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    The Best Solar Generators of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

    Whether you are outfitting your home in case of an extended power outage or looking for a steady supply of off-grid power for your overlanding setup, it’s never been a better time to purchase a solar generator. But sifting through all the available options on the market—power stations that are lunchbox-sized to luggage-sized, solar panels that can pack in a backpack to multiple eight-foot long panels you chain together—can take a lot of time and effort. To help you choose the best solar generator for your purpose, we tested some of the most powerful models from Anker, Jackery, Goal Zero, and BioLite side by side to see how they stacked up.

    • Best Overall:Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro
    • Best Value:Anker 555 Solar Generator
    • Most Portable:BioLite BaseCharge 1500 Solar Panel 100
    • Most Customizable:Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Generator
    • Best for RVs:Anker Solar Generator 767

    How I Tested the Best Solar Generators

    There are two components to a solar generator—a solar panel and a power station. To understand the performance of the overall package, I looked at each component and then also assessed how they worked in tandem.

    • Solar Panels were tested in tandem (to ensure similar conditions) under clear skies. Testing was conducted in late fall, when the angle of the sun is less ideal than it would be at the peak of summer, affecting the potential of each panel to reach its claimed maximum output. Solar panels were tested using power stations of the same brand, but where possible, I also used different panels with different power stations to see if that affected the results.
    • Power stations were evaluated on a number of criteria. After fully charging all the power stations, I left them in a climate-controlled room for three days and then outside for twenty-four hours in near-freezing temperatures—none of the power stations registered any loss of power during this test. Next, I plugged various appliances into all of the power stations to see how they handled the volume: a dehumidifier, a sunlamp, two laptops, one of the best power banks for camping, a pair of headphones, another power station, etc. Using these setups, I ran each power station down to half its estimated output. Finally, I considered how compatible each power station was with other solar panels, as well as additional features, such as Bluetooth-compatible apps, display panels, wireless charging, USB-C input ports, and more.

    Solar Panels Tested

    I tested six solar panels rated for both 100W and 200W capacity from Goal Zero, Anker, Jackery, and BioLite.

    I checked that all the solar panels were pointed in the same direction and at the same angle when testing their measured output against their claimed output.

    Model Weight Size (unfolded) Output Ports Warranty Claimed output Measured output
    Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panel 18 lbs 540 x 2320 x 25 mm DC 1.5 years 200W 184W
    Goal Zero Boulder 200W 42 lbs 40 x 53.5 x 1.75 inches High Power Port (HPP) 2 years 200W 145W
    Anker 531 Solar Panel 20 lbs 23.75 x 83.75 x.75 inches XT-60 2 years 200W 158W
    Goal Zero Boulder 100W 20 lbs 40 x 26.75 x 1.75 inches High Power Port (HPP) 2 years 100W 73W
    Anker 625 Solar Panel 11 lbs 57 x 20.75 x 1.75 inches XT-60 2 years 100W 94W
    BioLite Solar Panel 100 10 lbs 20 x 57.5 x 1 inches High Power Port (HPP) 1 year 100W 52W

    Power Stations Tested

    The power stations I tested ranged in size from 1,002Wh to 2,048Wh, and were capable of either 110 volts or 120 volts (the latter is what you’ll need to run most major appliances).

    All of the power stations were capable of holding a charge for extended periods of time, losing no power in either the three-day indoors test or the 24-hour outdoors test in subfreezing and near freezing temperatures.

    Model Weight Wh Input ports Input Max for Solar Max voltage for the AC outlet App? Warranty
    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X 45.5 lbs 1,516 USB-C, 8mm, high power port (HPP) 600W 120V Yes 2 years
    Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro 25.5 lbs 1,002 AC and DC 800W 120V No 3 years
    Anker 767 XX 2,048 AC and XT60 1000W 120V Yes 5 years
    Anker 555 29.8 lbs 1,024 DC and USB-C 200W 110V No 5 years
    BioLite BaseCharge 1500 26.5 1,521 USB-C, high power port (HPP) 400W 110V No 2 years

    Best Overall: Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro (Explorer 1000 Pro Solar Saga 200W)

    Key Features

    • Power station capacity: 1002 watt hours
    • Solar panels: four 200-watt solar panels
    • Energy created by one panel in direct sunlight: 184 watts
    • Max AC output: 120 volts and 1000 watts
    • Also available with a 2000Wh power station
    • Also available with two 80-watt panels

    Along with the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 and Anker 555, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro had one of the more streamlined user interfaces. There are separate buttons to activate the USB outlets, AC outlets, and DC outlet, along with a button to turn on the power station’s light (in case you want to light up your camp or home) and one to turn on the display. The display here gives you the bare minimum of information—watts in, watts out, percent of the battery remaining, and the time to charge or deplete the battery based on the current conditions.

    The Explorer 1000 Pro has a max output of 1000W (peaking at 2000W), which is enough juice to power many modern refrigerators. But given that its battery life is only 1002Wh, it can only supply that power for about a day (assuming it’s not charging anything else) unless it’s also being supplied with fresh juice from a solar panel setup at the same time. For some, this won’t be an issue, as they’ll simply be using the battery to channel power to their other devices during the day while it’s charging, and then using the battery at night to power more low-key items like the best camping fans or maybe one high-energy device like a portable fridge.

    At over 25 pounds, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro, is one of the more transportable units I looked at, but it’s still not something that you’d want to lug more than a hundred feet or so at a time.

    The Solar Panel

    I originally tested the SolarSaga 200W solar panel as a full setup, with four panels plugged into a single power station. This test showed the full power of the array, which registered 650W of power generation on a sunny (albeit hazy) day. I retested a single panel in tandem with the rest of the units in this review more recently, and under completely clear skies, the panel was even more impressive: It registered 184W of energy coming from a single panel. If you don’t have much time to recharge your power station from the sun, then the full setup with all four panels is a no-brainer.

    It is, though, a little complicated. Each panel comes with a carrying case and a cable that connects back to the two DC ports on the Explorer 1000 Pro. If you see a math problem here, that’s correct: You’ll also need two of the Jackery Solar Panel Connectors, which, strangely, are not included in the purchase price. Two of these can be used to double the number of panels you can connect to the Explorer 1000 Pro.

    Setting up and taking down this many panels takes some time, but I was impressed by how easy and intuitive it was. That’s because Jackery streamlined the number of ports on each unit, making it that much clearer what cable connects to what unit in what port.

    While there might at first glance appear to be a disconnect between the charging time capabilities of this setup and its battery life, it’s worth keeping in mind that conditions are not always optimal. One of the things that impressed me most about these units is the panel’s ability to generate electricity in lowlight conditions. Even in complete shade—dusk fast approaching—a single SolarSaga was generating a 6W input.

    Best Budget: Anker 555 Solar Generator (555 PowerHouse with Two (2) 625 Solar Panels 100W)

    Key Features

    • Power Station Capacity: 1024 watt hours
    • Solar Panels: two 100-watt solar panels
    • Energy Created By One Panel In Direct Sunlight: 94 watts
    • Max AC output: 110 volts and 1000 watts
    • Also available with a 1229Wh power station and three 100W solar panels
    • Max power station output is 110V
    • XT60 port on the solar panel needs an adapter to be compatible with the power station
    compare, reviews, solar, portable, backup, generator

    If your family has a bevy of devices that seemingly all need to be plugged in simultaneously, you are in luck with the Anker 555 PowerHouse. It was the only unit in my test that boasted six AC outlets, as well as three USB-C outlets and two USB-A outlets. There were so many outlets that it was actually hard to find enough things to plug into it in my home—I ended up with an air purifier, sun lamp, two fans, a laptop, and a battery pack plugged in. The 555 PowerHouse had no problem with this—it barely used a third of its total output power. If your family has a bunch of devices that simply must be charged at all times, then this is a great option.

    Note that this would not be the best choice for someone looking for backup power for their refrigerator, as its 1,024 watt hour capacity was on the smaller side in my test and only has up to 110-volt output.

    Something else I liked about this unit was the utility—and comparative simplicity—of its charging abilities. It has one DC input port in the back and a USB-C 100W port that plays double duty with input and output. As someone who struggles to keep track of the sheer number and variety of cords that are always floating around, I appreciated the ability to recharge this unit without tracking down the original cord.

    The Solar Panel

    The Anker 625 was easily the best of the 100W panels I tested—it was one of the best solar panels for camping I tested back in the spring, and it’s still one of my favorite pieces of gear. It even beat out the 200W Jackery SolarSaga if you consider that this panel generated 94 percent of its claimed output, while the Jackery only managed 92 percent. Part of this is the inclusion of a sundial in the top center of the panel, which helped me align the panel correctly during setup. This sundial is such a useful feature, that after I had correctly aligned the Anker 625, I went back and adjusted all the other panels to match it—an instant uptick in power was measured. Two of these panels is a great choice for recharging a power station the size of the 555 PowerHouse.

    I’ve been testing this panel for a while—unlike some of the others in this test—and in that time I’ve noticed that it’s picked up a bit of scuffing along the edges of the fabric backing. While not ideal, this has not impacted the functionality of the unit in the slightest.

    Most Portable: BioLite BaseCharge 1500 Solar Panel 100

    Key Features

    • Power station Capacity: 1521 watt hours
    • Solar Panels: one 100-watt solar panel
    • Energy Created By One Panel In Direct Sunlight: 52 watts
    • Max AC output: 110 volts and 1200 watts
    • Also available with a 622Wh power station
    • Lightest unit I tested
    • Power station is easy to use
    • Power station is compatible with the Goal Zero Boulder 200 (up to two)

    Like the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro and the Anker 555 PowerHouse, the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 has a sleek and streamlined user interface that is easy to read and understand. The display panel shows the percentage of your battery left, the estimated number of hours it will take to either run through or finish charging the battery, the watts coming into your unit, and the watts going out. It also shows you the number of watt-hours the unit has used in total—watching that number was a bit like watching the odometer tick up on your car. Not super useful daily, but a nice thing to know in the aggregate. There are separate buttons to turn on the ports for USB, DC, and AC power, as well as a button to turn on the display. (A second button allows you to reset the display of how many watts you’ve used, useful if you are interested in getting an accurate read on your total power needs).

    There were three details that made the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 stand out next to the competition:

    • A wireless charging option on top of the unit. (Unfortunately, I was not able to test this as I do not have a device with this capability.)
    • The choice to put the input port on the front of the unit, as opposed to the back. During testing, I found that this configuration was easier when plugging in solar panels.
    • This power station is surprisingly lightweight, especially compared to the Yeti 1500X, which has a comparable watt-hour capacity. If you plan to move your power station from room to room, this is a no-brainer.

    During testing, the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 was one of the few power stations where the “hours to empty” estimate kept jumping around. It probably accurately reflected the change in power needs of the bigger devices, but was confusing to look at and made the time estimates less useful than they would have otherwise been. (The percentage estimate of the amount of battery life remaining, however, stayed fairly consistent.)

    The Solar Panel

    While the BaseCharge 1500 ended up being one of my favorite power stations, the BioLite Solar Panel 100 was my least favorite solar panel. First off, two kickstands simply don’t provide enough support for the panels. This is partly because two just isn’t enough, but also because one of the kickstands is situated closer to the middle of the unit, rather than both being on the outer edges. I was able to use the BaseCharge 1500 to help prop it up a bit, but it wasn’t an ideal solution.

    One thing that I did like about this unit is that, like the Anker 625, it incorporated a sundial, which helped me to situate the panel at the right angle to maximize the energy output.

    However, even with that advantage, this was by far the weakest panel in my test, only generating about half of its claimed output even on a clear day with sunny skies. If you choose to go with a BaseCharge 1500, it’s worth considering pairing it with a Goal Zero Boulder 200W, a pairing that proved successful during testing.

    Best Customization: Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Generator

    Key Features

    • Power Station Capacity: 1516 watt hours
    • Solar Panels: one 100-watt solar panel
    • Energy created by one panel in direct sunlight: 73 watts
    • Max AC output: 120 volts and 2000 watts
    • Solar panels also available at 200-watt and 300-watt capacity
    • power station s available in sizes ranging from 187 watt hours to 6071 watt hours
    • Possible to monitor the power station from another room using the app
    • The larger power station s could power major appliances for days without recharging
    • Heavy
    • Less intuitive than other power station s I looked at
    • Difficult to recharge if you lose the original cables

    The Yeti 1500X was one of the most complicated user interfaces to navigate, and included several details that I have mixed feelings about. The most glaring one is that when the unit is plugged into a power source, a light blinks blue continuously until it is charged, when it switches to solid blue—if you are in the same space as this unit when it is charging, this is very distracting. Next is the three buttons above the display—which read “unit,” “light,” and “info.” Unit is fairly straightforward—it toggles the input and output measurements between volts, amperes, watts, etc. This is pretty handy if you’re curious about how much power a given device is chewing through. Next is light—on other power stations, this button turns on an actual light, which is useful if you’re trying to see what you’re doing in the evening hours. The Goal Zero, however, does not have a built-in light; what this button turns on and off is the display screen showing the power supply. The info button only seemed to turn on the display (not off)—it was unclear what other use this was meant to have.

    Interestingly, despite having one of the most powerful AC ports in my test, there was only space for two plug-ins. Most of the time, I suspect this will be plenty for people (and it does help to cut down on the unnecessary juice being lost out of these ports), but others might find themselves digging out a powerstrip to make up for the lack fo ports.

    One of the more unusual features of the Yeti 1500X is a top lid, which has storage for charging cables, or anything else you want to throw in there. Underneath, it also has detailed descriptions of all of the power limitations of the various ports, plus evergreen reminders about not letting your power station get wet—all in semi-legible font. Surprisingly that can’t be said for any of the power stations in my test (including the Anker 767, which despite having the largest surface area strangely didn’t include this information at all). There is also a second 8mm port under the lid as well as a 12V HPP output port.

    The amount of power it was being charged with supplying—1385 watts through a single AC port (I had plugged it back into the Anker 767 unit) was higher than anything else I tested, due to this being the only combination where that was available—the maximum input capability of the Yeti 1500X is 150V from AC power). The icon showing how much power was remaining did, however, stay consistent.

    Like the Anker 767, the Yeti 1500X has an app that you can use to monitor the battery’s power usage. This app was not as intuitive to use as the Anker 767’s, requiring several more steps to get to the point where I could monitor the battery usage (it also asked me to upgrade its firmware seemingly every other time I opened it). However, once you have the whole thing set up, it provides just as much information and control as the Anker 767 app.

    The Solar Panel

    I tested both the Boulder 100W and the Boulder 200W from Goal Zero. These are basically the same panels (although with different ports (HPP versus DC), affecting what other power stations you might be able to pair them with), just at a different size, so whether you choose one over the other will depend on your energy needs, and your personal strength.

    These panels are significantly bulkier and more cumbersome than anything else I tested. While the likes of Jackery’s SolarSaga series and the Anker solar panels are a bit like someone took a backpacking solar panel and just blew it up to 20x the size. The Boulder series from Goal Zero looks like a solar panel off your house that’s shrunken down to something you could throw into the back of your car.

    Both the 100W and the 200W solar panels come with carrying cases, which due to the placement of the zippers are kind of a nuisance to use. But use them you should because the way these panels fold up leaves the solar cells on the outside of the package, rather than on the inside (like the rest of the solar panels in my test). While the 100W panel was heavy, but otherwise easy enough to move thanks to the inclusion of a comfortable handle on the long side of the folded-up panels, the 200W had a tendency to drag across the ground (at least this was my experience, as a 5 foot 5 inch individual), forcing me to lean to one side as I walked. Did I mention that these panels were heavy? At 42 pounds, the Boulder 200W is extremely heavy.

    While the Boulder solar panels were reasonably easy to set up, the way the legs are designed give you fewer options for maximizing the angle of the sun in the winter months, when it’s lower to the horizon. This showed during testing, when the panels only pulled in 73W for the 100W panel, and 143W for the 200W panel.

    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?

    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.

    Slow recharging

    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

    Key takeaways

    • 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.

    Catherine Lane

    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.

    Solar Generators: A Guide to Portable Solar Power

    A solar generator is a portable power station that uses portable solar panels to charge a battery, and the stored electricity can be used to charge or operate other devices.

    As climate change continues to impact our planet in the form of extreme weather, higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and more, we must look for sustainable solutions to more parts of our day-to-day life. This includes the move to using portable solar power generators to create and store renewable energy for all your backup power needs.

    Not only do solar generators create reliable clean electricity from the sun, but they also reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses associated with traditional portable generators. As a result, manufacturers are working hard to make solar backup generators better and more reliable than their fuel-powered counterparts. This mirrors the growth and popularity of home solar power systems as an alternative to powering your home with fossil fuels.

    With this article, you will better understand what a solar generator is, why solar generators are worth an investment, how to shop for a portable solar generator that’s right for you, and why solar-powered generators should replace traditional gas-powered generators.

    What Is A Solar Generator?

    The term solar generator usually refers to the combination of portable solar panels, battery, battery charger, and inverter into a single device that allows you to capture, store, and distribute power from the sun.

    Solar generators are popular for camping trips, boating, RV trips, and as emergency backup power.

    Unlike a traditional generator, which is normally powered by gas, diesel, or propane and includes an engine, fuel tank, and alternator, a solar generator lacks any moving parts. They’re essentially comprised of four elements:

    • Portable Solar Panels. Captures energy from the sun
    • Rechargeable Battery. Stores the energy captured by solar panels
    • Solar Charge Controller. Manages how much energy goes into the battery
    • Solar Inverter. Converts the sun’s energy into usable electricity

    Thus, a solar generator is basically a portable battery with some photovoltaic (PV) panels attached to collect sunlight.

    A portable solar generator turns out to be a great power supply, whether you’re on the road, camping, or needing electricity during a power outage. Depending upon your situation, you might want a solar generator with a variety of outlets, especially in emergencies where you have multiple power-dependent devices and appliances.

    compare, reviews, solar, portable, backup, generator

    Typically, solar generators have 12-volt sockets, AC outlets, and USB ports to allow you to charge different devices. The beauty of having several charging options with your portable generator is that you can get the power you need on your terms. For example, you can plug a smartphone directly into the USB port to charge, and then connect an extension cord to the AC outlet to power a set of string lights.

    compare, reviews, solar, portable, backup, generator

    In most cases, you will have the option to buy components like solar battery storage and panels separately, though you can also buy them as a complete all-in-one kit. We recommend purchasing the accessories you need to generate and store enough electricity for your intended use.

    How Do Solar Power Generators Work?

    A solar battery generator works by creating electricity from sunlight and storing it in a battery for future use. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the process:

    • Solar panels convert sunlight to DC electricity and pass it through the charge controller.
    • The charge controller regulates the voltage of electricity before storage, ensuring the right amount of current goes to the battery.
    • The battery stores all the solar energy for later use.
    • The inverter converts the stored energy from the battery to the AC power that most appliances and devices use.

    Who Benefits From Using Solar Generators?

    Solar generators don’t burn fuel to generate electricity, making them ideal for anyone looking to reduce reliance on gas-powered generators, combat blackouts and other power outages, and have a reliable backup power source option in case of emergencies.

    You can use the energy stored in a solar generator during a power outage, to charge your devices when camping, and as source of energy on an RV or boating trip. Essentially, a solar-powered backup generator is ideal for a range of real-life situations, meaning it’s useful to have around for more than just emergencies.

    People Who Want to Make Eco-Friendly Choices

    Traditional generators run on fossil fuels that pollute the environment. If you’re conscious of the danger these fuels possess, then a solar backup generator is ideal for you.

    People Bothered by the Sounds and Smells of Traditional Generators

    Traditional generators are noisy and stinky because they’re combustion engines running on fossil fuels. Over time and even with proper maintenance, they can become noisier and smellier. If you’re looking for a generator that creates zero sounds and smells, a solar power generator will not let you down.

    People Who Enjoy Spending Time Outdoors

    You will find solar power generators are helpful if you enjoy being outside, yet still want to bring along a few modern perks. For example, during a camping or boating trip, solar batteries come in handy to ensure you have continuous power access. You could string up lights after sundown, charge your phones, run small kitchen appliances, and any number of conveniences you had to do without in the past.

    Key Factors When Shopping for a Solar Generator

    Solar generators come in different sizes and shapes, so picking one that will address your personal needs should be your priority. Choosing a solar generator can be challenging, especially when you are presented with different options, so we created this shopping list as a good starting point.

    Since not all portable solar backup power generators are the same, people need to know what the generator can and cannot do. Knowing how you intend to use your generator should help guide you to the right solution.

    Some of the top brands to compare include Jackery, Goal Zero Yeti, Bluetti, EcoFlow, Point Zero Energy, Renogy, and Tacklife. Each company makes its products unique, so a closer look at what each one offers can help you make a sound decision.

    Your Energy Requirements

    The amount of electricity you need should be your top consideration for determining the size of your solar powered generator. For example, if you plan to use it outdoors, you should calculate how much energy your devices and appliances use when comparing the storage capacity of potential solar generators.

    How Much Electricity The Solar Generator Can Provide

    The longer a generator can provide power, the better. (This is usually calculated in watt hours.) Considering you don’t always know when you will have an opportunity to recharge it, it is best to have one that can run efficiently for a long time. That way, it will be easier for you to go about your daily activities or complete what you were doing, knowing you have enough backup power.

    How Long The Solar Generator Takes To Charge

    In addition to comparing the battery capacity of a solar generator, you should also pay attention to how long it takes for the battery to achieve a full charge. Some even have the ability to quick charge from a home AC power outlet. This will help with planning how much time you’ll need to be without power in the event a recharge is necessary.

    What Features and Benefits are Included

    You can do a lot with a solar generator that has helpful features. For example, more USB ports and power outlets give you the freedom to charge multiple devices at once.

    Weight is another essential consideration, especially if you plan to use your generator for outdoor activities. Batteries can be heavy, so you might want to look for a solar generator that has focused on keeping the weight down if you plan to move it around a lot.

    What the Warranty Covers

    We recommend examining any benefits you might enjoy from the product warranty. The larger and more reputable the company, the more perks you will likely receive to support your solar power generator. The top options include replacement parts for any necessary repairs, as well as a longer length of time your solar generator is covered by the warranty.

    Comparing Portable Solar Generators with Traditional Gas-Powered Generators

    The Pros of Solar Generators

    Investing in a portable solar generator is a good way of reducing your environmental impact and enjoying numerous other benefits:

    Portable

    Generally lighter than traditional gas-powered generators, solar generators are ideal for outdoor events, camping, emergencies, and general on-the-go activities. Some of them are even equipped with a luggage-like pull handle to enhance portability.

    Low Maintenance

    Wear and tear due to moving parts in traditional emergency generators can lead to high maintenance costs. Solar generators have no moving parts and don’t rely on gas to generate electricity. This design helps lower the possibility of having to pay for repairs.

    Clean Energy

    Solar generators generate clean, renewable energy that doesn’t hurt the environment when running. Traditional generators run on fossil fuels which contribute to air pollution and climate change. As an added benefit, you can access solar energy freely instead of paying for pricey fossil fuels.

    Easy Operation

    Solar generators are easy to use as they don’t require fueling, oiling, starting, and maintaining. Just turn it on, connect your devices, and draw power from it.

    The Cons of Solar Generators

    There are a few disadvantages to using solar generators that you should consider before making a purchase:

    Higher Upfront Cost

    Solar generators typically require a higher initial investment than traditional generators. However, the costs of operating are lower than traditional options, so you’ll save money over time.

    Lower Energy Storage

    Solar generators aren’t ideal if your power demands are too high. For instance, during a power outage, your generator may not be sufficient to operate all devices and appliances in your house. In most cases, they are best for operating a few devices at a time, such as lighting, a television, or a refrigerator.

    Slower Energy Generation

    Compared to traditional gas-powered portable generators, solar generators are not the best option when you need instantaneous power. If your battery runs out of power, you have to wait for it to recharge to get power to your appliances and devices, which can vary depending on the weather conditions. With a traditional generator, you simply need to add more fuel to generate additional power.

    The Pros of Traditional Generators

    Generators powered by fossil fuels do have some advantages, including:

    Portability

    Traditional options are available in different sizes, and there are smaller sizes that you can bring with you when traveling. Just remember that you also have to carry gasoline, so they aren’t quite as portable as solar generators.

    Familiar Technology

    Having been on the market for years, traditional generators are more familiar to some people. However, that market dominance also means the technology hasn’t been dramatically improved because of the lack of competition.

    Electricity On-Demand

    Traditional generators produce electricity as soon as they receive fuel, while a solar generator must be recharged to provide electricity. Hence, gas-powered generators are more convenient when you need instant power.

    The Cons of Traditional Generators

    Despite their popularity over the years, traditional generators have their shortcomings. Here are some of the reasons why people are ditching them:

    Fuel Costs

    Traditional generators rely on costly fossil fuels to run, which increases their long-term costs over the initial purchase price. You may also have to pay more to access that fuel if you aren’t near a gas station or other fuel source.

    Toxic Gases

    Traditional generators are notorious polluters. Each gallon of gasoline contains about 20.35lbs of carbon dioxide, and the average camping generator emits around 1-2 lbs of carbon dioxide per hour, even when running at 1/4 of the max rated load.

    In addition to carbon dioxide, gas-powered generators can also release other harmful gases into the atmosphere, including carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and sulfur oxides.

    Noisy Operation

    Because of all the moving parts that make up a traditional gas-powered generator, they produce a lot of noise when operating. This is especially true for smaller portable generators, which are designed to prioritize size and weight over noise prevention.

    Ongoing Maintenance

    You have to continuously pay to take care of your traditional generator if you want to keep it in good working order. That regular maintenance occurs because the generator uses moving parts to process fossil fuels into electricity, and those moving parts need to be cleaned, oiled, and replaced over time. In addition, the fuel can go bad if it sits unused for a long period of time. Those routine costs definitely impact the total price of owning a gas-powered generator in the long run.

    Key Takeaways

    Solar generators are growing in popularity, and with advances in solar technologies, people who like clean energy are increasingly picking them over gas-powered generators. Solar generators offer low maintenance, portability, clean energy, and sustainable living to combat climate change. The numerous benefits of owning a solar generator make it worth the investment.

    Before you buy a solar-powered generator, make sure you analyze the key features of different brands to pick one that will address your power needs. Brands like ​​Jackery, Goal Zero Yeti, and Bluetti make a wide range of different solar generators to match your needs.

    If you want to store even more backup solar power than even the best solar generator can provide, you should consider solar battery storage that connects to your home solar panel system. While your home solar panels can definitely charge your portable solar generator so you have on-the-go power whenever you need it, solar generators are not designed to act as a home standby generator for your entire home.

    If you’re shopping for backup power options, the experts at Palmetto can help you understand the long-term solutions that are right for your electricity needs and system requirements. Get started today with a Free Solar Savings Estimate, and then speak with one of our solar professionals on how you can always have the energy you need when you need it most.

    Solar Generators for Camping and Van Life

    At Goal Zero, we’re big fans of solar power, but solar is only really useful if you have a way to store and use all that power you collect. That’s why we love solar generators. They combine the clean energy of solar power with the convenient portability of battery power stations so you can do more and stay out longer.

    What is a Solar Generator?

    A solar generator is a combination of solar panels and a power station. You can use solar panels to collect and convert energy from the sun. The power station lets you store the energy you collect and then use it to power your devices.

    Choosing a Solar Generator

    A solar generator is the perfect addition to your next camping trip or van build. And when you aren’t on the go, they’re great for home back up. There are three key factors to consider when deciding which solar generator is right for you.

    Capacity

    Solar lets you recharge more or less indefinitely, but the capacity of your power station will impact how much you can run at a time, how long you can keep things running, and how often you have to recharge. For example, if you’re choosing a solar generator for camping, you can get away with less capacity than you’d need for home backup.

    When considering capacity, you’ll also need to think about the amount of solar input you want. A larger power station has more capacity but requires more solar panels to fully charge it. This increases the cost of your solar generator and means it will take up more space.

    Portability

    Portability is a huge benefit if you’re taking your solar generator camping or on a road trip, but it may not be a priority if you’re installing it at your off-grid or in your home. All of our solar generators can be moved and taken with you, but the smaller solar generators are much easier to carry and move around.

    Versatility

    The beauty of a portable solar generator is that you can use it however you’d like. If you want the option to run high-energy appliances in a power outage and the option to recharge your laptop while camping, versatility will be a priority. We offer solar generators that are light enough to move but powerful enough to run a TV, grill, or refrigerator for hours.

    The Best Solar Generators for Camping

    Our favorite camping solar generators are small and lightweight, making them easy to set up and move around.

    Taking your solar generator camping lets you recharge phones, laptops, camera batteries, and other small devices, but it also gives you enough power to run a portable fridge and power cooking appliances so you can enjoy good meals throughout the whole trip. These solar generators are easy to move so you can set up near your cooking station in the morning, then move things over to your tent while you recharge your phone during a midday nap, and simultaneously also charge your portable speaker so you can listen to music around the campfire in the evening.

    Yeti 200X solar generators for camping

    The Yeti 200X is only 5 pounds, meaning even your kids can carry it as they help pack up the car. We offer it in 3 different solar generator bundles, depending on how much solar power you want to pair with it.

    We think the Yeti 200X Boulder 50 is the perfect solar generator for camping because it’s incredibly portable and easy to set up. The Boulder solar panel comes with a convenient kickstand so you can set it almost anywhere. It can completely recharge your Yeti 200X in 4-8 hours.

    Yeti 500X solar generators for camping

    Upgrade from camping to glamping with a little extra power. Need a few more ports so you can blow up your air mattress and plug in the portable fridge at the same time as your grill?

    Another favorite solar generator for camping is the Yeti 500X Nomad 100. You get the Yeti 500X which comes with more ports and more power plus the foldable Nomad 100 solar panel that weighs just over 10 pounds, making it easy to move around throughout the day to get the best sun.

    The Best Solar Generators for Van Life

    Versatility is key when choosing a solar generator for van life. Space is limited so it’s Smart to get something compact, but since you’re living there long term, you need something robust enough to run lights, fridges, power tools, and more while keeping your devices charged.

    We offer a lot of great solar generator solutions, but one excellent van life option is the Yeti 1500X (4) Boulder 100. This gives you a power station that can run high-energy appliances and four solar panels you can mount to your vehicle roof or set up on the ground when you find a good stopping spot.

    Solar generators can help you get more out of your next adventure whether you’re headed on a weekend camping trip or a month-long van trek. And when you aren’t hauling it around, they provide home backup power for emergencies. Choose from Goal Zero’s wide selection of solar generators to find one that’s best for you.

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