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Can Solar Generators Be Used Indoors? (Best Practices). Indoor solar generator

Can Solar Generators Be Used Indoors? (Best Practices). Indoor solar generator

    Generators for Apartments Condos. 7 Best Indoor Backup Power Options

    Choosing an indoor backup generator for apartment use is a little different than shopping for traditional generators and power stations in other situations and outdoor use. In this guide we’ll walk you through the process and show you exactly how to pick a great option to give you peace of mind in any power outage, while remaining safe indoors.

    We’ll also make some specific indoor generator product recommendations chosen specifically for apartment use from reputable manufacturers.

    What Are The Best Generators for Apartments?

    The best indoor generators for apartment use are battery powered devices which do not need any kind of gasoline or fuel to run. These are usually called portable power stations.

    Below are the 7 models we’ll be looking at today. Click on any of the links to jump to the relevant section and learn about each option, or read on to get our thoughts on evaluating and choosing a portable indoor generator.

    We’ll also be covering some frequently asked questions at the end related to the best kinds of generators for apartments, the size you’ll need, and some key safety aspects (important!).

    Here are the 7 apartment generator recommendations we’ll be covering:

    Simply click any of these links to jump to the relevant section.

    So how do you choose indoor generators for apartments?

    Firstly, it is vitally important to understand that you cannot use traditional outdoor generators in an enclosed space such as an apartment or condo. Not in any situation!

    When you think of generators to use as emergency power solutions in a blackout or outage, most people think of gas generators or something similar powered by propane or another fuel type. These of course will always product emissions meaning Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a real risk if the fumes do not have an easy way to escape.

    These gas powered generators are designed strictly for outdoor use where the ventilation is excellent. You absolutely cannot use a gas or propane generator in an apartment, not unless you have a huge patio area which big enough for the unit to be fully outside with no fumes entering your property.

    With that in mind the best generator for apartments, condos, or general indoor use will always be one of the battery powered generators available from a few leading brands who specialize in these models. These are typically referred to and marketed as portable power stations.

    We’ll look at 5 of those brands today, and 7 individual models if you’re looking to buy such a generator.

    These are all great options to use as an emergency power source for important electronics such as a fridge, AC unit, or even a CPAP machine with the bigger models. These battery generators will allow you to use and charge multiple devices inside the comfort of your own home, with out any harmful fumes or health risks.

    Because of the way the battery management system works for these devices they happen to be much quieter as well which is a bonus. as is the fact they function not only as indoor generators, but also as reliable power sources for use on outdoor adventures such as camping, hiking, and more.

    Most of them can even be charged with a solar panel kit when you’re truly off-grid, as well as using your car or of course a regular AC outlet in the wall (always the fastest charging option).

    solar, generators, used, indoors, best

    So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best portable indoor generators for apartments, condos, and general use indoors.​​​​​​​

    EcoFlow Delta 1300 Power Station

    Their Delta Portable Power Station 1300 is a great choice for anyone needing a reliable apartment generator. It’s a powerful and rechargeable power station that can be used for a wide range of devices such as small electronics, through to the appliances you likely have in your apartment.

    Of course being a battery powered device it has zero emissions and so is completely safe to operate in an enclosed space, such as any house, condo, garage, or apartment. You also won’t have to worry about CARB regulations.

    It has an impressive battery management system with a capacity of 1260Wh and can deliver up to 1800W of continuous power (3300W surge capacity) via 6 AC outlets, with the ability to power up to 13 devices simultaneously. This makes it suitable for powering everything from laptops and smartphones to small appliances like lights, fans, and even small power tools.

    The EcoFlow Delta Power Station features extremely fast charging and will go from zero to 80% charged in less than one hour using a wall outlet. This is the kind of generator you want on hand and ready to go during power outages.

    One of the standout features of the EcoFlow Delta is its compact and portable design. Despite its high power capacity, the unit is relatively small and lightweight, making it easy to take with you on the go. It also has a built-in handle, making it even more convenient to transport.

    The EcoFlow Delta also has a variety of charging options, including a standard AC outlet, USB-C ports, USB-A ports, and USB-A Fast Charge ports.

    The EcoFlow Delta is also equipped with several safety features to protect you and your devices. It has Over-voltage, Over-current, Over-heating, and Short Circuit Protection, as well as a built-in cooling system.

    Away from home the Delta 1300 from EcoFlow is also great for outdoor adventures and camping trips. It is highly portable and also has optional solar panel charging functionality if you want to go off-grid for a few days but still have reliable power. Note that portable solar panels for charging are sold separately as an optional extra if you want re-charge the device in the wilderness! If you’re on a long road trip then the device can also be charged using a car adapter in around 13 hours.

    Overall The EcoFlow Delta 1300 is an excellent emergency power choice as a portable indoor generator for apartments and condos.

    Bluetti AC200 Max. Expandable Pure Sine Wave Power Generator

    The Bluetti AC200 Max is a bestselling portable power station designed for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s perfect anyone looking for high levels of reliable indoor power generators for use in an apartment.

    The AC200 Max has a capacity of 2048Wh and is great for powering a range of devices both large and small including laptops, cell phones, tablets, cameras, and much more. The AC200 Max is equipped with a good choice of ports, including USB-C, USB-A, and AC outlets, making it easy to charge a lot of devices at the same time.

    The Bluetti AC200 Max is the most powerful option on this list and the best indoor generator choice if you’re looking for high power output at a good price. It is a 2,200W AC pure sine wave inverter, with 4,800W of surge power giving it enough power to handle most apartment needs. This model is also expandable. You can buy an additional power pack if you need even more performance.

    One great feature of the AC200 Max is its ability to be recharged in multiple ways, including through solar panels just like the EcoFlow power stations. It can also be charged via a car’s cigarette lighter, or a wall outlet which of course would be the fastest option. In total there are 7 different charging options for this generator!

    With this in mind, and the solar power kit which is sold separately, you can easily recharge the device while on the go, making it a great option not just for use at home in your apartment but also for camping, hiking, fishing or other outdoor off-grid activities.

    This popular power station from Bluetti has a built-in LCD display that shows the battery level, input and output power, and other key info. You can easily monitor performance and power levels with this display.

    The AC200 Max was designed to withstand the elements, with a rugged and durable design that is both water resistant and dust resistant. This makes it great for outdoor adventures but also for use in emergency situations where things can get a little crazy!

    The device can also be controlled via the Bluetti mobile app for even more convenience.

    We like Bluetti’s AC200 Max and consider it one of the best portable generators to consider when looking for a backup power supply for your apartment.​

    Jackery Explorer 1000

    Jackery are well know as one of the best indoor generator brands as they manufacture a wide range of power stations which are battery powered and so don’t require any kind of fuel or gas which would produce emissions.

    Just like Bluetti and EcoFlow the Jackery portable power station range is most often used for outdoor activities where power is needed off-grid, but they function equally well as indoor generators for apartments or condos.

    The Jackery Explorer 1000 is one of their bestsellers. It is a lightweight and compact portable power station that provides a reliable source of energy for a wide range of applications. With a power output capacity of 1000Wh, it can power small appliances, lights, and all kinds electronic devices for a good amount of time. The unit provides 1000W of continuous power, and has a surge maximum power output of 2000W.

    The unit comes with a choice of different ports, including 2 pure sine wave energy AC outlets, 3 USB ports. Type A and Type C, and 1 car charging port. This design allows for simultaneous charging of multiple devices.

    One of the most loved features of the Jackery Explorer 1000 is its compact and lightweight design. It weighs only 22 lbs, making it easy to transport and store. The unit is equipped with a built-in handle so it is easy to carry around. These features make this Jackery bestseller one of the most popular portable indoor generator models.

    The Jackery Explorer 1000 is built to be highly durable. It has been rigorously tested to ensure it can withstand all kinds of outdoor weather conditions. This battery powered portable generator is equipped with an LCD screen, which provides real-time information on the remaining battery capacity, input and output power, and temperature.

    The Jackery Explorer 1000 is a versatile portable power station that is ideal for a wide range of applications. Whether you need it for camping, tailgating, or as a small apartment generator for backup power, it is sure to meet your needs. Additionally, it can be recharged by solar panels (not included) or by plugging it into a wall outlet.

    Overall, the Jackery Explorer 1000 is a great choice for anyone in need of a reliable and portable energy source to use in a power outage or on an outdoor adventure.​​​​​​​

    EcoFlow River Pro

    Another great small portable indoor generator for apartment use is the EcoFlow River Pro.

    We’re so impressed with the EcoFlow product line that we included two of their power stations in this list. The River Pro is one of the smaller apartment generator options on this list but is still considered one of the best indoor indoor options if you have fewer power requirements and do not want to purchase the EcoFlow Delta.

    This a good option as compact and budget friendly portable generator for apartment use. It has a capacity of 730Wh Capacity, 600W output (3 outlets) and a surge power capacity of 1200W. There is an additional expansion battery for sale as well which will double the battery capacity output to 1440Wh. The unit can also be charged via solar panels which you’ll purchase separately for any off-grid activities.

    Overall the EcoFlow River Pro is one of the best low cost portable generators for use either indoors in an apartment, or on camping and hiking adventures, thanks to the solar power option.​​​​​​​

    Cummins Onan PS1000

    Cummins is a very well respected generator manufacturer who have been in the market for decades. They make backup generators and portables of all kinds, and have recently expanded their product range to include battery powered generators. or portable power station models. which make great apartment generator choices. Our team loves the Cummins Onan PS1000 Power Station which is their most powerful option.

    The device which is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery which delivers 1,008Wh, 1,500 watts of running power and 3,000 surge watts of clean power. It is lightweight and portable, weighing in at only 31 lbs. You’ll have a good range of outlets to choose from including 6 USB ports. It has a USB C port and a Quick Charge 3 port. In addition you get DC outlets, 6 available household outlets of 120V and a 12 V DC input. A 12 V car cigarette outlet is also installed.

    Charging options for the Cummins Onan PS1000 include an in-car charger, regular wall outlets, or a solar panel which would need to be purchased separately.

    Similarly to the other portable indoor generator options on this page the PS1000 power station makes a great choice for use either in your apartment, or on outdoor adventures when you need off-grid power with the option of charging in both your car and via separate solar panels.

    We’re impressed with the Cummins battery powered generators and would suggest them as a good option for powering electronics and small appliances inside during power outages.​​​​​​​

    Firman Zero E

    The Firman Power Equipment brand is one of the most well known and trusted names in the world of portable generators and backup power solutions. They’ve recently entered the world of rechargeable portable power stations after specializing in producing some of the highest quality traditional fuel and gas generators for decades.

    The Firman Zero-E is an impressive and powerful battery backup power solution that’s great for use at home, in an apartment, or on outdoor adventures. The standard version offers 1040Wh of power with 2000 continuous watts and 4000 watts of peak power.

    You have the option to double performance with the addition of an extra battery power parallel pack which can be purchased separately.

    This sleek looking portable power station can be charged to 80% capacity in under 60 minutes thanks to the Firman Supercharge technology, and is good for up to 4000 charges over its lifetime. This would represent many years of use.

    You have the following options for charging up the Zero E Power station:

    • 120 Volt Power from a house or a generator
    • Up to 400 Watts of Solar Power
    • 12 Volt Power from a vehicle
    • USB-C (Bidirectional x 1) charging

    The selection of power outlets is also impressive and should cover almost any need you have:

    • 4x 120 volt AC outlets
    • 1x 30 AMP RV Ready Outlet
    • 4x USB-A outlets
    • 2x 100 Watt USB-C Outlets
    • Wireless Phone Charging
    • USB-C power delivery input and output
    • RV-ready with TT30R outlet

    Overall the Firman Zero E Expandable Power Station is an excellent backup power solution with zero emissions that’s perfect for home and apartment use.

    Goal Zero Yeti 3000X

    The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is an impressive and much loved portable power station.

    It is equipped with a large capacity lithium-ion battery that can be charged by solar power, a wall outlet, or a car charger. The Yeti 3000 has a continues power output of 2000 watts (3500 surge), with 3032Wh making it one of the most powerful indoor generators for apartments on this list. It is suitable for powering small appliances, lights, and even power tools.

    The device features a user-friendly interface with a digital LCD display that shows the current current battery levels, inputs and output wattages, and estimated remaining battery capacity run time. It also has seven different outlets which can be used simultaneously. these include fast charging USB C ports, USB A ports, 12V regular ports, and also two AC ports of 12V.

    The Yeti 3000 is built to be durable and portable, with a sturdy handle for easy transport. It is primarily designed for outdoor use, so you can rely on its toughness. Of course it also makes an excellent indoor generator for apartments and other enclosed spaces. The Yeti 3000 can be expanded and connected with other Yeti power stations to increase the power and battery capacity.

    The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is a great choice for people who need reliable, portable power for outdoor adventures, camping, or as an emergency indoor power source during power outages. It’s also an excellent option for off-grid living, such as powering a cabin or RV.

    With its high power output and multiple outlets, the Yeti 3000 can meet the power needs of a wide range of devices and appliances. The device can also be controlled using a mobile app.

    A highly respected generator brand, Champion Power Equipment, recently launched two products in the portable power station category. We haven’t seen enough feedback on them yet to give our recommendation as we’ve only just listed them at the time of writing this piece, but we expect them to become popular.

    The Champion brand has a great name and is one of the most trusted in the world of backup power solutions. You can check out their new battery powered generators here:

    We’ll be sure to add these to our list of indoor power solutions if they perform as well as we expect them to with customers.

    Final Thoughts on Choosing an Indoor Backup Generator for Apartment and Condo Buildings

    Just because you don’t live in a house with outdoor space it doesn’t mean you need to be without a reliable backup generator for apartment use during an outage if your building’s power goes down.

    You have a lot of choice when looking at generators suitable for indoor use in condos, apartments, and other enclosed spaces. Be sure to choose a battery powered generator from one of the reputable brands we’ve recommended in this guide and try to estimate how much power you’re likely to need based on the size of your apartment and the number of essential electronics and devices you own.

    Lastly, remember to ALWAYS use a zero emission generator in enclosed spaces indoors. You’ll generally want to choose something marketed as a portable power station. Do not ever use gas powered generators of any kind indoors. You must go for battery powered.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Apartment Generators

    Can a generator be used in an apartment or condo?

    Yes, certain types of generators (battery powered) can be used in an apartment. You’ll need to understand which type is best, which ones to never use, and how to operate one safely. Be sure to choose a battery powered generator, or portable power station with zero emissions. Never use any kind of propane or gas powered generator indoors.

    The best generator for indoor apartment use will always be something battery powered, rather than a traditional gas generator. Any model powered by gas, propane, natural gas, or any other fuel type is absolutely NOT suitable for indoor use. in any situation!

    What size generator do I need for an apartment?

    The apartment generator size you’ll need does depend on your situation and how many devices you need to run, and the power requirements they have. However, for larger demands we recommend looking at either the Bluetti or the EcoFlow Delta covered earlier in this guide. They’re compact and powerful indoor generators.

    How much is a generator for an apartment?

    Apartment generators cost between 150. 3000 or more, with most in the middle of that range. The price depends on the brand you choose, the size, and the amount of power output you require. There are options available for all budgets.

    What is the best battery operated generator for an apartment?

    EcoFlow battery powered generators are a great choice. Popular models include the Delta 1300 and River Pro. Bluetti has some great options too, with the AC200 Max being the most powerful in our list. Jackery portable power stations are also good options.

    What kind of generator can I use in an apartment?

    Use a portable power station from brands such as EcoFlow, Bluetti, or Jackery. Any battery powered model is however suitable. make sure it is one with zero emissions which does not require any kind of fuel to power it. Gas generators are a definite no!

    Can Solar Generators Be Used Indoors? (Best Practices)

    The off-grid power capabilities of solar generators allow them to be used in several different environments to power appliances and electronics.

    Solar generators can be used indoors. They don’t produce emissions as they are solely battery powered. It is recommended to use a solar generator in a cool, dry room in order to protect its internal components and prolong its battery life.

    The best solar generator for use indoors (house, RV, etc.) is the Titan by Point Zero Energy.

    It has one of the highest solar inputs and AC inverter outputs of all solar generators.

    For more information on this system, I recommend reading my full review of it here: Titan Solar Generator Review – The Best Large Solar Generator?

    Solar generators provide power when the electric power grid normally used is lost through storms, accidents, and other natural or manmade disasters.

    They can also be used for several other activities/purposes where off-grid power is needed.

    Inergy Flex solar generator – inergytek.com

    In this post, you’ll discover more about how solar generators have many uses indoors.

    From running a full-size refrigerator to heating a home, there are several power needs that can be fulfilled with these systems.

    This post goes into detail on the general questions regarding indoor solar generator use and the benefits/downsides of solar energy.

    If you’re looking for help on how to install solar panels on your home or RV for an off-grid solar generator, read my article that walks you through the process here: Solar Panel Installation – Step-By-Step for Home and RV.

    Solar Generators Are Safe to Use Indoors

    Rockpals Rockpower 500 Solar Generator

    Solar generators are safe to use indoors because they do not emit fumes and have few moving parts. Typically, the only moving parts in a solar generator (also known as a portable power station) are its cooling fans.

    Not only are solar generators safe to use indoors, but when the power goes out, a backup power source is good to have.

    Gas generators once did the trick, but they’re loud, contribute to climate change, and emit dangerous, smelly fumes to clog up your nose and can eventually lead to asphyxiation indoors.

    • Easy to use and maintain
    • Don’t use fossil fuels
    • Pays itself off longterm
    • Can consistently be used in remote areas

    Using a Solar Generator During Emergencies

    Just imagine any of the following scenarios without having access to a backup power source.

    Most people in these situations wouldn’t have much chance for healthy survival without it:

    Scenario 1 – A person needs power for their medical device

    A CPAP machine is a must for people with sleep apnea.

    A properly sized solar generator will provide the power needed for a good night’s rest when the power goes out.

    Scenario 2 – Power outage in remote location during the winter

    According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, electric furnaces are one of the three most common heat sources for homes in the winter.

    Most solar generators cannot power large home electric furnaces, however, they can provide consistent power to large space heaters to keep you warm when grid power is unavailable.

    Scenario 3 – A large hurricane or natural disaster wipes out the community

    Although it’s not pleasant to think about, natural disasters can not only create structural damage to your property and community, but they can also cause extended power outages for more than a week.

    During these times, gas shortages may occur as a result, making a gas generator useless after a couple of days off the grid.

    A solar generator will be able to be used without the need to refuel it, as its solar panels take care of that for you.

    Another possible scenario where power could be wiped out is after an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse).

    Although this is much less common than the other previous scenarios, you may be wondering if a solar generator can provide power after something like an EMP occurs.

    The simple answer is that most cannot but some can. I give some insights into the ones that can as well as the science behind EMP-proofing in my post here: Are Solar Powered Generators EMP Proof? (Solutions Analysis).

    Solar Energy’s Positive Points

    Although every reason doesn’t necessarily impact you personally, those are some compelling positives.

    Solar Energy Has Negative Points Also

    On cloudy days, solar panels are not going to bring in nearly as much energy from the sun as sunny days do.

    In addition, a solar generator system for partial home backup is expensive to purchase. Although it pays off with consistent use over time, the initial investment is pricey.

    Solar Generator Compatibility Requirements

    Bluetti AC200P Solar Generator

    Solar generators come in several different sizes. A portable power station for your home/apartment/RV should be on the larger end of this spectrum in terms of the system’s battery capacity.

    • The battery size and output power of the solar generator
    • The power consumption of your appliances
    • Number of small or large appliances
    • The maximum solar input of the power station (max number of solar panels used to recharge the battery)

    Where Can Solar Generators Be Used?

    Solar generators can be used in RVs, homes, apartments, cabins, and sheds. They can also be used for activities such as tailgating, camping, and boondocking. Solar generators are not waterproof and they need to be used or stored within the temperature range of about 32-104 F (0-40 C).

    Recreation Vehicles (RVs) may need to stop where there is no power, but those with a solar generator seldom have any reason for concern.

    In fact, solar generators can be used anywhere, including in the home, to boost energy planning. Their use also extends to office buildings and other commercial sites.

    “Solar generators can power some key appliances in your home for emergencies.”

    ~ Catherine Lane, Author at Solar Review

    While the statement above is true for portable solar generators, larger stationary solar units also exist.

    Large Solar Generator Uses

    These have more capacity for powering larger appliances. Larger units are either installed permanently or placed on a wheeled cart for transporting the unit.

    An example of a large solar generator with a roll cart is the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X – Check it out via the link here: Yeti 6000X Review – Goal Zero’s Most Powerful Solar Generator.

    • Well pump
    • Small air conditioner
    • Attic fan
    • Full-size refrigerator
    • Microwave
    • Toaster
    • Space heater
    • Ventilation fans

    Charging a Solar Generator – Methods Best Practices

    Goal Zero Yeti 6000X charging diagram

    You might question why a solar generator needs charging. It’s a good question.

    Here’s the answer: Indoor solar generators have to be charged when they run out of the electricity they receive from the sun.

    This direct current (DC) power from the sun is brought to the battery to charge it up.

    USB ports and 12V ports use DC power from the battery, but the wall outlets on most solar generators convert the DC power to alternate current (AC) power for use with correlating household appliances.

    It can take several hours to charge a solar generator’s battery depending on the solar input and battery size.

    Be sure you have time to get it fully charged before nightfall.

    It’s best to make a habit of charging the system just after waking in the morning. Then you can get on with your day without worrying whether you’ll have power or not.

    With the proper solar panel set up, you won’t have to worry about recharging the system as it will automatically charge up when needed.

    However, during cloudy days, it may be useful to charge it from the wall outlet at home if you’d like to have a fully-charged battery before the sun goes down.

    Solar Monitoring System

    EcoFlow Delta 1300 LCD screen

    The importance of using a solar monitoring system helps you know if your solar installation is productive and effective enough.

    When using a solar generator in your home, safety should be the first concern.

    I recommend consulting a professional to help you construct your solar panel array so it will be as effective as possible.

    The amperage and voltage of the solar panel(s) need to be congruent with the solar input specifications of the solar generator’s charge controller.

    Most solar generators have LCD screens with this information available to you, which makes it much easier to use with solar.

    Making the Decision to Purchase a Solar Generator

    You’ve seen reasons why you should and shouldn’t use a solar generator in your home, where they can or can’t be used, and if they can be used indoors, how they get their charge.

    The main concern in a crisis scenario is the comfort and security of yourself and your family. A solar generator will be able to provide you with power off the grid for essential devices and appliances.

    • Powering your sump pump, refrigerator, and/or other appliances to cut down on utility costs
    • Using it to power an off-grid cabin
    • Use in a shed for construction purposes where there is no accessible utility power
    • In an RV to power all or some appliances

    In Conclusion

    The advantages of solar generators far outweigh the disadvantages.

    Having a backup solar generator system in place for the inevitable power failure is clearly in your best interest.

    A solar generator is a valuable investment for the safety and security of those you hold dear.

    Off-grid power is an asset that can help you in several scenarios, not just crisis situations.

    If you’re interested in the pricing of solar generator systems, I recommend reading my article directly answering this – find it here: Are Portable Solar Generators Too Expensive?

    For some examples of long-lasting solar generators, I have a post with six examples that use the best battery type, called LiFePO4 (lithium-iron-phosphate) batteries.

    These batteries last anywhere from two to twelve times longer than lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries! Check it out here: 6 Best LiFePO4 Solar Generators (Stats, Pricing, and Analysis).

    The 10 Best Solar Generators (2023 Review)

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

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

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

    Compare Top Solar Generators

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

    Top 10 Solar Generators

    Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

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

    Can charge and recharge at the same time

    Has a built-in textured handle for easy carrying

    ✘ Criticized by some customers for dying quickly

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

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

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

    Can charge and recharge at the same time

    Has a built-in textured handle for easy carrying

    ✘ Criticized by some customers for dying quickly

    ✘ Has a low power output of 200 watts

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    ROCKPALS Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

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

    Has one fast-charging USB port

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

    ✘ Not sold with the DC converter

    ✘ Criticized for feeling cheaply made

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

    Features patented X-Stream Technology to help it recharge faster

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

    Can provide power to a laptop for over 25 hours

    solar, generators, used, indoors, best

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

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

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    BLUETTI Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

    Has a touchscreen to control its settings

    Includes a car charging cable

    Has small carrying handles on either side of its body

    ✘ Costs the most out of the options in this review

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

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    Goal Zero Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

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

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

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

    ✘ Has a long auto shutoff timer

    ✘ AC outlet is sometimes slow to operate

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    MAXOAK Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

    Can be charged up to 80 percent within 10 hours

    Features an intelligent cooling fan to prevent overheating

    Can charge a laptop up to 32 times

    ✘ Wall charger has a slower operation than some other models

    ✘ Is heavier than many other solar generators

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    ITEHIL Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

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

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

    Includes an LED display and SOS rescue and warning features

    ✘ Does not include USB-C charging

    ✘ Does not feature Wi-Fi compatibility

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    EF ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

    Features 10 total output ports

    Includes a built-in flashlight

    ✘ Can be difficult to carry and transport

    solar, generators, used, indoors, best

    ✘ AC sockets can occasionally be obstructed

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    Rainier Outdoor Portable Power Station

    taken at time of publishing.

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

    Pros and Cons

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

    Includes a battery level display for easy tracking

    Has a lower price point than most other portable power stations

    ✘ Not ideal for charging large appliances

    ✘ Charging times can be inconsistent

    What Customers Are Saying

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

    Buyer’s Guide

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

    Type

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

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

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

    Battery

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

    Life

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

    Charging

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

    Outlets/Ports

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

    Price

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

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

    Size

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

    solar, generators, used, indoors, best

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

    Brand

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

    What Are The Benefits of a Solar Generator?

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

    Noise Level

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

    Maintenance

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

    Fuel and Clean Energy

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

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it worth getting a solar generator?

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

    Will my solar generator come with a solar panel?

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

    Are there other types of generators?

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

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

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

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

    Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

    This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

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

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

    The 6 Best Indoor Generators in 2023

    This post may contain references and links to products from our advertisers. We may receive commissions from certain links you click on our website. As an Amazon Associate Rhythm of the Home earns revenues from qualifying purchases.

    Last updated on February 2nd, 2023

    Whether you live in a traditional house or an apartment, it’s important to have a backup power solution. Disasters happen and there’s always a risk of extended power outages. You need to be prepared for an emergency by investing in a power generator that covers all your electric energy needs until the power comes back up. However, regular generators are designed to run on gas which means they’re noisy and produce toxic fumes. They’re only suitable for outdoor areas so what do you do if you need to generate power indoors?

    A good alternative is a portable power station because it can deliver clean and safe electric energy to power appliances and devices without all the drawbacks of gas-powered units. Portable generators are practical to use for indoor emergencies despite being mostly designed for outdoor applications such as camping or RV traveling. Depending on their capacity, you can ensure a decent energy supply to keep a few essentials powered in the event of an emergency. Indoor generators emit no noise and don’t require a constant fuel supply. Some units can even allow solar charging with dedicated or external panels. If you want to use a convenient power generator indoors, take a look at our best picks for the money.

    Westinghouse iGen600s Indoor Generator

    Buy On AmazonBuy On WalmartBuy On Home Depot

    Anyone searching for a portable power station to use as an indoor generator should try Westinghouse iGen600s. This is a versatile model rated at 600W with a maximum peak of 1200W. It can power one large TV, deep freezer, and other electronic items without issues. This unit relies on a large Li-Ion battery with a generous capacity considering its compact construction. The generator doesn’t take too long to charge while providing flexible options including separately bought solar panels.

    Thanks to using pure sine wave technology, the generator is safe to use for all your electronics without any concerns about interference issues. Using this power station is a breeze because you just need to keep it properly charged to use it in a home emergency. It’s also small enough to carry around with a vehicle during travels or for camping outdoors. This indoor generator is equipped with two AC outlets, three USB ports, and one 12V DC port. Other handy features include the front flashlight and LED screen that provides relevant info about the working status of the generator.

    Ecoflow River Pro Indoor Generator

    Buy On AmazonBuy On WalmartBuy On Home Depot

    If you’re searching for an advanced power generator that’s versatile enough to be used indoors and outdoors safely, consider Ecoflow River Pro. This model includes advanced X-Stream technology to recharge the battery quickly in less than two hours. It’s rated at 720Wh of power which allows it to keep many appliances and electronic items charged properly. With the help of three AC and three DC outlets, you can easily power multiple items simultaneously.

    Aside from the power outlets incorporated into the unit, you can also take advantage of one USB-C, one FastCharge-compatible USB, and two USB-A ports. This power station is equipped with a user-friendly interface and offers great smartphone app support. The maximum compatible output for charged appliances can reach 1800W. Whether you’re going camping far from the convenience of civilization or need to maintain functionality for electric equipment during power outages, it’s safe to say that the Ecoflow River Pro is a dependable option for the cost.

    Bluetti AC200P Indoor Generator

    Buy On AmazonBuy On WalmartBuy On Home Depot

    The Bluetti AC200P represents a great solution to help with safe indoor power generation in case of an emergency. It packs a solid 2,000Wh in terms of capacity to let you handle pretty much any type of appliance or device used at home. This indoor generator features LiFePO4 battery cells with multiple protections in place to maximize reliability. It’s very important to be able to use a power backup solution with confidence.

    When it comes to recharging rate, this power station delivers efficient performance when using a standard AC input. It’s also compatible with solar recharging if you pair the generator with optional solar panels. This model is equipped with a multitude of versatile outlets. As opposed to its competitors, it packs a total of six AC ports and includes wireless charging pads aside from the standard USB ports. As long as your appliance is under 2000W, it can be easily powered with the help of this strong generator.

    Anker PowerHouse II 400 Indoor Generator

    Buy On AmazonBuy On Walmart

    Anker is a respected brand in the world of charging devices. Check out the PowerHouse II 400 generator that works like a charm for various emergency power situations. This is a fairly portable unit that offers a decent capacity of 388Wh for its compact size. It provides great support to charge multiple devices simultaneously considering the total of 8 included ports.

    With the help of its advanced charging technology, mobile devices can be recharged exceptionally fast. The portable generator is rated to handle only devices under 300W so keep that in mind if you need to recharge some appliances. Thanks to solar compatibility, you can recharge the power station faster in an eco-friendlier way assuming you buy the panels. The Anker PowerHouse II 400 offers reinforced construction to handle more difficult conditions and includes a built-in flashlight for emergencies.

    FlashFish E200 Indoor Generator

    Buy On AmazonBuy On WalmartBuy On Home Depot

    Designed to provide convenient power generation on the go during camping or at home in a power outage, the FlashFish E200 shouldn’t be overlooked. This is a portable generator that gives you clean power without noise or toxic fumes. It has a more modest capacity of 150Wh which explains the compact design and affordable price. The generator offers three different ways to recharge it, including via solar panels bought separately.

    As long as your device doesn’t exceed 200W in terms of power requirements, it’s safe to say that it’s perfectly compatible with this power station. When it comes to charging versatility, this unit features a total of 7 outputs to allow some flexibility. You can simultaneously charge a mini cooler, smartphone, laptop, and more. A multifunctional LED screen provides a simple interface to check the operating status of the generator.

    Geneverse HomePower ONE Indoor Generator

    Buy On AmazonBuy On Walmart

    A great solution to create a reliable backup power supply in your home, the Geneverse HomePower ONE has all it takes to keep essential appliances working for extended power outages. It incorporates a total of 3 AC outlets that can handle up to 1,000W of power. In terms of battery capacity, this portable generator features 1,002Wh based on EV-grade battery cells that promise superior long-term durability.

    Getting this indoor generator charged is a breeze considering how it supports car outlets and solar power aside from regular AC power outlets. The energy can be stored for up to a year without worrying about discharging. In the event of a disaster or other emergency, your apartment’s important appliances can still work by connecting them to this power station. There are six integrated safety modules in this electric generator for your peace of mind.

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