDABLE EXPANSIONUse daisy-chaining to add batteries and solar panels to double and triple the storage capacity.
The Duracell PowerSource 1440W is a portable battery generator that produces clean, gasless, odorless power when you need it most.
Whether you’re hunkered down at home during a power outage or off on an adventure, the Duracell PowerSource Station is the safest, most reliable way to power anything you might from a traditional AC wall outlet.
In today’s uncertain world where disaster can strike at any time, get power you can count on every time from Duracell, a brand you can trust.
Reliable Emergency Power
Keep critical devices powered up until power is restored. With 4X1800 watt AC outlets and 660 watt hour capacity, you’re prepared for power outages, bad weather and other emergencies.
Outdoor Power Station
Clean, safe, gasless generator for your next outdoor adventure. Portable unit with built-in carrying handles make it perfect for camping, fishing or living off the grid.
Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)
Ideal for critical devices during a power outage because it can instantly transition from AC power to its internal battery, ensuring that your connected devices never skip a beat.
Power Many Devices Simultaneously
4AC wall outlets, 2 USB ports, and 12 volt DC to run TVs, power tools, home appliances, even a full-size refrigerator for hours.
Fast and Easy Solar Charging
Recharge with solar panels or by connecting to your vehicle’s battery via the daisy chain terminals when solar or AC power is not available.
Use daisy-chaining to add batteries and solar panels to double and triple the storage capacity.
The Duracell Home Ecosystem battery complete review
For as much as the solar and storage industries have grown over the last couple of decades (half a million homes installed solar in 2021 alone, and the residential storage market continues to grow quarter over quarter), there really aren’t that many household brand names involved in the industry. Certainly Tesla has become a recognizable brand name, Generac is a familiar company to anyone who has considered a backup generator for their home or business, and Panasonic provides many household appliances and also offers solar panels and batteries – but, it’s not a stretch to suggest that the residential solar and storage industry is missing a true, major, household brand name.
Enter Duracell. If we embedded the three note Duracell jingle in this article, you’d know immediately who it was that we were referencing, a level of recognition that no other company in this industry has yet achieved. And now, the 100-year-old company has entered the residential energy storage market in the US with the Power Center, which Duracell has recently rebranded as the Home Ecosystem energy system: a modular lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery that can be expanded to provide 5-10 (kW) of continuous power output, and from 14 to 56 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of storage capacity. Here’s what you need to know about the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery and how it stacks up to its competitors in the space.
Find out what solar storage costs in your area in 2023
How does the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery work?
The Duracell battery pairs well with solar panel systems, especially if your utility has reduced or removed net metering, introduced time-of-use rates, or instituted demand charges for residential electricity consumers – in fact, the Home Ecosystem battery can shift modes to maximize savings on complex utility rates. Installing a storage solution like Duracell’s with a solar energy system allows you to maintain a sustained power supply during both day and night, as long as you store enough power from your solar panels when the sun is shining.
As with many other home battery products, the Duracell battery is sized for day-to-day use at your home and is primarily designed to be paired with a solar panel system. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you can use in your home, you can store the excess electricity in the battery system instead of sending it back into the grid. Later, when your panels aren’t producing enough electricity to meet your home’s needs, you can use the stored energy in your battery instead of having to buy it from your utility company.
Key things to know about the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery
First and foremost, in their marketing materials and in conversations with EnergySage, Duracell is leaning heavily into the brand name as an opportunity to drive consumer-level demand, and why wouldn’t they? Their own internal consumer research has found that consumers would choose Duracell over incumbent storage manufacturers in the space.
At the end of the day though, ultimately what you’re installing is a complex piece of hardware and software, and not a brand. It’s looking at those metrics and specifications of the Duracell battery where you can truly decide if the Duracell storage option is the right choice for you. Here’s what to look out for:
When evaluating the Duracell battery or any other energy storage system, there are various important metrics and technical specifications to keep in mind. Among the most important are the size of the battery (power and capacity), its chemistry, depth of discharge, and roundtrip efficiency.
The Duracell battery comes with five different options of kWh stored in each configuration. Two important metrics to keep in mind when comparing the Duracell battery to other home storage options are power and usable capacity. Power (measured in kW) determines the maximum amount of electricity that can be output at a single time, while usable capacity (measured in kWh) is a measure of the maximum amount of electricity stored in your battery on a full charge. Depending upon the configuration, the Duracell battery comes with a continuous power rating of 5-10 kW to go along with a range of 14 to 56 kWh of usable capacity.
When comparing modular battery systems to other products on the market, it’s important to look at two key things. First, the size of each increment of additional capacity (i.e., what’s the smallest building block) helps to demonstrate how flexible the sizing of the battery is. The Duracell battery is configurable in 14 kWh increments, which is on the larger end of building blocks: for reference, that’s about the same storage capacity as a single Powerwall and larger than the average energy storage system size quoted on EnergySage. The second thing to consider is the range of options available (i.e., what’s the largest backup system you can design with the battery). With the Duracell battery, you have a range of configurations from the 14 kWh base model, expandable all the way up to a 56 kWh model, which is a wider range of options than most batteries provide.
Deeper dive into power and usable capacity
You can think of your battery like water running through a pipe. The usable energy capacity is the amount of water available to push through the pipe, while power is the size of the pipe itself. Larger pipes allow more water to flow through at once, which depletes the water faster. Similarly, a battery with a high power rating can deliver more electricity at one time, but will burn through its available energy capacity faster too.
A battery’s power determines the number of appliances you can run from the battery concurrently, while usable capacity determines how long those appliances can be run. Batteries with a higher power rating are capable of powering more, bigger appliances or many appliances at once, while batteries with a higher usable capacity can store more total energy and thus can run your appliances for longer periods of time without needing to recharge.
The functionality of one solar power battery next to another can vary; some batteries have excellent off-grid capabilities, while others offer software solutions specific to rate arbitrage. The Duracell Home Ecosystem battery is a powerful, flexible battery offering scalable system sizing, over-the-air software updates, a “load shifting” utility rate savings mode and can be coupled with any style of solar install (i.e., AC coupled or DC coupled).
The Duracell battery provides fully automated back-up power, with an integrated bi-directional inverter and transfer switch. All of this means that in the event of a grid outage, the Home Ecosystem battery will automatically take over to power your home appliances.
Two key ways to evaluate the performance of a solar battery are its depth of discharge and roundtrip efficiency.
Depth of discharge (DoD) indicates the percentage of a battery’s energy that has been discharged relative to the overall capacity of the battery. Because the useful life of a battery decreases each time you charge, discharge, and re-charge it, many battery manufacturers specify a maximum DoD level for optimal battery performance. In general, batteries with a higher depth of discharge are considered higher quality products. The Home Ecosystem battery boasts a depth of discharge of 90 percent across all battery sizes, reflective of its safe and advanced LFP battery chemistry.
Roundtrip efficiency is a measure of the electrical losses involved with charging and discharging a particular battery. The higher the percentage, the more efficiently the battery is able to convert incoming electricity into stored electricity and then back into usable electricity. The Duracell battery has a roundtrip efficiency of 85.7 percent; this means that for every 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you put into the battery, you’ll receive 8.6 kWh of output.
Duracell battery warranties
In most cases, homes with a Duracell battery will charge and discharge their battery every day. So, how long does the Home Ecosystem battery last? Duracell’s battery comes with a 10-year warranty, and Duracell guarantees that the battery will maintain at least 70 percent of its capacity to hold a charge during that time period. Notably, Duracell rates its battery with a life of 6,000 cycles for the battery, which would equate to a 16 year expected life if you cycle the Home Ecosystem battery every day.
Duracell’s battery technology is similar to other rechargeable batteries both large and small: as time goes on, the battery loses some of its ability to hold a charge. Think of how the battery life of a brand-new smartphone compares to one that is a few years old. As you continually charge and drain your phone’s battery, it starts to lose some of its ability to hold a charge.
The life of your Duracell battery will deteriorate in the same way. That isn’t an indicator of a product flaw – all batteries lose some of their ability to hold a charge over time after extended usage, whether it’s an electric vehicle battery, a home energy battery, or a rechargeable AA battery. This is why Duracell offers a warranty that guarantees a certain percentage of storage capacity.
If you want to compare individual battery models side-by-side, our battery Buyer’s Guide lets you select products and compare them based on efficiency, capacity, power, and more.
How much does the Home Ecosystem battery cost?
A solar battery installation isn’t as simple as a list price for a component – depending on your electrical setup, among other factors, installation costs can vary widely. Duracell has not yet published pricing for the Duracell battery (and it’s new enough of a product that we don’t yet have average pricing on it from EnergySage data at the time of writing). However, Duracell positions its battery as being compatible with industry standard pricing. (On EnergySage, the average battery quoted is 10.1 kWh at a price of 1,289 per kWh, so a total cost of around 13,000).
That may sound like a lot of money, but installing a solar-plus-storage system can be a worthwhile investment. Whether or not the Home Ecosystem battery makes sense for you is determined by the way that your electric utility structures its rates, as well as your reasons for installing a solar battery.
Can you go off-grid with the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery?
Installing a solar-plus-storage system at your home is a great way to take control of your electricity bill, but it doesn’t mean that you’re completely disconnected from your utility. Going “off the grid” with solar batteries is actually a more expensive and complicated proposition than you might think. The average American home uses about 30 kWh on an average day, meaning that most home batteries only have enough capacity to store a few hours of backup for a typical home on a typical day. However, depending upon the configuration, the Duracell battery is capable of serving either temporary backup or closer to whole-home backup when the grid goes down if you have a solar panel system to provide power.
Where to buy the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery
Whether you want to install a Duracell battery or another home battery pack, you will most likely need to work through a certified installer. Adding energy storage technology to your home is a complicated process that requires electrical expertise, certifications, and knowledge of the best practices required to install a solar-plus-storage system correctly.
Duracell is a registered trademark of Duracell U.S. Operations, Inc., used under license. All rights reserved.
reading on EnergySage
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About Spencer Fields
Spencer is the Technology Product Alliance Strategic Lead at EnergySage, where he wears many hats. A 10-year industry veteran (and a solar owner himself!), Spencer spent five years at Synapse Energy Economics before joining EnergySage, providing environmental, economic, and policy analysis for public interest groups. These days, he leads market and consumer intel and research for EnergySage. Spencer has degrees in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies from Brown University.