What are the pros and cons of a solar generator?
Whether you need to keep your lights on when the grid goes down or you want to charge your phone on a camping trip, solar generators are a great way to have extra energy on hand.
But how do portable solar power generators stack up compared to conventional gas-powered generators? We take a look at how solar generators work, weigh their pros and cons, and discuss if a solar generator is the right investment for you.
What is a solar generator?
Technically, a solar power generator is any system that runs on solar power. But what most people mean when they say ‘solar generator’ refers to a portable power station that uses solar panels, instead of fossil fuels, to provide electricity.
A portable solar generator uses solar panels to capture the sun’s energy and then stores that energy in a battery to be used later. Most solar generators are used for RV camping, boats, and as a backup power source in the case of a grid power outage.
How do solar generators work?
Solar generators have four major components:
The solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity that is then passed through the charge controller. The charge controller regulates the voltage of the electricity into the battery, where the solar energy is then stored for use later. Most solar generators sold today are lithium-ion batteries.
When you need to use the energy stored in the battery, the inverter converts the electricity into alternating current energy, or AC power, which is what most appliances and devices use.
Solar generators typically have USB ports, AC outlets, and 12-volt carports to allow you to charge multiple devices.
How much can you save with solar?
What are the pros and cons of solar generators?
|No fuel||Expensive upfront investment|
|Clean renewable energy||Slow recharging|
|Quiet and low-maintenance||Limited available power|
Free fuel from the sun
Traditional gas-powered generators require you to constantly purchase fuel. With a solar generator, there are no fuel costs. Simply set up your solar panel and enjoy the free sunshine!
Clean renewable energy
Solar generators rely entirely on clean, renewable energy. This means that not only do you not have to worry about the cost of fossil fuels to power your generator, you don’t have to worry about the environmental impact of using gasoline either.
Solar generators release no pollutants when they produce and store energy. You can rest easy knowing that your camping or boating trip is powered by clean energy.
Quiet and low maintenance
Another great thing about solar generators is that they are quiet. And unlike gas generators, solar generators don’t have any moving parts. This significantly reduces the amount of noise they produce while running.
Plus, no moving parts means the chances of solar generator parts breaking is low. This greatly reduces the amount of maintenance required for a solar generator as compared to a gas generator.
High upfront costs
Solar generators require a much higher initial investment than traditional gas generators. The average cost of a gas generator is around 1,000. Solar generators will usually cost about 2,000.
However, solar generators have much lower operating costs. So, you’ll spend less over the lifetime of a solar generator.
Solar generator batteries can only be recharged when the sun is out. And even then, it takes time for the solar panels to charge the battery. A solar panel with a power output of 100 watts would take over 9 hours to charge most mid-sized solar generator batteries.
Generators that run on fossil fuels can be refueled at any time, so you can get more power right when you need it without having to worry about the weather conditions or the time of day.
Limited power supply
The size of the solar generator battery will limit how much the generator can power, as well. A solar generator probably won’t be able to power your entire home. However, it can charge phones and laptops and keep small appliances running for a short period of time.
Gas generators aren’t as limited in what they can power and for how long since they can be refilled at any time.
What are the best solar generators available?
One of the most important things to look for when buying a solar generator is the battery capacity (or how much energy the battery can hold) in order to know if the generator will meet your power needs. This is usually measured in watt-hours (Wh).
The higher the capacity, the longer the battery will last. For instance, a 1,000 Wh solar generator can power a 60-watt lightbulb for almost 17 hours!
Some of the best solar generators on the market include:
|Goal Zero Yeti 1500, 100-watt Solar Kit||1,516 Wh||1,199.95||Buy now|
|Point Zero Titan||2,000 Wh||2,716.00||Buy now|
|Jackery Explorer||1,002 Wh||999.99||Buy now|
|Renogy Phoenix 300 Power Station||337 Wh||399.99||Buy now|
Most solar powered generators have all-in-one designs, so the solar charger and inverter will be included in the battery pack. However, not all solar generators include solar panels. These generators will typically just come with the battery and inverter.
Check out our list of the best portable solar panels that pair great with battery power stations.
What are the best uses for solar generators?
Solar generators are best used for charging devices and running small appliances. They’re a great source of backup power for a boating or RV camping trip because of their portability, plus they’re clean and don’t require you to keep lots of fuel on hand.
Solar generators can power some key appliances in your home in the event of an emergency. But no portable generator will be able to truly power your entire home off-grid.
Instead, you should consider installing a rooftop solar panel system paired with battery storage. Not only will this allow you to have backup power for most of your home in case of an emergency, it will help cut down your electricity bill all year long!
Use our solar calculator to get an estimate of how many solar panels you need to power your home and how much a home solar panel system costs in your area.
See how much solar panels will cost for your specific home
- Solar generators are portable power stations that use solar energy, instead of fossil fuels, to create electricity.
- Solar generators consist of four main parts: the solar panels, the solar battery, the inverter, and the charge controller.
- Some key advantages of solar generators are that they don’t require fuel, they run on clean renewable energy, and they require very little maintenance.
- The biggest drawbacks to solar generators are that they require a big upfront investment, they recharge slowly, and there is a limited amount of power stored and available for you to use.
Written Content Manager
Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews. She has been researching and writing about the residential solar industry for four years. Her work has appeared in Solar Today Magazine and Solar Builder Magazine, and has been cited by publications like Forbes and Bloomberg.
Kyng Power Solar Charged Power Generator 500W | 2021 Review
The Kyng Power Solar Charged Power Generator 500W is an uninterruptible power supply, which is specially designed to work with your solar panel and other generators. The generator will also charge on a wall socket so that it may function as a stand-alone unit, with enough power for overnight camping.
The inverter silently converts power from a solar panel into a smooth 120-volt supply for more demanding electronics. And because the lithium-ion battery smooths and supplies a back-up, there is no risk of losing your work, when the sun disappears behind the clouds. Battery levels are displayed on the front panel.
The 500-watt generator has an excellent choice of sockets, including three standard AC sockets controlled by a Pure Sine Wave. There are four 12-volt DC sockets and four 2.0 USB socket that will allow you to charge smaller devices directly.
A giant 90-amp hour battery will still not be enough power a large fridge, but it may power smaller coolers.
Kyng has added a big choice of cables in with the deal, including the connector to plug in a solar panel. And there is a powerful lamp on the front so that you can see what it is you are plugging in.
❌ What We Didn’t Like
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What can this generator run?
A: This generator is designed to meet your emergency needs, camping usage, power for CPAP machines, and charging just about any home devices that you can think of: iPhone, iPad, laptops, fans, TV, lamps, lights, CPAP machines, and more!
Q: How long does it take to fully charge this generator?
A: This depends on the power source used to deliver the charge. 6-7 hours if using home wall AC outlet power, 6-7 hours using a car cigarette DC 12V/24V power source, or 10-14 hours if using 18V 60-200W solar panels.
Q: What kind of solar panels are recommended?
A: We recommend using a solar panel that is 18V and between 60W.200W, such as the Kyng Power 60Watt Foldable Solar Panel Charger.
Q: What does it mean when the power fault light is green?
A: This means it is 100% working correctly. The power fault light may be green or it may be off. This is completely normal. If the power fault light turns red, then there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Conclusion: Kyng Power Solar Generator Review
So, are you searching for a lightweight and portable, environmentally-friendly, versatile generator? Look no further. This generator is even compatible with the compatible top-of-the-line Kyng Power 60W Solar Panel.
No matter your location, the Kyng Power Solar Charged Power Generator 500W will be there, to reliably charge your cellphone, fan, CPAP, lights, and more!
If you’re looking for something with a bit more power then check out our review of the Best Budget Portable Generators.
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Can I Leave a Solar Trickle Charger on All the Time?
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Do Solar Power Phone Chargers Work? | Are They Worth it?
Solar phone chargers offer a convenient way to be sure that your phone does not die when you are away from wall outlets. Solar phone chargers work when used correctly and the sun is out. Solar phone chargers can be used to charge battery banks to keep a charge on overcast or rainy days. Low-cost […]
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What Is the Best Portable Solar Generator on the Market?
Maybe you’re having a get-together in the wilderness? Perhaps you’re hosting a party in the company parking lot? Whatever the case may be, you’re in the market for a portable solar generator.
Fortunately, there are plenty of them for you to choose from, each of which offers something different in terms of performance and functionality. Need help finding the best?
Then read on. We’re going to review the best portable solar generators on the market.
Titan Solar Generator
Starting our list is the Titan Solar Generator, a durable and reliable generator that delivers up to 2000 watts of electricity. Simply put, this thing is powerful, the most powerful solar generator on the market, in fact. If you’re looking to electrify the entire camp, the Titan will accommodate you.
Available in a variety of packages, it can be purchased with everything from solar panels to hook up cables and more. It even comes with a carrying case.
The biggest issue with the Titan is its weight. It weighs 65 pounds and is not the easiest thing to lug around from place to place. That said, if you intend on keeping it stationary, it won’t pose much of a problem.
Interested in learning more about the Titan? Read about it at https://PoweredPortableSolar.com.
MAXOAK BLUETTI Portable Power Station
Next up is the MAXOAK BLUETTI, a powerful portable generator that’s also durable and reliable. At its peak, it can deliver 1500 watts of power. However, it runs continuously at around 1000.
The BLUETTI can be charged through a number of means. Not only can it be charged by electric outlets, but it can also be charged by solar panels and automobiles.
Unlike the Titan, the BLUETTI doesn’t come with solar panels. If you want to utilize its solar capabilities, you’ll have to buy panels yourself.
Nonetheless, this is a terrific generator. If you can afford it, it’s worth the purchase.
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240
If you’re looking for something with a lot of power at a reasonable price, you should consider the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240. Capable of providing up to 240 watts of electricity, it can accommodate a bevy of different appliances at once.
A quiet generator, it possesses a durable and long-lasting battery. It can be charged either through solar power or electricity.
Note, however, that while this generator has solar power capabilities, in order to utilize them, you will have to buy its corresponding solar panels separately. These are known as the Jackery SolarSagas, and they come in both 60W and 100W models.
Overall, this is a superb device. If you’re looking to electrify the entire campsite over the course of a weekend, this generator will enable you to do so.
Kyng Power Solar Generator Portable Power Station
Another high-quality solar generator is this one from Kyng Power. While it’s available for around the same price as the Jackery generator reviewed above, it actually provides more power. It tops out at around 1000 watts and is capable of running continuously on 500 watts.
Like the Jackery, it can be powered by both electrical outlets and solar panels. Also like the Jackery, it comes without solar panels. As such, if you wish to utilize its solar power capabilities, you’ll have to buy your own panels.
Where this generator falls behind the Jackery is in construction consistency. While many of the generators the company sells work properly, a good deal of them come with functional problems (ie. dysfunctional ports, etc.).
In essence, while this product supplies a great deal of power, it’s not all that reliable.
FlashFish 300W Portable Solar Generator
Up next is the FlashFish 300W Portable Generator, a compact device that can be carried easily from place to place. Offering up to 300 watts of power, it can run several different devices at once over the course of several hours. For its price, it’s an absolute bargain.
This generator can be charged through several different means. Not only can it be charged by electric outlets and automobiles, but it can also, of course, be charged by solar panels. Note, however, that if you’re going to utilize its solar power capabilities, you’ll have to buy your own panels.
There are very few functional downsides to this product. Note, however, that as with the Kyng Power generator reviewed above, it lacks production consistency. Whereas some models work forever, other models develop problems with weeks of purchase.
Energizer 160Wh/50000mAh Portable Power Station
Another solar generator you might consider is the Energizer 160Wh/50000mAh Portable Power Station. This generator isn’t as powerful as the ones reviewed above but is as consistent and as reliable as they come.
Built to thrive in all types of conditions, it’s perfect for a middle-of-summer or middle-of-winter camping trip. Capable of being charged by electric outlets, solar panels, and a variety of other entities, it’s portable in every sense of the word.
Like the other generators on our list, this one doesn’t come with solar panels. However, it’s compatible with essentially every solar panel in existence. As such, it shouldn’t be difficult to find something appropriate.
ENKEEO Portable Power Station
If you’re looking for a budget buy, you might consider the ENKEEO Portable Power Station. Providing up to 155 watts of electricity, it’s sufficient for charging cell phones, tablets, cooking equipment, and other such entities.
Extremely portable, it comes with a carrying handle. Possessing a hardshell case, it can withstand a great deal of wear and tear.
While it doesn’t come with solar panels, it is solar capable. It can hook up with essentially every solar panel on the market.
Looking for Other Products?
Now that you’ve found a portable solar generator, you might be looking for other products. If so, you’re in the right place. Our website has tons of product guides for you to peruse.
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